Books, Books everywhere and not a thing to read
So from the "Ghost Tour" thread, you may understand that a collection can overtake a life, and cause the collector to approach hoarder levels.

I have avoided slipping over into hoarder, by NOT putting book shelves on the crown molding, nor paintings on the ceilings. My rule is never to have anything on the floor, so stuff is in piles.

I did have the house maxed out this past fall-winter, with books piled up. Some of the stacks were also higher than my head... OK that's only 5 feet, but those were a menace to Health & the Town ordinances. But when I started to lose things, well it was time.

At World Fantasy in Saratoga, I spoke to a book dealer friend and mentioned that it was time to divest of the Anne McCaffrey (AM) collection.
[They will get my Andre Norton Collection when they peel my cold dead fingers off the books.]

So the Band-Aid was ripped off fast, and the First Editions left the house in the first load. Then a month later, the second load of the Paperback firsts, the Book Club, UK editions, the anthologies and Oversize, were picked up. One month later, I found that I had put some of the book club books in a cabinet, when I staged the second batch, and drove up another 2 boxes. I kept my reading copies, and am still coming across the stuff that 'hid' from the first three purges. [Books in German, Audio tapes, posters, and lots of etc.]

Why am I describing the AM collection to you, Andre Norton collectors? Well the Andre Norton collection is about half again as big as the Anne McCaffrey collection was.

From my “back & forth” with Jay, you can guess that I own a lot of stuff.

For me this includes: First US editions, First paper edition, First UK edition, Book Club and lots of later editions as the cover art changed. I also have Russian, Polish and German, Japanese, Hebrew, French and Italian language books. None of which I can read. I have most of the short fiction and non-fiction in the original anthologies, magazines & newspapers. When I couldn’t get those, I got photocopies. I also have a large collection of the bibliographies, biographies, and critical reviews of her work.

I believe that I received one of the “notebooks”, or in my case a photo-album from Andre Norton. I also have a notebook full of the single sheets that were ‘under the table’ during the book sale. I have another notebook full of other photocopied Non-fiction. I have letters to Andre Norton (photocopies from Syracuse U Library) and letters from Andre Norton. In my collection I have T-shirts, the Tab Corbet figurine, a tree-ornament and a few necklaces. I have several boxes of manuscripts, and some folders of shorter fiction. I have cover art, and illustrations, and a few photos.

But now that the AM collection has freed up the shelf space, I’ll be able to find things (you say). Well this might be true eventually. In the short term, all of the Anthologies are now shelved. But there are other books all asking to be brought out from double shelving: Lois McMaster Bujold, Donna Andrews, Mercedes Lackey, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, and I recently found that the Magazine sized items still include the AM items. The notebooks are still horizontal in the first floor library, with some even on the glass shelves in front of the window.

Here is the joke, that my young friend needed to do a project on an author for her 5th grade class [lots of years back]. Her teacher rejected her request to work on Andre Norton. “There wouldn’t be enough material.” Little did that teacher know, that there was enough material, but since there was then, as now, no reason to the madness, this would have been a good research project.
Dear Irene,

Thank you for your frank sharing of your collecting and de-cluttering woes. Your efforts give me inspiration to renew my own. The older I get, the more I count opportunity cost: one day to read a book, another to get caught on what I got behind on while reading the book. If each book I read is going to cost two days of my life, then it had better be worthwhile. I'm stacked spouse-higher in places, with books that are perfectly interesting, but which I'm not likely to be able to get to. Hence the increased de-cluttering urgency. My house needs excavating every 5-10 years, whether I like it or not.

And I mostly don't [either do, or like the doing]. In spite of ze spouse's support [enthusiastic volunteering to rent fleet of U-Haul trucks Wink], it's hard to let go. We hoarders see things in layers of time. There's the past, emotional associations, the present satisfaction at hoarding a treasure, and the future possibilities of something being useful. Last month, I went through the mystery section & got rid of at least 10 feet that I hadn't read in several years & wasn't likely to get [back] to.

Full of smug, self-satisfaction, I turned to the science fiction section, and ... ground to a halt, like spinning wheels in clogging sand. I finally figured out why. Although I read more mysteries these days [especially cosies with punny titles & cats on the covers], my primary identification is as an sf fan. It's primordial, from reading Lester Del Rey & Rip Foster in 4th grade. Getting rid of sf isn't a light twinge, like mystery; it's deep gouging, worse even than peeling a sunburn too early.

It still needs doing, of course; I'm close to getting claustrophic in my own house, which is just silly. I don't want to just throw things at the thrift stores; rather like pets, I want to send my friends off to good homes. Right when I'm in this mode, the Georgia Tech library [where I sent several truckloads in the last purge, 10 years ago] is closed for renovations for the next 2-3 years. So, I do the swap-site thing [, et. al.], but that gets expensive, with all the shipping.

As Yul Brynner said in "The King And I," "Is a puzzlement." But we persevere.


Sadly, yesterday, I couldn't find one of the books where Andre Norton wrote a preface. I looked in the Anthologies, and emailed the guys who took away the McCaffrey books. Maybe I'll find the book on a different shelf: THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN” by Macdonald <Book found 3/23/16>

I emailed Jay a whole slew of photocopies this weekend. Mostly these were pages from my "non-fiction" notebook. Every so often, to avoid getting stiff, I would get up, and pull an item off of the Anthology or Magazine shelves. [i.e. TV Guide]

I also moved the Bujold books to their own shelf. But that didn't make any NEW space on the other shelves, as double stacked items just filled the space back up.

Jerrie - have you found Donna Andrews - MURDER WITH PEACOCKS ? We can go to private mail for the other Mysteries.

Oh - and Jay - The reason I haven't agreed to just "ship" you a notebook for copying, is that I can't seem to let them leave the house. Yes, even a notebook of photocopies. After I finish copying the current list, we can negotiate me making copies of the other stuff/notebooks.
Irene, I've been stalking Donna Andrews for years. I have both her mystery series. Many of them I've even read. Wink

For all my de-cluttering chatter, you won't hear from me the trouble I got into at the library book sale in the 5/$1 room. I was able to upgrade about a torso-worth of paperbacks to jacketless book club hardbacks [lots of the "Best Of" series]. The paperbacks were immediately listed on Lots have already been requested.

Irene, thank you so much for getting copies of things to Jay. And, Jay, thank you so much for sharing them with us all.

Norton fans rock!

Well - I now have a better place to look for the missing book: MacDonald, George THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN T-1 1986
The important clue is that 'T' in "T-1" which stands for Trade. This means that I was possibly looking in the wrong places. <Book found 3/23/16 - Irene>

I need to see if the book got slid in among the Magazines. I did a quick scan of my Oversize stuff last evening, and didn't find it, but perhaps sitting down & checking carefully will turn it up [I did find my copy of MOOG MOOG SPACE BARBER.] I also found a German language Norton in the Anthologies. Don't know how that got there.

I did check the shelves of regular books, and there isn't anything in where "MacDonald" would be, right after MacAvoy. Hmm I have both a paper copy of TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON, and the special Hard Cover "signed" edition. Maybe the latter should join the books for sale pile.

Jay - I'll keep plunking away at them this week. I may have time this evening for a few more.
There's nothing like the lives of other people to make me grateful for the [relative] simplicity of my own.

Irene, you are good for us in so many ways. [Now, if they just had an affordable direct flight from my city to yours!]

Please keep sharing your finding & organizing adventures; I'm finding them awfully motivating!


I believe that Jay has offered to scan my whole house.... Or perhaps that was an idle promise?

Now that I've found the missing papers - and found the other items that I knew I had, my bet is that Jay will see the research sources for these newly found itmes, and update his please-scan lists.

[I probably need to update my book/papers/magazine/photocopy lists so that I can find stuff.]

As for the effort to find stuff, well....... I'm also reading through my Doris Andrews books. I moved those downstairs next to the Comfy Chair. I'm about half way through.
I'm slowly going through the magazines - and plan to pull the Anne McCaffrey stuff and move it to the shelf of AM items for removal from my house. [If "The Mind's Eye Books" won't take them, perhaps we can swing through Syracuse NY on our road trip to World Fantasy, and drop off a box or two.]
this will provide shelf space for the notebooks of Andre Norton photocopies that are currently "Horizontally Filed" on the tops of book cases.

I really need to send that letter of instruction to my niece - so that someone will retrieve my book collection when I forget how to read. [i.e. in about 30 years.] {Post Script: Or wait until she comes to stay for the week in July. I better have gotten organized before then.}
We have lived in this house for 28 years and we all buy books and seldom let any go. And--There are four of us. I understand about shelves, and boxes and bags and stacks (OH MY). Organization, unfortunately, is not among our strong suits. It's nice to know that we are not alone.
In the summer of 1990, My family and I visited Andre and gave her the mobile. She took us on a tour of her house (in Winter Park, FL.) When we reached her bedroom, we saw that three walls were covered with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, all stuffed. She gave a heavy sigh and remarked, "And these are the ones I haven't got around to reading yet." I wonder how many she did read? Later Kind Folks--Paul :wave:
Frontiers of any type, physical or mental are but a challenge to our breed. Nothing can stop th questing of man, not even man. If we will it, not only the wonders of space, but the very stars are ours
Actually I was thinking you should scan your whole house. :poke:

I need a list of what you found in order to decide what else I would like to get. Wink

We are very grateful for what you supplied so far. :lick:
"Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted"
Andre Norton's website -
You are welcome to "scan the whole house", just bring your own scanner. My scanner has been flaky up until the last bunches. My first thought was that it was overheating, but maybe running the "fix it" utility straightened it out.

After I scan the big stuff... Probably tomorrow... on the multi page scanner, I'm going to take a break.

Jay's job, is to look through the stuff I've sent, and ask if I have the papers that the scholarly work was based on.
That is how I did it. [Hint the Schlobin papers have the best stuff.]

So, as everyone else finishes their scanning, and you get a new list of the fanzine stuff and anthologies, I will be making some shelf space for the notebooks. Doing this will probably turn up fanzines, and small press magazines.
For late April (i.e. 4/23) I can bring a notebook to the big scanner, and push 20 pages at a time through the machine. Jay will get to sort through everything.

I sure wished that I had a portable scanner that year I went to Syracuse U library. I had to limit my photocopy spending, but I certainly wanted more.
So you have turned it into a treasure hunt. Well it may take a little time to come up with the next list. Probably a week or so, maybe more being I have a vacation to go on.

Portable scanners are great. I have a flatbed that is pretty fast, but the one I really like is the batch scanner that can do a 200 page double sided document in about 4 minutes.

Speaking of scholarly papers the Charlotta Cook Hensley PHD dissertation is on the site now.
But keep in mind it is 239 pages long if you want to read it.

The other 2 thesis papers ~ Fred Patten & Diana Beebe ~ will be there soon. That will make 6. I do wonder sometimes about thesis papers and their merit being as the ones I have read are full of errors.

I do foresee a trip to a city library (nearest one would be about 70 miles) to obtain a dozen papers I have identified - unless Irene has them.

I'm not kidding about the library - living way out in the country does have some miner irritants.
"Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted"
Andre Norton's website -
Cool - on the Hensley. That was the monster I was going to scan tomorrow. And the one I was going to scan next is Wendland READER-RESPONSE THEORY AND ANDRE NORTON. I think I did that one already. ?

Yeah! I'm done.... Oh wait. Diana Beebe? Nope, I don't think I have anything by her.
Patten went out today.
Ego-Boo and books.
Well I stopped into ReaderCon this past weekend. I zipped into the Book Dealer Room, to grab back an Anthology with an critique of Andre Norton (mistakenly purged with the McCaffrey items), and to pay for a couple of paperbacks.
One of the other book dealers said that he thought that I had had the best Anne McCaffrey collection on the east coast... Just by what "The Mind's Eye" had on their shelves for sale.... And that was after they had sold that first book, first printing, hardcover in fine jacket, signed at Boskone (I know the person who purchased it, and he will be giving it a fine home, and protecting it from dust and pets.)

So I've photocopied the missing Andre Norton item for Jay, and put the book on the Anthology Shelves.
Some day soon (I've promised myself), I will put the anthologies into one sorted shelving by editor.
I also need to further cull the magazines, and double check the old Locus magazines that were already culled.
[I may have a chance to get the audios, magazines & stuff out of my house the first weekend in August.]

What does this mean to you, the people who can see the walls between the book cases? What further items of Andre Norton will I find by opening every box on every shelf? Well the lost ark [wrong book], or the odd interview, or perhaps the missing manuscript to [might even find the scrolls from the library at Alexandria, or the SHADOW HAWK in Aramaic published in Egypt.

We have gotten to the warm part of the year. I am trying to figure out how cold the first floor needs to be to get the second floor livable. And of course the odd/missing/scarce items are in the upstairs book room. And stuff just came up that will make it hard to work on my own house this weekend.

Jerrie - perhaps total disorder in someone elses house will inspire you? If you find that cheap flight to CT, or cheap train or convince Marty that there is baseball in those neighbor states, and I could find him places to stay, and people to watch baseball with? It's got to be cooler here than GA [OK - maybe not as cool as your one floor house.], or perhaps some week when you can get away, I can search & You can catalogue.
Well I used to have all sort of problems with stacking books. That's until I moved into my new house 7 6ft. high bookcases and one 12ft. wide bookcase under a window handles my SF/F book collection quite well. In part because it's mostly paperback since I was an enlisted man in the USAF for 20 years and had to pare down for change of locations.
I am actually quite jealous. Imagine being able to see the walls of my house!
I dread the day that I would have to move, and hence have to re-locate the books.
Heck I dread the day that the house walls would be painted, and the books need to move temporarily.

I once calculated that I had 100 linear feet of book cases. This didn't change when I removed the Anne McCaffrey books. Well the feet of book cases is a constant. I mean that I still have double shelved books, and a few horizontal stacks.

I still need to check out my "back" storage areas, and trash some of the stuff on those shelves. Making room for some of the craft notebooks to be moved back & the other books to stretch out.
Irene Wrote:I once calculated that I had 100 linear feet of book cases.

100 linear feet of cases, or 100 linear feet of shelving?

Probably 100 linear feet of shelf space. Are you trying to make me do math at 8:34 AM?

Roughly each shelf is 3 ft long: Living room 14 shelves; Den 18; Library 30 = 62 x 3= 186 feet of shelves.
many of these are still double shelved (at least all of the paper editions are), so add another 5 shelves for that, and you have around 200 linear feet of shelves.
My whole house is 24x28 & book cases are limited to only those three rooms.

By this math Tmon has (assuming 12 inch high shelf spacing) 129 linear feet. Assuming paper back shelves 150 linear feet.

So I am using the 100 feet as a metaphor.
No to the math; just wondering. I was thinking 100 feet of bookcases would be approaching my high school library where I'm the librarian.

I have roughly 27 feet of bookcases, which translates to about 122 feet of shelving, and I thought I had a lot. I'm in the processing of modifying a couple of book cases to add some extra shelves because I'm out of floor space for cases.
There is a building in Belmond MA, down the block from a friend. Huge local stone as walls. One floor.
When last I saw it, it was configured as a library. It was a library in jeopardy, due to low circulation.

At that time, I looked at the outside of the building, my only thought was that, it would be big enough for my personal library.

PS: I'm not sure that my house was built to handle the weight of all the books... Not to mention the back closet (also around 8" x 12", that has 3 giant book cases

MYCode Guide

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