So this Saturday I will be done with this phase of the great Summer ’11 Weeding,and there is a big post 0r two in the journey of the last few weeks. But not for this morning. For this morning,a quick reminder of why we do this…
Just one more book,that's all I want...
Warey Myers Decorative Arts “The Basement Stacks”
“Books breaking through the (faux) wall downstairs,referencing the “basement stacks”every library has. In this case it’s as if those stacks had been sealed up during some remodel,and are anthropomorphically breaking through,referencing the old library,history,roots,poltergeists… Created for the VIA Advertising Agency,which recently renovated and moved their offices into the old Baxter building,which served as Portland’s public library from 1888 until the 1960s.”(via Boing Boing)
So,ever wonder what an entire apartment of books looks like when it has been taken off the shelf and placed in at least 120 boxes?
I stopped counting at 90 boxes...
Continue reading Here We Go Again:The More Things Change…
I’ve tried. I honestly have. I want to say that the process has continued,even though the writing ceased sometime last fall. Since I started this blog in February of last year I’ve had a fairly large promotion at work (at just about the time blogging stopped regularly),started performing improv regularly for money,and started a very positive long term relationship. All of this has meant a year of readjusting and rearranging projects and otherwise. All very good things,which have meant that writing down the thoughts on the inside of my skull has taken a back seat.
But the weeding,the purging,the mental cleaning has continued all along. I’m proud to say that in the last year I’ve cleared out one more bookcase worth of books,started a pull list at my local comic shop (to help control and manage my regular purchases),canceled my eMusic membership,and managed to cut down my month graphic novel purchase to around a fourth of its previous size. Looking at the regular tally of eBay results it appears that since last March I’ve sold just under 2,500 comics,just under 1,000 graphic novels,28 manga volumes,75 magazines,and 69 mini-comics (with an additional 70 books sold through Amazon or given away)! While new items have entered into my world during this time,the three empty bookshelves,and partially empty shelves,along with the reduced monthly output feels great!
But I’m not done. Before I move house in October I intend to clear out some more in various aspects (including music). Plus I’ve had interesting conversations with people asking me further about the why of what I am doing,what I want to get out of it,and if any aspects of this process might be a mistake,and that leaves me wanting to write some more to try to understand and explain.
So,as I said,I’m back. For the next month I’m gonna try to post at least twice a week,possibly Sunday and Wednesday,to get going with a bit of regularity. It won’t all be Irv Kupcinet quality columns,but I want to see if I can do this.
I look at my books as being sculptures of books. They’re regular books,too,but they’re also sculptures.
It has been a busy five months,and I hope to post a real post in the near future with things I’ve learned,steps I’ve taken,and other important things. But in the meantime,here are a few important links I’ve discovered over the months,mostly through Twitter.
First a few “books”and “book collection”related links:
Continue reading Long Time Gone:Some Quick Links
As my little photo essay was posted today as this week’s entry in Robot 6‘s “Show Us Your Shelf Porn”series I assume we will have a few new visitors stopping by after following the link in my entry. Welcome,welcome. Always happy to have a few new eyeballs to share my ramblings and images as I work on examining why and how I collect comic books.
The essay on Robot 6 featured all new photos and thoughts,but you can find more of the same here on the blog. To get an introductory taste you can visit my About page or check out my very first entry for a sort of mission statement. If you’d like to see more photos of my library,especially earlier tours before “the great weeding”check out the shelf porn category.
As for me,as it says various places I am a librarian and graphic designer. I currently work during the day as the Digital Resources Librarian at the Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In the evening I do graphic design for TwoMorrows Publishing,mainly laying out Roy Thomas’Alter Ego eight times a year. And on the weekend,after a long absence,I do a little improv around the north side of Chicago. I’ve been reading and buying comics for far too long.
I try to do a little writing here once a week and share little things between entries. So feel free to look around,check things out,and start any conversations you may want to. Thanks for coming!
Time to toot my own home for a second. This blog and it’s purpose got a bit of a boost today from the blog Robot 6 over at Comic Book Resources. Their regular feature “Show Us Your Shelf Porn”was one of the webspaces which gave me some of the impetus to start up this little blog. Well,this week I got the opportunity to give a little back,and my library is the featured collection.
I’ve been talking to them for a little while now and a week or so ago I sent them a brand new set of photos as well as a brand new tour/essay,focusing on the organization and construction of my shelves and some other issues that I haven’t necessarily had a chance to go into here yet. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to their blog and to share my thoughts,and this site,with the wider community. Thanks to editor Chris Mautner for the chance to share my thoughts and photos with the wider online community.
So go on over and check them out. This link will take you directly to my entry. This link will take you to their main blog page. And this link will take you to other entries in the series.
Continue reading Plug Time:I Showed The Robot My Shelf Porn
I used to joke about having OCD,but there are people in this world whose lives are crippled by that affliction. I used to joke about being “addicted”,but again I have know people who have struggled with the actual disease and know it should never be applied to this. I have fought over the definition of geek versus nerd (and true to form,know that only I am right). But in the end,the only truly honest statement can be:
My name is Chris… and I have a ridiculously stupid number of comics.
Twelve book shelves filled with graphic novels. 25 to 26 “short boxes” of comic books. Ten to twelve short boxes of comics related magazines (which are at least legitimately work related). Various other pieces of sequential art scattered elsewhere around my house. The look on the faces of the movers when they showed up at my apartment in Rhode Island to move me will be forever scarred into my soul.
When I was in college and was just starting to actively build a music collection,my roommate (who had the same compulsion) turned to me one day,pointed at our respective CD collections,and said “Those there,those are our cars.”
Today I look around my apartment at my books and think “Those there,I don’t even want to think of what those are.”
So I know I have a problem. I knew I had a problem even before the economy started to go to hell in a hand basket and everyone started questioning what disposable income meant in a world where essential income was becoming scarce. I need to step away. To pull back and regroup. To better define why I buy,and what I buy,and why I keep it. To figure out what is route gathering and what is collecting for enjoyment. What is the difference between reading something once or treasuring it forever.
And that’s what I hope this will be. My semi-public therapy sessions as I try to work through in my mind what brought me to this point and where I want to go from here. I also hope it will be a way of celebrating what I love about comic books. I know there is a reason I have these things,beyond nostalgia or misdirection of sexual energy,and I want to better understand that.
I also want to celebrate the collected edition,the graphic novel,the tradepaperback. I want to share “shelf porn”,an internet meme of photographing the way you display your books and comics to the world. I will share my own and direct you to others.
Of course all this is in theory. Every other web project I have started is currently languishing,but I am serious about this effort of self-examination and change and I hope that this method might allow me to think it through and make permanent,positive change.
So a bit of philosophizing and self-examination… a bit of anti-materialism possession reduction diary… and a bit of I don’t know. And now,on to the shelf porn…
Coming Soon to PN6700-PN6790…
- The Public Face [or Wanna Come Up And See My Kramer’s Ergot]
- Genetic Origins [or It’s All Mom And Dads Fault]
- Completeness [or I Swear I’m Not A Collector]
- The Librarian [or Collecting for Posterity]
- The Fix
- The Library
- My People
- Obsessing Over Format
- The Love of Look