I missed this now that I no longer read the local free daily “Red Eye”over other riders shoulders on my commute into work each day,but the online comic rumor column Lying In The Gutters linked to it yesterday. From last week,an article entitled “Pack Rat Attack”about people who horde,or collect,items and their attempts to clean-up their lives. It is a lite piece,meant to be read in a few minutes on the train on a page that is 90% images,but worth passing along for this:
Experts say most pack rats tend to share certain traits. They have a hard time making decisions,they procrastinate a lot and tend to make strong emotional attachments to the things they buy or collect,according to Cassiday. Sometimes,hoarding tendencies are linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Often,pack rats have parents who were the same way.
Emphasis added by me. That entire first paragraph has nothing to do with me (other than the “strong emotional attachments”and a one-time very inacurrate OCD diagnosis),but I thought the second paragraph was worth noting,understanding who makes up a portion of this blog’s readership.
End of line
I decided to put a lot of work into the project this weekend. A cold &rainy Saturday and a snowy Sunday gave me a good excuse. Saturday I spent organizing that table full of comics from last week. Dividing them up into potential auction lots and putting them all into shortboxes. 13 boxes of comics in all! Sunday I started in on the books and managed to pull around two whole bookshelves worth of graphic novels to sell. Check this out:
Continue reading Weeding:Round Three
I actually pulled a lot more books even after this. Still,it was a bit like losing twenty pounds.
So,after a request in my comments,my father,John Day,was kind enough to take photos of the completed “basement of bookshelves”. You can visit the entire Flickr Photostream at:http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikoday/sets/72157615600681785/with/3370449266/ But I wanted to share a few prime pieces here. (All comments by John Day).
Continue reading Shelf Porn Request:My Father’s Books
Three bookshelves of science fiction.
The short-boxes of comics:Post weeding round one.
With a week or two under my belt I went back for another round of weeding of the comic book collection. I made a mini-attempt last weekend and only pulled a few more items for sale. But it ate away at my mind every night and every day. I kept wanting to back and pull more and more and more. I had finally turned that corner and knew that I could cut real,real deep. That this was to be the major change where I stopped keeping stuff. So after a successful week at a work conference and a day full of freelance work (Alter Ego #85,coming soon to a store near you) I took a couple of hours on Sunday and went back.
For those of you keeping track,the picture to the right is where the comic book collection was at after the first round of pulling. A couple of shortboxes down,but much,much further to go. Want to see how much I turned the corner,here is where I am as of right now:
Weeding Round Two:Half Gone,Baby!!!
Continue reading Weeding:Round Two
My Parents Shelf Porn:Raw &Naked.In the basement of their new homes,new bookshelves laid out and waiting to be filled. Photo by John Day.
I blame my parents. Sure,they thought raised me right,thought they tried to teach me the value of things,and thought they showed me wrong from right. But if your genes mean that you are predetermined to get high cholesterol or diabetes,then no matter what diet and exercise habits your parents raise you with,you will struggle with those diseases your entire life. So I look to my parents for the origins of my collecting habits. They did not push me down this path,but I see myself reflected in them. Or maybe I see them reflected in me.
My parents met and married in the small town of Painesville,OH,marrying right out of college and producing me shortly thereafter. My father studied economics and became a high school teacher. My mother studied literature and became a librarian. My father read and loved science fiction. My mother had the literature and poetry that she read for school as well as mysteries that she read for pleasure.
They raised me and my sister in post-Nixon America while struggling with a teachers salary and graduate school tuition. They did right by us,and for that I will always be thankful. I was never given everything I asked for,and I am very grateful for that. My habits of massive completeism and collectoritis were not their fault. What they did give me was a love of books and a mental image of a personal library.
Continue reading The Genetic Origins Of My Disease
So,after the previous tour,I wanted to go back and share details of some of the sections and shelves in my library. The original photos give you an idea of the size,scope,and arrangement of what I have gathered over the years. These should give you,and me,an idea of the individual elements and what some of these things mean to me,and what mean nothing to me anymore. I’m going to break these up by section,so lets start with the bookcases in the library and office that cover my independent comics,as well as the 1980s collection.
Continue reading Shelf Porn Close-Ups:The Independents &’80s
A collection of Grant Morrison books,including the runs of Doom Patrol,The Invisibles,and Seven Soldiers. The real pride here are the Titan Books Zenith collections from the late-80s. A real ground breaking work from early in his career that is so tied up in rights dispute who knows if it will ever be collected again.
Four shortboxes of comics pulled for disposal.
Well,I spent a rainy Saturday afternoon this past weekend beginning the weeding process going through my short boxes:the actual comic book collection. The great cull has begun…and I’m loving it.
This was just a first round and was mean to serve two purposes:to clean and to,basically,to just get the process moving. And it worked. I made it through the entire collection of comics,starting to pull for sale and putting away all the random pieces from around the house. And made some psychological steps down this road to a new life.
By the end of the afternoon it felt like I had made a lot of process. I pulled approximately four short boxes worth of comics to get rid of,including one that I planned to put up for E-Bay on Sunday. Assuming a short box holds between 150 and 175 comics that meant I was pulling around 680 comics to sell. It felt like I had done a lot of good. But then,I took another look into the “library”and felt a little less positive. To see what I mean,continue reading after the jump…
Continue reading Weeding:Round One
I forget how good it feels to cut even the small things out of your life. The reclamation of even a small amount of time or effort can be amazingly refreshing. This weekend,even before I started working on my comics and graphic novels,I made some tiny little cuts that in the wild world had little affect,really gave me a boost.
First,I called up my cable company and had my phone turned off and canceled a handful of cable channels. Because I was getting huge price cuts with a services bundle,the monetary reward was very little (though I think I’ll save more from not having to pay taxes on the phone) but I use the phone so little I couldn’t even tell you the number on a bet. I have switched over to cell phone use and since my internet is through the cable no other reason to keep it around. And cutting Showtime and a few other related movie channels saved me,I think,$3.00 from my bill but it felt like I was removing potential clutter. I only watch one show on Showtime with any passion and there are other options whenever the next season of Dexter rolls around. Tiny victories that have removed unneeded aspects of my world.
In a related way,I went through my Season Pass list on the DVR and deleted a bunch of shows. Shows that I only half-watched or would put off for weeks on end before deleting. Even if they provided me a tiny bit of pleasure,seeing that long list of shows to watch realy weighed heavily on my psyche. Why gather these things when they don’t offer me pleasure. Isn’t it better to record three or four shows that I will watch and enjoy than ten police procedurals that do little more than fill time.
Continue reading Cutting Feels Real Good
Lets see if I can get rid of half of these.
At their heart both the graphic novels and tradepaperbacks on my book shelves and the periodical pamphlets in my short boxes are the same thing:they are all comics. However,I think they serve very different roles,both emotional and practical,in my life as a reader. As such,if I want to establish goals and purpose for the weeding of these unique sections of my collection,I need to look at them as separate but interconnected entities. Here then is a start on goals for the weeding of:the floppies.
Continue reading My Goals For The Weeding:Comic Books
X-Men Comics Weeded A Year Ago
The impetus for this blog was my desire to do a major cull of my collection of comic books and graphic novels;a very familiar desire. This is not the first time I have walked into my home,looked at all my things and felt just a little bit sick at the sight of the size and the scope of it all. In fact,I think I’ve been getting rid of things for almost as long as I’ve been collecting comics.
In that time,however,I have been living the life of a yo-yo dieter. I hit a collection size,or weight,that I am unhappy with,cut back,or diet,for awhile to get that size back under control,but don’t make the sort of lifestyle changes necessary to prevent you from gaining it all back and more.
So,since this blog is my serving as a diet diary,my weight watchers meeting you might say,I want to use it to examine some of the origins and patterns of this weight gain and hopefully use that self-knowledge to try to make long-term changes. So first,keeping the tired weight-metaphor going for one last sentence,I want to take a look my history of dieting.
Continue reading A History Of Culling:We Have Been Here Before…
So,to help you understand the scope of my mission,I should first give you a quick tour of the “collection.”I’ve done this in the fashion of the Shelf Porn collections from Robot 6,the Collected Editions Message Board at the Marvel Masterworks Resource Page,the Comics Journal Message Board,and elsewhere on the web. So let us walk through the various shelves in my world,with some slight commentary as we go. These are selected photos,and there will be a link to a full slide show at the end.
We start our tour in the living room with the "Public Bookshelf."I've long obsessed over which books to position as the public face of my collection. The books that people could judge me on:both for my excellent taste and for my not being a hip,sexy comic reader. It is something I've thought about ever since my first apartment in 1994.
Continue reading Shelf Porn:A Short Tour