Friday, August 30, 2019

Dilemmas of a Book Nerd "Tag"

Dilemmas of a Book Nerd "Tag"
(I am borrowing this from Sharon Goforth)

  • Storage: How do you store and organize your books?
In bookcases. One in my bedroom, one in my living room, and one in my school room.

The books in my bedroom include my husband's books, books of political and social topics, books about Italians, and two shelves for books on education, homeschooling, nature, and book or reading lists.

The one in my living room is organized by classic fiction, contemporary fiction, American history, ancient and other history, Christian history, poetry, biographies, plays, and children's books. All of my fiction is alphabetized by author's last name, while history I try to keep organized by time period. 

The books in my school room are living books for learning (that means NO TEXTBOOKS), and they are organized by historical time periods, or topic, such as music, poetry, geography, etc.
  • Tracing: How do you keep track of what books you read and what books you own?
I use Goodreads and Bookly. Earlier this year I bought an app to catalogue my books and spent all summer scanning them in - over 500 of them - though it took longer than expected because most of them had to be entered manually. Then, a week ago, I bought a new phone, and POOF, the library catalogue vanished. All that work could not be recovered. So I'm trying to find a way to utilize only Goodreads to keep track of those books I own, so that I do not duplicate any when I am out hunting for new books. I made a label called "own," and I must remember to remove the label if I get rid of the book, which sometimes happens. 
I just started using Bookly, which keeps track of books I've read, as well as statistics on how long I read or how long it took to read a book, and other interesting, though not important stats. (Above are some of its features.)
  • Borrow: Do you lend your books out?
There is one friend whom I swap books with because she is an ardent reader like me. She is so careful with my books and always returns them. I would rather not lend to anyone else because I hate having to ask years later for the book. A few times, I kissed that one goodbye and bought another copy. 
  • Buying: How do you buy or acquire your books?
Most books I buy used from library sales. I have purchased used books from for one penny. Yes, books would sell for one penny, plus $3 shipping! Obviously those prices have increased. I also shop our local used book store where books are $2 each. 

Rarely do I buy new books, like from Barnes and Noble, unless I get a gift card, or I fall in love with a book and I want a brand new copy. 
  • How do you respond to "How do you read so much" and other similar comments?
I do not know the last time asked me or if I answered them. I would probably disagree because I could read a lot more, but sometimes I have to sleep instead. I only read up to 50 books a year (and ten of those are usually children's books that I read with my kids.)
  • Next book: How do you choose your next read?
Toward the end of the year, I make a list of books - ones I own but have not read - that I want to read next year. I try to stick with it. Sometimes my next book is on The Well-Trained Mind list, and since I have committed to it, I must follow it. Unless it's terrible, then I will stop reading it and go to the next one. If a book feels like bad medicine, I may not start it at all. Sometimes I am inspired by another blogger's review of a book, and I will commit myself to read it ASAP. 
  • Travel: How do you pick which book to take on vacay with you?
I choose a short book - I have done this before: The Catcher in the Rye - and read it on the road or when we're just sitting around because that's what you do on vacation. It has to be something short and slim, not like War and Peace. Too much commitment. 
  • Annotate: Do you write in or mark up your books in any way?
Do I write in books? I deface my poor books! I argue with the author! I'll have it out with a character! I add stars and underlines and notes in the margins. I cannot read without a pen in my hand. That's why, if I fall in love with a book, I may consider buying a new copy so that it doesn't look like one of these:

  • New or back list: Which do you prefer?
Since I am stuck in the classics, I'm a back list reader. I don't know much about new authors or new titles. Occasionally, I have purchased new books as they have been released, like by Eric Metaxas.
  • Sequels: Do you read books as they are released or do you wait for an entire series to be released?
Again, I rarely know about new releases, but if books come in a series, I suppose I would read them as they were released, as opposed to waiting for them to be available at once. 

Tag people: If you feel inclined to participate, guess what? You've been tagged!


  1. Bookly sounds fun, I'll have to look into that! Love your shelf around the mantel, what a cozy space. I have a B&N tote bag that matches the chair cover. :)

    1. Bookly is really cool because it will give me a total number of pages and hours I've read for the entire year. I didn't realize how much I read.

  2. I really liked this post! I may consider myself "tagged" and post my responses tomorrow. Have an eventful Labor Day!

  3. It is way too much work to scan all my books into anything, so it will never ever happen. I am super-impressed that you did it once. This is such a fun tag and I think I'll have to do it too sometime!

    1. Yes, way too time consuming. If the scanner worked every single time, it would cut one's time in half, maybe even more!