The daily musings of a substitute teacher in East Central Illinois.

Books, Books, Books!

Today was a continuation of the three-week winter famine. So while I was home and my wife was at work, I popped in a movie and started working my way through my four 5-shelf bookcases that are overloaded with juvenile literature. Working through these bookcases is a labour of love obsession compulsion. My goal is to catalogue, sort, and organise all of my books. I started several weeks ago with my adult literature, moved on to religion and philosophy, and then tackled the small shelves (only three shelves on two cases) of vocational texts. All of these books have been organised according to category, author, and title (in that order).

The juvenile fiction is being organised in a slightly different fashion. I am going through and listing them according to grade level (using the Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard), then author and title. However, I also need to keep all of the hardcover books on the bottom shelves, and I want my series/sets to be separated from the rest of the books. So I am also sorting by those categories. Then, to make it more interesting, I need to separate out the books that are my personal collection and those that will someday reside in my classroom. So the process has taken quite some time. I spent roughly six hours working through about 200 books or so, and I still have two and a half large shelves to get through. Since I am not working tomorrow, I will be continuing this process, hopefully with more success.

Among the interesting things I am learning about the books I own are the following:

  • I own parts two and three of the Shiloh series, but I don’t own a copy of Shiloh itself
  • I seem to have several dozen copies of Esperanza Rising and Ginger Pye
  • There are five books in Madeleine L’Engle’s amazing Time Quintet, not four, as I had previously thought
  • I own considerably more books that I have not read than I thought–I’ve only read about 70% of my total collection, not 90%
  • There are surprisingly large numbers of books that are considered age-appropriate by interest for younger students that are not within the typical reading level for these students (example: Pippi Longstocking: interest level is between 8 and 10 years old, but the reading level is 11-12).

When I am done creating my amazing catalogue of books and placing all of them on the correct shelves,  I will be posting a picture of the golden awesomeness that is my library. If you are, for some crazy reason, interested in seeing the complete list, drop me a line or leave a comment and I’ll send it your way.

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