It’s been an interesting end to the week this week. Having recently moved, a lot of things have changed, including the house insurance. The new insurers want a list of all my books. I think part of it is that they don’t believe anyone in this day and age can own almost 1000 books. But part of it is that if anything happens, which it won’t, then they need to know what I have to it can be replaced.
There’s just one problem with that. I do have somewhere in the region of 1000 books. And I’ve never catalogued them in my life.
Fortunately I enlisted the help of my very good friend Angela in writing down the list of them. Author, title, year published, hardback or paperback, special attributes, and ISBN. Whole lot of information for a whole lot of books.
So far it’s taken two of us two days, and I still have a day of work left.
During the marathon of clearing and restacking shelves, I learned a few things. The first being that before about 1970, ISBNs weren’t something that was used. This might be interesting for the insurance to see on the list, because I have about 300 books that are pre 1970. I even have a couple of books that are more than one hundred years old.
The second thing that I learned is that even now, books aren’t actually required to have an ISBN. Sure, if you want it listed in all the hip hopping book shops, then you need one. But they’re not actually mandatory.
Lastly, whilst I was going through book after book after book, I picked one up in particular. I noted its author and title. Then I turned it on its side and went to open it, looking for the rest of the information. What was there? A nicely sized spider. And a very white blob.
Yep, a spider and her nest. Right on the side of one of my books.
I may have panicked and thrown the book, and then panicked some more when the spider moved. I also may have agreed to my friend taking the book from me to get rid of said spider and nest. The nest didn’t survive. The spider was thrown into the garden.
So the last thing I learned this weekend whilst cataloguing books was exactly what a spider’s nest looks like.
Safe to say, it wasn’t something I really wanted to learn.
In the meantime, there’s another 2 book cases, the cookbooks, and the rare and collectible cabinet still to catalogue. Hopefully there’ll not be any more spiders, or nests. But I do know there are a couple of very old books. And at least one that’s old enough only the ten oldest living people in the world were alive when it was printed.*
I love my books.
*Update: We've been taking the inscription in the front of the book as its publication date. I've just found out that it was actually prublished 15 years before that. So the oldest people in the world were 14 years of being born when it was printed.
p.s: cyber cookies for anyony who can guess the date of publication.