Expansion pack…

I’ve had to expand the nonfiction holding section (also known as the spare bedroom). I’m a lot more selective about the history that comes into the house than I am about the fiction, but even so, the two small bookcases were literally bent under the weight of things and books were spreading out to occupy every flat surface in the room. As much as I love books, it just isn’t a good look on those rare occasions when the hospitality of the homestead is offered.

All this, of course, meant a flying trip to IKEA to bring on two new, larger bookcases. Now it’s a simple matter of getting them assembled and reordering the current mess. That can wait on a day that’s not quite so conducive to being outside… but thanks to the eternal shortage of everything, grabbing the flat packs when I had the time and they were in stock was a necessary evil. 

Overall, the questions of books and book storage here are now taking on a Jenga-esque feeling. Where new bookcases will go, if I’ll move ones I currently have, and how they’ll all fit together involves more thought than you’d strictly think reasonable.

My first thought to shore up the nonfiction front was to simply move the smaller shelves out of the library and put them to work in the guest room – replacing them with bookcases that match the two large ones I loaded into the library last year. The trouble is, the smaller cases are already earmarked, eventually, for my own bedroom. Their dark finish fits better there than the guest room. I’m not yet ready to put them to work in my bedroom there yet, though, and I’d really like to avoid cleaning them off and moving them on two separate occasions. It’s a surprisingly awkward and time-consuming process.

So the guest room, otherwise known as my nonfiction to-be-read pile, gets the benefit of two new Billy’s (in birch veneer since basic, and cheap, white has been going out of stock as soon as it shows local availability). Everything else stays put for the time being – and least until after the bathroom renovation is over and I make a decision on new flooring for the master bedroom. It’s not one of those dramatic improvements I’ll see and appreciate every day in passing, but it will be a decided improvement in managing and protecting a large and ever-growing book collection.

Call it money well spent.

Because it’s better…

free-signI’ve heard all my life that it’s better to give than to receive. I’m not sure I’m convinced that’s necessarily true, but I’m going to do it anyway.

Starting right now and running through the end of the year, What Annoys Jeff this Week: 2012 in Review is available as a free download from Smashwords.

All you’ve got to do is click the link, used coupon code DB67P at checkout, and download your very own copy in whatever format you like.

Smashwords is compatible with Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and most other ereaders, so go ahead and give them a try. You know you want to catch up on 2012 before 2013 hits the shelves.

Casting around…

After spending two years milling about with Nobody Told Me… The Cynic’s Guide for New Employees and a few months hashing out What Annoys Jeff this Week: 2012 in Review, it feels a bit odd to be sitting here without a current work in progress. Not a bad odd, just a different one. I should be putting this time to good use on something, but so far I have no earthly idea what that will be at the moment. Of course there will be a 2013 eBook edition of What Annoys Jeff this Week, but with 24 regular weekly installments yet to be written, I’m nowhere near interested in putting the cart so far out in advance of the horse. In the meantime, I’ll just sit here hoping that inspiration strikes in a big way.

For a few weeks there I was tinkering around with the idea of working up a survival guide for new teachers, but that experience is so far in the past, getting somewhere beyond the obvious was a problem. I wish I would have kept better notes of the pitfalls and foibles of my brief brush with the teaching profession. Sadly, I didn’t start keeping detailed book until I shifted careers and realized the true value of documenting most everything. Since fiction doesn’t really feel like my genre and God knows I don’t want to get bogged down into a multi-year long research project, I’ll keep casting around until I land on something that can hold my interest for 20 or 30,000 words.

If anyone has ideas, consider this your opportunity to become part of the process.