Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Into the Books

Kirsten suggested in a comment that I might enjoy facing books so their titles make a sentence or somehow speak with one another.
She said, "There is an artist who does that--check out the Sorted Books project."

I did check it out and thought it was cool, but would be hard to do.

At work this morning, however, I almost immediately saw the opportunity to create a little dialogue between books:

Here I am in the workspace I inherited. (I am NOT lifting that box of books--I am tilting it for the photo. I don't want to wreck my back.)
This area is less of a mess than it was before I worked 10 hours...
The previous book lady used an old grocery cart to move books around. The ergonomics weren't back-friendly--to get books out, you had to lean in and down.
So I commandeered an old, plaid baby buggy (1950–60s?) that had just been donated. Its designer must have kept in mind the strain of lifting baby in and out, over and over. It works great.

Here, below, my buggy is full of books I culled from the shelves, including internet guides from the late-1990s and Color Me Beautiful from the '70s. 
They'd been on the shelves for a looooong time.

Below is a fiction shelf after I weeded and rearranged it. You can see (I hope) that I tried to balance displaying recent bestsellers with classics and . . .  Eeva? Are you there? I kept that worn New Directions copy of Isherwood's Berlin Stories thinking of you.

I don't think I'll have time, but it'd be fun to add "shelf-talkers"--notes attached the shelves, with things like staff mini-reviews.
I could put The Economist's  verdict on Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard:
"An unsubtle saga, atrociously written, windy and out of control."
These bookshelves are crappy pressboard, inherited from a video store, with nonadjustable shelves. I'd love to get new [donated] shelves, or at least paint over the sloppy spray-painting of these.
But first things first: 
the next step is to fill in the shelves with some of the many books in waiting. 


Anonymous said...

Wow! The new book set-up looks great. The books facing out add interest to the book area.

Love that you have that copy of Herman Hesses' Steppenwolf facing outward. I have that same one since at least the 70's. Steppenwolf and Theodore Roszak The Making of A Counter Culture were required reading for an advanced English class at my undergraduate school. If you really want to have fun, find the interview of Carlos Castaneda by Theodore Roszak on youtube.


Eeva said...

Funny - I have that same edition of Berlin Stories! (Let's see, mine is 23rd printing, that one looks a little older...)

There's also spine poetry waiting to happen:

Fresca said...

KIRSTEN: I read that same copy of "Steppenwolf" too--which influenced my decision to face it out. :)
I'll have to look up that interview--sounds wild... I put Castaneda in the "Spirituality" section yesterday.

Hi, EEVA!!!
I read a more recent ed of that book---I think I'd have enjoyed holding a worn older ed. more, which is why I kept it (also, it's the only one we have--while, you can imagine, we had a couple copies of "Bridget Jones's Diary").

"Spine poetry"---how fun! Thanks for that.
We have a kids books section, of course maybe I'll do a little display for that (if I have time...).

deanna said...

Cool stuff! I have read both Krakauer books, before, I think, I even knew he was from Oregon. I wanted to go on adventures. One of my nephews did adventure the way the young man in Into the Wild did, but he survived his trekking. I think your adventure with book-sorting is wonderful. I hope to get a picture of me at work soon, but it's always pretty busy. Will have to have a friend drop by to photograph--as you said last post, that is so neat when it happens!

Frex said...

DEANNA: I didn't know JK was from Oregon! I've read his books too--and also want(ed) adventure--more when I was younger... :)

I want to see a photo of you in your bookstore, for sure!

Anonymous said...

Too bad there isn't a way to see if more books sell-other than photographing the shelves every day to see if they disappear.

I am betting that more sell with a re-arrangement. I worked for Pottery Barn for over 8 months and we were constantly re-arranging items in the store. Sometimes we would put certain items in a new table setting and customers would always say: "I never saw this before." Sometimes items had been out on the shelves for 6 weeks.

Re-arranging pokes people out of their comfort zone!

Frex said...

KIRSTEN: I wish we could track individual titles---I noticed that certain books sold, but of course I can't keep track of them all.
The ones I noticed included Dracula, Bridget Jones's Diary, and a Gabriel Garcia Marquez (not sure which one).

Interesting about Pottery barn---I know I do that too--notice something when it changes posiiton and wonder, "Was this always there?"

Bink said...

What an improvement!