When storage gets awkward

By skepticlawyer


You know you have too many books when this starts to happen. I have been there. Judging by the literate comments from our readership, so have you.

By the way, this is the weekend chit-chat thread, so feel free to natter, engage in linkitude and so on and so forth. Murdoch at Leveson, Rangers in administration, double-dip recession, slipping off Slipper…

Storage stories and solutions also welcome.


  1. Posted April 28, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    That government regulation is likely to make society fairer is something only a fairly small minority of American voters apparently accept.

    I wonder what the results would be in various European countries?

  2. John H.
    Posted April 28, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Yeah go on, turn on the TV, just sit there waiting for life to happen. Wonderful line in a Bruce Springsteen song, Jungleland I think: Don’t spend your life waiting for the moment that just won’t come.

    We live in an incredibly enriched environment with a huge array of opportunities to be socially, mentally, and physically stimulated.

    …Those who are socially, mentally and physically stimulated reliably show greater cognitive performance with a brain that appears younger than its years….


    Maintain Your Brain: The Secrets to Aging Success

  3. Posted April 28, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    @Lorenzo I’d imagine that is because when Americans think of ‘government regulation’ – they picture local government licensing, zoning regulations and other small fry but irritating stuff. If you asked them whether more regulations on finance would make the country fairer that would be a higher number.

    @LE I’ve already broken one bookcase due to the sheer amount. Although If I’m honest I’ve only finished about half of them, I’m a constant starter of books, rarely finish them.

  4. kvd
    Posted April 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Alicia Martin. Following from DEM’s earlier post which included a London Underground schematic, I also think some of these are pretty clever.

  5. AJ
    Posted April 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I used to have bookcases filled with books, but then I moved 3 times in two years. Now I have an ebook reader.

  6. Posted April 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I’ve ‘lost’ libraries thanks to moving, which annoyed me greatly, but I get eye strain from screens, so the books will have to stay…

  7. Posted April 28, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    This seems right to me. The real problem with the Secret Service agents in Colombia is that they had no respect for the sanctity of contract.

  8. Posted April 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Interesting write-up on Suzanne Collins, despite the naff and ungrammatical phrase ‘female heroine’:


  9. Posted April 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t do that, AJ. I’d be terrified of ‘losing’ them (which for some reason is an acceptable risk when it comes to my music, but not my books) plus I love books themselves as artefacts.

    Am currently taking a break from re-arranging the contents of my bedroom shelves so the ‘reference’ collection goes into storage and I only have the books immediately useful to hand. For a given (and somewhat elastic) definition of “useful”…

  10. Posted April 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I had not realised that the UK was quite so indebted.

  11. Posted April 28, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Put “Britain’s Trillion Pound Horror Story” into Google and see if you can find an Australian-playable version. The 4oD playback is here… (I’d recommend a good stiff drink before you start, though).

  12. conrad
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    “but I get eye strain from screens, so the books will have to stay”

    I have this problem also. John Waters knows the other reason to have books in your house — he says: “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!”. I’m not sure if that applies to people under 30, but it is pretty weird to meet people who never read anything.

  13. Posted April 29, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Hmmm, I’ve the same problem. Books everywhere, I’ve no longer the space to keep them all in the house.

    I’ve turned bedrooms into bookrooms. This is going too far. Some books are for the high jump.

  14. Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Starting to have a look. Depressing stuff (pun intended).

    Meanwhile, the US situation is depressing in a different way. The Obama Administration does not appear to even notice monetary policy exists.

  15. Gavin R. Putland
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    As this is the chit-chat thread on a law blog, it’s probably a good place to invite refutations of my theory that “Australia’s payroll taxes are probably unconstitutional” (updated Apr.17).

    BTW, my wife loved the John Waters quote. Even so, she’s banished my books to one room where they don’t quite fit. I guess that’s a hint. 😀

  16. Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    On the loss of books by libraries – I was chatting to one of the staff at my favorite bookshop within a block of my place (5 reasonable ones – love where I live), who also works in a library.

    I mentioned that the Stonnington Library had gone downhill – the references that were there a while back (like the multivolume Cambridge history of the ancient world) … gone – the sections that used to have a Grays Anatomy, or physiology texts – now full of stuff bordering on quackery. It’s getting unsuitable for use by secondary students doing homework, except as a quiet place with a few tables and a roof to keep out of the rain for a while.

    The bookseller mentioned that libraries are now managed by managers, not book-lovers, the books must be glossy, recent … and the evergreens are being boxed up for donation to charities.

    Mind you, since the Borders has fallen, the independents in my block have actually noticed increased business, so it’s not all bad news – but I fear the bibliophiles are returning to the boutique shops and the non-bookish customers aren’t getting books at all.

  17. AJ
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    but I get eye strain from screens

    You should try an e-ink device, like the kindle (except the kindle fire which uses an LCD screen). They don’t have backlighting which is what usually causes eye strain and the displays use what is essentially magnetised ink. Apart from the slight plastic sheen the screen looks pretty much indistinguishable from a high quality printed page.

    Not that they’re without their draw backs, like DRM, dodgy management software that is little more than a store front, etc. but that can all be solved by third party software like Calibre.

    I do miss the smell of paper though.

  18. bodijelen
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Some twenty years ago I met a woman in Brooklyn who read a lot but did not have a single book in her home. She told me that she did not need to own books. At first her attitude had left me speechless but it changed my perspective. When I find that the number of books in my apartment is too high, I tell myself the time has come to adjust the perspective. I won’t be able to take my books with me when I die, will I, so why not give them away now so that other people can enjoy them. This helps me to only keep books I think I absolutely cannot be without. Also, I keep two wish lists, one for paper books (“must have”) and the other for e-books and library loans (“read only”).

  19. Posted April 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    An amusing summary of Australian federal politics. I am glad our central bank knows what it is doing …

    Actually, having had the Hawke Government do significant microeconomic and public sector reform, the Keating Government some labour market reform and compulsory super, the Howard Government pay off debt, we have actually been well-served by our pollies, compared to other folk. I suppose we are due for time off for light relief.

  20. Posted April 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Legal Eagle for providing the link for your chit-chatters! If any of you have more suggestions, please leave a comment on the blog, and I will update. Have a great week!

  21. Posted April 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    On the book storage, I have bookshelves on three walls of my living room, up one side of the hall and one wall of my bedroom. Plus overflow. And I rent: the thought of moving is a nightmare.

    On a different matter (well, it is connected to water storage), Australia is about to be officially officially drought free for the first time in 10 years. One could tell things were getting better in Victoria when folk started having slipway parties. (To celebrate dam levels reaching slipways.)

  22. Posted April 30, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Culling my modest little library (only a few hundred books) is something I do whenever I move. It really is like sawing off a limb, even for no-brainers like out-of-date technology books and casebooks.

    The Kindle has been a step-change for me in terms of reading. I still buy physical books, but if there’s a Kindle book and a physical book, I will take the Kindle book every time. It’s just that much more convenient.

  23. Movius
    Posted April 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Adding my voice to the pro-Kindle (or equivalent) chorus. It makes all the difference when travelling, particularly if you want to read a very long book, why carry one book when you can carry dozens in less physical space.

  24. Posted May 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I feel so sorry for Pompey (Portsmouth) and Rangers having ten points deducted from their final points score due to administration problems. Why is this so?

  25. Posted May 2, 2012 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    [email protected] This post nicely expresses how much higher Britain’s debt levels are compared to the US’s.

    (Apparently, Republican Administrations encourage debt and Democrat Administrations not so much …)

    One thing to keep in mind about debt is that if someone has it as a liability, someone else has it as an asset. The question is not so much the level of inter-temporal promises (i.e. debt) but the quality of them. These are not independent questions but nor are they identical.

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