Saturday, January 15, 2022

Every Book Its Story

KZ's Office / Cataloging Room.  Wife afraid to enter.

I’m cataloging a few of my recent acquisitions.  They usually arrive one at a time and the backlog is manageable, but this last year has been a deluge.  I’m way behind in bringing order to the chaos.   Stacks of book everywhere in my office: desk, chairs, table.  But with the big exception of pamphlets, I can find what I’m looking for as needed.  My in-house catalogue goes light years beyond an orderly list-keeping: most of the items are association copies and each one merits at least a brief explanation that often expands with research into a mini-essay.  But this is part of the fun for me—story upon story to discover, expound, resuscitate.   I find time when I can to catalog, usually in the evenings and sometimes during the day when work is slow.  It also can be an excuse when yardwork is required or a welcome respite when life takes a stressful turn.  The results of this thirty plus year pursuit of biblio-bliss is a current file of 1,112 pages in 10 point type, and 755,027 words. 
            The bookseller Dorothy Sloan, one of my early mentors, encouraged me to catalog my collection in some form.  Thankfully, I listened, which has not always been my strong suit.  Someday I’ll polish this mighty beast of a document up and formally publish it.  But for now, the catalogue remains open on my computer screen 24/7, always beckoning me to add to it – to feed it new and exciting acquisitions.   And believe me, I do, and I also back the file up to the cloud with religious regularity.
              So, what of it the last couple of weeks?  What books and stories have found the top of the stack to input?  They range from blockbuster associations to more minor items in my biblio-opera.   Come along and catalog with me and get your mind off an upcoming meeting, a thankless task, or an irrational person.