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Reader Information: storing

When you, as a reader, move from having a few dozen books on a topic, to being a collector with a few dozen books on a dozen topics, there comes a problem about where to put them. The last thing one wants is to see their collection warp and become damaged over time. There are lots of considerations to keep track of when displaying  your collection, but perhaps the most basic question you should first ask yourself is whether to store your books vertically in the upright position or horizontally on their sides.

Why is that a question to ask? Because most shelving units are not designed to hold books of different sizes and weights. So unless you want to have two cases for each subject (paperbacks and hardcovers) or three (paperbacks, hardcovers and Quality Paperbacks) most of us start to stack the paperbacks horizontally.  This saves space, at first, and allows you to groups subjects together, but this can place undue pressure on the spines, causing them to sag and crack over time.

So what to do?

Over the years I have tried many shelving units, from the simple homemade cinder blocks and planks of wood, to solid oak bookcases. All have some issues, so as an “expert” on this here are my suggestions.

 When looking for a bookcase

1: MEASURE WHERE YOU WILL BE PUTTING THEM. There is nothing like finding you have misjudged the wall space and now are encroaching on a door way or a stairwell.

2: Look at where your outlets are.  If the only plug outlet in the room will be behind  the bookcases find an extension cord so that you can have some lights in the room.

3: MEASURE WHERE YOU ARE PUTTING THEM.  Yes I said this before. But remember the ceiling. There is nothing like spending good money on a nice 8 foot bookcase to find out that your ceiling is 7 1/2 feet tall.

3a: Also how tall are you? Can you reach the top of an 6 foot bookcase? Do you need to buy a chair or stool to do so? Remember you will have to dust at some point….

4: How many books do you have and how many are you planning to get?  Trick question. The only acceptable answer is: this will be my personal library.

When at the store

Congratulations, you have now made it to the store to get your first of many bookshelves.  Where is the best place to go? Your local bookstore is the best place to see which types of shelves you can get. So go in and see what they have……

And now that you are leaving with a small selection of new books did you notice the shelves at all?

Most new bookstores use solid wood shelving with permanent shelving. Each shelf is 13 inches (give or take 1 inch) in height  and about 10 inches in depth.  This allows for all types of books to be placed spine showing. Most hardcovers are approximately 7 inches in width, with QPs being slightly smaller, but oblong books or art books are a bit longer, so extra space is needed. If your collection does not have any oblong books, then this will allow you to push them evenly back against the backing.

Something you might not have noticed is that these shelves tend to have backs. Sounds silly, but it doesn’t matter if a store is calling it a book case, if there is not a back it is a display shelving unit or a knick -knack case. Your books will fall off, or get damaged if they are pushed against the wall. And oddly enough these will not hold your books. Point in case, two decades ago I bought six cases from Ikea.  Now I love Ikea. Their products are light colored and designed to go together. But I secured the cases against the wall and placed my collection on them, only to notice that after a few months they were leaning away from the wall and sagging dangerously.  I called my local store to see what could be done and they were perplexed. So I took some photos and went to the store. The response was that this was happening because I had too many books on the cases and the metal “x” supports on the backs weren’t designed to hold such weight.  I ended up getting a large piece of particleboard and nailing the cases to this. This was now an almost unmovable 8 foot by 12 foot bookcase.

I love Ikeas’ way of having adjustable shelving, which works well in smaller collections, but for my store, and for anyone who wants to have shelving where the pins don’t break, fall out or just vanish, I’d suggest looking for cases that use a more built  in method. Now I’m not sure what it is called, but the shelves are designed to fit into grooves on the sides of the case. This allows for an even distribution of weight and, if the shelf breaks, makes it easier to replace. The one problem is that those shelves are permanent and thus you have to make sure it will fit the height of your books.

Now if you decide to go with the pegs https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/all-about-shelf-support  can help you decide which one is better for you.

Stay away from press board.  I’m sorry this stuff does not last for very long. Okay, yes it does last a for a while, but when it breaks it is a pain to fix, or replace. Any water damage and it will start to swell. And by water damage I mean having your AC up too high.

Now glass and metal shelving is great for the books themselves, but can be problematic depending on your collection and your life.  Kids and pets can bump into things and if these fall or break, there may be some issues. These shelves are good due to the non- porous nature of the materials. Wood absorbs water over time no matter how you treat it and that can get into the books.  One can delay this by using metal or glass shelving or by keeping the temperature steady in the room. Airing out your collection every so often helps as well. I have found that using contact paper (kitchen shelf  lining paper) on wood shelves helps as well- but that stuff needs to be evenly placed and is difficult to remove. So I  would recommend spending the cash on a good solid wood case that can stand on its own (without needing to be against a wall).

But wait….what about the storing of the books? 

Other Items you Need to have

Book ends.

As a child I never understood why I should ever have them, as any room on the bookshelf was filled with more books.  But a decent bookend will help keep the books steady and prevent them from expanding (remember water is in the air)If you place the bookend with a hardcover they will help prevent the paperbacks from losing shape.

Bookends can be made of anything as long as they are the same on each end of the shelf (if using two) as the pressure must be the same.  You can get them at any bookstore, or even make them yourself. I’ve known people who have used painted Styrofoam blocks and some who have painted bricks. Others have used jars of marbles.  It honestly doesn’t matter.

Risers

This is what I use for my paperback books.  Since most of my collections include all formats of books, I had some of my shelves measured and wooden risers put in  These are shorter than the shelves, and are recessed in. This allows me to put in two rows of paperbacks so that I can see  which ones are there. This works better on shelving that has more depth (like for oblong books). Personally I like them to be shorter than the length of the shelf so that I can adjust them if needed, or if I need to put in a bookend.

When setting up your shelves, just remember that you do need to give them some space. You cannot put them too tightly together or you will either remove all of them when taking one out or never get it off the shelf.

So what are your suggestions for storing your collection? Any particular stores, brands or types of shelves that you’d recommend? Send us a reply and let us know.

Until then. Happy Reading.

 

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New Arrivals: Ancient Africa

Showcased today are titles Ancient Africa. 

First we have two books in the series The History of Africa. These are ex-library books with all internal & external library markings and were acquired from a Jr High School library sale.  Highly illustrated, they give an overview of the cultures and countries from before European invasions. They are priced at $10 each.
Another new arrival is Ibn Battuta in Black AfricaThis book is in Very Good + condition and is being sold for $24. 

If you are not familiar with this writer,  Ibn Battuta was a Muslim Berber Moroccan scholar, and explorer who widely traveled the medieval world. Over a period of thirty years, Ibn Battuta visited most of the Islamic world and many non-Muslim lands, including Central Asia, Southeast Asia, India and China. Until recent decades, most of his writings were not available in English. This gives an interesting view of the cultures for Western readers. Due to a printing error the purple ink is quite blurry on the covers.

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Social Distancing, Stay at Home and Selling

It has been a while since I’ve posted on here. Unique Editions now has an Instagram and a twitter account under Uniqreads. A selection of the books that are coming in are posted on there first. From there they go to the biblio store at www.biblio.com/bookstore/e-campbell-tallahassee

Why are we on biblio.com?Biblio.com is the only independent used/rare/secondhand bookselling site on the English language section of the internet.  The other ones have been bought by the likes of Amazon and other big corporations. Thus Biblio allows smaller, more specialized dealers a platform to reach more collectors without getting slammed by large fees. So please before you look at Amazon for your next book, check out Biblio.com

We are still up and running, having most of the inventory at our apartment and the rest in a storage facility within a dog’s walk away. Every item is kept as clean as possible.

At this time we are mailing everything out with secondhand packing supplies to keep with our policy to reuse and recycle.

The latest focus has been trying to place all of our S.C.A. books online due to all of the shows and events being cancelled due to Covid-19. Fiction and homeschool educational books are also being placed online.  Live videos are being planned and will hopefully be up and running weekly starting this week.

I will also be attempting to place photos on here.

Please come and check us out.

Happy reading!

www.biblio.com/bookstore/e-campbell-tallahassee

Follow us on Twitter  @Uniqreads

and on Instagram Uniqreads

 

 

 

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NEWS: SCADIANS! Ms. Ardis finished her novel!!!!!

SCA-appeal

Help Publish Book “Dracula’s Sword”

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS MAN?

SCA-dians choose their personal “identities” and construct their “histories” from any time between 600AD-1600AD and from anywhere—Irish Celts, the British, continental Europe, Russia, Mongolia—even Japan.

Yet one crucial area seems surprisingly overlooked: Southeastern Medieval Europe. From the 10th century on, when Magyar horsemen took Hungary, this corner of the world was a crossroads of nations. By the 15th century Bulgaria was an Ottoman pashalik, the rest of the Balkans principalities Turkish vassals. North of the Danube Wallachia and Moldavia were directly threatened, Hungary, Transylvania and the German Empire at risk.

This man was in the thick of it. He was VLAD DRACULA, PRINCE OF WALLACHIA. Our historical novel, Dracula’s Sword, tells his whole exciting and

tragic story: from boyhood through his 7 years as a Turkish hostage, his three desperate reigns in his princedom and eventual death at the hands of an ally he trusted—Told by his lifelong friend—his second wife.

His Christian enemies called him a berserker. His Ottoman opponents named him  Tsepesh Bey—the Impaler. That epithet still clings to him today. Vlad Dracula was a hard man, but the times he lived in were much harsher.

Fellow SCA-dians–WILL YOU HELP US SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT?

That is what our historical novel, Dracula’s Sword, co-authored by A.A. Welch. and M. Sass, hopes to do. We have found a possible publisher; they read our draft and are very interested—but they are a small independent company. To get Dracula’s Sword underway we need at least $5,000 to cover up-front production costs.

Mark and I are setting up an appeal like this to every SCA Kingdom in America. SINCE THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIA L SCA VENTURE (Although even the Society President has given us encouragement) we are sending this appeal through each Kingdom’s unofficial chat room website. A small donation– say– $5, $10–$25– from individual Society members–or whatever you feel Vlad’s story is worth– would be much appreciated. Such small donations from many individual members of the Society for Creative Anachronism would help us enormously! Reply directly to our:

Go Fund Me Page Link:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-publish-book-quotdracula039s-swordquot

ABOUT THE AUTHORS ==================

Ardis A. Welch (Lady Szilagy Margit, Kingdom of Atlantia, Barony of Bright Hills)

I have been a SCA member for over 25 years: drapier of halls for events, editor of our Baronial newsletter.

I recently did several “show and tell” presentations: one on medieval calligraphy and a display–

Lore of the Unicorn” at our recent Baronial Birthday. ===================

I’ve been working with my co-author Mark for almost that long! I did the research and

mostly wrote draft—in long-hand—I can’t think and type: that’s why I ‘m a SCA-dian!

Then I went to a computer—which is why it took us so long to complete the book.

Mark Sass

Mark is not a SCA-dian. He owns and runs (single-handed) an exercise -equipment repair service for

individuals and large gym facilities. He understands 21st century technology. Fortunately for Dracula’s Sword,

Mark also has a keen and ruthless editorial eye – plus an almost uncanny sense of what Vlad Dracula, prince and warrior, would actually feel and say and do.…..

Mark in costume, on horseback, bears an uncanny resemblance to the 15th century prince Maybe that’s why he understood Vlad so well.

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New arrivals and events

In the last month a fair amount of titles involving women’s history have arrived into stock. They are steadily being placed on on our biblio.com page.  Please drop on by and see what is new there.

 

https://www.biblio.com/bookstore/e-campbell-tallahassee

 

If you will be in the Tallahassee area and want to see what has not been placed online yet, please feel free to contact me via this site and set up an appointment.

I will also have a table of design, and craft books at the Last Friday at Industrial Plaza event on January 31 from 5pm to 8 pm.  Hosted by Properchannel.co

https://www.facebook.com/ProperChannel

I hope to see you then.

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Problems with this site/my computer and other items

I have received a large collection of religious themed book and am attempting to move them as a bulk sale on ebay.  I am working on finding a local (Tallahassee Fl) location to sell my books in a brick and motor store. I ave been also setting up a temporary sale site.

This has all been hampered by my computer being too old to host most sites. More items will be posted soon.

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Future

I have been attempting to get a sale space set up for a private sale. This involves a multitude of boxes, shelving and organization.

More books are being posted on the Abe website.

Also trying to post photos.

In addition more blogs will be coming weekly.