Friday, December 7, 2012

Shopping for Books, Unexpected Surprises

Recently I resigned from several city boards, including the library board. Serving on the boards was rewarding, yet stressful. With my health concerns I no longer felt I could give this service. Besides I am moving into more involvement in the genealogy field. The library board sent me a wonderful card of appreciation along with a gift card to Barnes and Noble. The closest store to us is at the local major shopping mall, so I went on Tuesday to spend this generous gift.

Now, according to some people I should not buy books, just download, scan or borrow to save money and space. As you may have read in a previous post, I love books. The way they feel, smell and allow me to read in solitude in my recliner or wherever else I may be. I also love bookmarks and really need to invest in a portable reading lamp. Being in a motel late at night or in close quarters where others might not appreciate lights being on, this would come in handy.

Before going to the mall I committed to myself to buy at least one book for me, preferably genealogy related. After that I could look for things for the grandchildren. This bookstore is huge, two levels, with elevators in the middle. Somehow I managed to wander through on my own and finally on the upper level, close to the history section, I found the maybe ten genealogy books that they had on display. After rearranging them a little, I found two of interest to me, both written by people very familiar to me. One was for general research and the other for online research. Finally I settled on the one for general research.

With that taken care of I did find two little activity books for the older grandchildren and one book for our family gift exchange. In the meantime my oldest grand daughter called and wanted me to come for a visit. At the next stop I called my daughter to ask about a proposed gift and discovered what they really wanted was for me to come sit with the youngest while they went to the dentist.

Once I returned home, out of curiosity I turned to the Internet to see what other books Barnes and Noble offer online. I was shocked to discover that by searching for genealogy books they had 30,307 titles, though some are repeats. For genealogy reference books there are 14,401 titles. Some are only offered as Nook Books, sometimes at a substantial savings. The book I did not choose is not available online. The book I chose sells for $9 less than at the store (might be about equal with shipping costs) and $11 less as a Nook Book (or $2 less than the book online). This did not bother me too much as I needed to use up the gift card before I lost it. Going to the mall is not my favorite activity and this time of year I would avoid it like the plague.

Then I thought to check out for the same book. They have 99,977 genealogy books listed, 40,174 paperback, 16,236 hardback, and 1,801 Kindle Edition and 2 audible. Surely shopping from home can't get any better. On top of the list was the book I chose not to buy at the store, but will probably order online as a personal Christmas present. It is less than half of the store price. The one I bought is $9 less and the Kindle Edition is $13 less. Earlier I decided to get an Amazon credit card to keep track of my purchases, it is a very dangerous tool.

After that I looked around my office and realized that my bookshelves needed some rearranging. In the process it also became apparent that I needed to catalog my books, and I chose Excel for doing so. Now after cataloging over 320 books, I hope to eliminate purchasing duplicate books. There are now five books that I plan to give away to my genealogy friends. With that finished, I now look around my office and see the friendly spines of future reading and resource material. They are separated by categories to make them easier to find. With three bookshelves, the ones closest to me are the research tools I use frequently, while the history books are on the other side of the room.

This is probably the best Christmas present that I could give to myself and others who come to visit. There is plenty left to be done, but I am taking it one day at a time, as it took a long to get where I am today. Not everything needs to be kept, but if you enjoy books like I do, I say indulge yourself if you have the space. Below are the categories of my collection. It may not be how you would do it, but it works for me. Now I need to hit more used book sales by our local genealogical societies, libraries and thrift stores, before I shop online. It is also helpful to look online to establish reasonable prices and to put a value on the collection that you have.

New England - 30
Revolutionary War -20
War of 1812 - 2
Civil War - 8
US History - 31
Oregon 27
Oregon Children - 4
Children - 5
Washington Children - 1
Washington - 1
England - 4
World Maps - 3
World History - 10
Healdry - 5
Family History - 4
Guides - 5
Research - 66
Older Research - 15
New England Research - 9
California Research - 1
Massachusetts Research - 1
Missouri Research - 1
New York Research - 1
Pennsylvania Research - 3
Tennessee Research - 1
Canadian Research - 3
European Research - 6
England Research - 6
German Research - 18
Scandinavian Research - 2
Danish Research - 2
Spanish Research - 1
LDS Members Guides - 6
Writing - 18

No comments:

Post a Comment