My Semi-Fictional Life #76 (My Collection and Cleaning Day)

Hello peeps. This might not be of interest to everyone, but I rarely see people talking about what it takes to maintain a massive book collection (cheaply) so I figured I’d bring up the topic today, because that’s exactly what I am doing.

I have a ridiculous, illogical Stephen King collection. I have every first edition of his novels from Carrie to End of Watch, at least one paperback copy of all of his books, an audiobook of each book, and an ebook copy. My mother first started collecting King novels with the first shorter edition of The Stand. Her collection was destroyed by Hurricane Opal in 1995, but I’ve since rebuilt it.

Anyway, my point is, it is the pride of my collection, as you would imagine, but it’s a pain in the ass to maintain cheaply. I will eventually build my own shelves, but until then, I’m using cheapo Target shelves I found on clearance. $35 shelving for $9.99. Couldn’t beat it with a stick. But they are unbearably cheap and fragile and most King novels weigh a quarter ton, so I’ve devised a routine for keeping them from collapsing. This will eventually stop working, but here’s what I do.

Every month, I flip the shelves and dust them and the books. Doing this relieves the strain on the shelves and keeps them from bowing too drastically. In fact, if they start bowing before the month is out, I jump to action and start flipping early. I suggest doing this with any collection of heavy books. And, remember, paperbacks add up. So if you’re double stacking your paperbacks, your shelf is likely under more strain than it can handle. Unless you buy quality, then you don’t have to worry too much.

Why don’t I buy better shelves? you might ask. Because, like I said above, I want to build them myself. I have a detailed design in my noggin, and when I’m feeling frisky (I’m a spontaneous dude), I’ll run down and buy the wood and screws and all that. Until then, my only option is maintenance.

Do you have a collection? How do you maintain it? Are you planning a collection in the future, or is collecting not for you. Let me know in the comments.

See you tomorrow,


Pic of the Day


king maintenance.jpg


6 thoughts on “My Semi-Fictional Life #76 (My Collection and Cleaning Day)

  1. I loves me some book porn, Edward! That is a good-looking King collection.

    I have about 550 signed hardcovers and paperbacks in my collection, (including a stack of very cool and much prized Edward Lorn’s on the shelf) I have 5 bookcases, two of which I bought on sale for $150 a pop. Very sturdy and well-built despite me having to put them together. I “borrowed” an Ikea cube shelf from my daughter (she’s not getting it back) and have 2 crappy bookshelves in the garage with mostly stacks of unsigned books that I am planning on trading in for store credit at Borderlands Books in San Francisco.

    Strangely enough, it has never occurred to me to turn my shelves. My 2 nice ones and the cube, I don’t have to worry about, but the ones in the garage are bowed as f*ck. I should probably take care of that. I wish I was talented enough to make my own bookshelves…but I am not.

    1. Another author and I were talking about you behind your back like a couple of weirdos. We both agree that we’d give vital parts of our anatomies to view your collection in person. Not telling you who, because reasons. 😛

  2. Ha! Anytime you get out to California you are more than welcome to come over and check it out. I may even have my third bookcase set up by then. I am getting very close to having my wife approve my library “mancave”. Basically, my books drive her crazy and she doesn’t appreciate them. I keep telling her how fricking cool they are and she just gives me a blank stare. Kind of like I look at her when she shows me a new pair of shoes or purse. It would be refreshing to have someone over who would actually appreciate them like I do.

    1. I’m coming, brother. Only a matter of when. I have loads of family out in California and I’ve always meant to show my wife and kids where I was born and raised. Gimme some time. I gotta sell a few thousand more books 😉

Comments are closed.