Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Appeal

My working environment is a place of great contrasts. Most of the day is spent in a quiet, civilised office, where the only sounds are the gentle whirring of computer fans and the tapping of keyboards. However, once or twice a day I have to venture into the warehouse to find some books:

This is only a small section of what I have to deal with. There are around one thousand of these blue plastic totes, with more being added every day. Although I now have four people helping me, we are barely scratching the surface.

As I look through the totes and try to identify any valuable titles, I can hear Heart FM playing a selection of "classic tracks". I had hoped that I would never again have to listen to Phil Collins singing Sussudio, but he's a regular fixture on their playlist.

Last week, we received hundreds of law books, most of which were from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I've no idea what to do with them. I have put a few on sale, but so far there haven't been any takers and I wonder how many people there are who want to read about the laws of conveyancing in the 1860s.

I don't want to throw the books away, but it would be a waste of time to spend up to a week logging them on the internet. I have tried selling them to a company that specialises in decorative books, but they weren't interested. I know a "geezer" who will take them off my hands for a few quid, but I want to explore every option first.

Does anyone have any bright ideas?

10 comments:

Harry Tournemille said...

Any universities or law schools interested in them for their archives?

No idea how one would begin looking into that, mind you.

John Self said...

BBC Costume Drama Props Department.

Resolute Reader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Resolute Reader said...

This might be useful,

http://www.ilbf.org.uk/donate.htm

Or are these people any good - site looks a bit basic.

http://www.oldlawbooks.net/

Charlie Redburn said...

Where do the books come from in the first place?

Steerforth said...

Harry, I think our delivery is a law school getting rid of its archive.

John, that's an idea, although the books may not be sexy enough for the BBC's new "contemporary" costume dramas.

Thanks Resolute Reader. I like the idea of donating the modern law books to students in other countries.

Charlie, I don't know where they've come from. They just appeared one day. That tends to happen here and it's usually only when I explore the contents of the boxes that I begin to see a theme. A few weeks ago it was Jewish books, last week it was the library of a famous psychiatrist, today there seem to be a lot of books about the Royal Family (none of which are of any value).

depesando said...

do you need any furniture? - this is a bookshop in San Fransisco - they couldn't afford a new counter.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_B0cz8QEsXTk/SreTOACCdcI/AAAAAAAACjA/pnjqK5lUqDo/s1600-h/3c5de872e2be0e98971aa99312b83a8781a74e73_m.jpg

Steerforth said...

Now there's an idea...

Thomas said...

I'm kind of new to your blog, so I don't know what your job is, but, man oh man, that picture of the blue bins has me bouncing off the walls.

I am not sure which is stronger, my love of books or my love of organization. I love sorting through piles of just about anything, and your picture is like a fantasy camp for me.

I'm the kind of person who has to stop himself from tidying when I visit secondhand bookstores.

Steerforth said...

It's a shame you don't live around the corner. I could do with some help!