Tag Archives: books

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 17)

25 Apr

I had quite a good week last week, I think most of my paper notes have been sorted out. I didn’t really do any fresh research, but I still have plenty of information in a digital format that needs sorting out.

I have research plans in place for a couple of archive visits, and now need to actually make a decision and decide on an actual date. I have avoided making a decision on going to Carlisle Record Office, there are only a few days left before it’s temporary closure, so it is not going to be possible to visit.

I am going to try not to focus on the fact that I have so much "stuff" to sort out and research that I would like to do, but rather focus on the smaller projects that I want to work on, whether they are researching or organising.

  • This week I want to define an "exit strategy" for my GEERING research, I still have quite a bit of research to do at the East Sussex Record Office, but I think it is time that I was able to draw everything together and move on to something new.
  • One aspect of the GEERINGs I haven’t paid much attention to so far are occupational records. I know they were chemists and druggists, and I need to find out if the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain can provide me with any information on the family business.
  • Create a schedule for actually getting all my digital files in order. I feel I need to set a deadline and get some discipline into my organising, such as sorting one surname folder a day.
  • I also need to decide which projects I am actually working on. I seem to have lots of things on the go at the moment, and I need to get some of them finished before I start exploring new areas and taking on more work.
  • I really must tidy up my computer desk and the spare bedroom in general. There are genealogy books and magazines dotted about everywhere, and an old computer that needs stripping down for spares. I really need to get my workspace sorted out.

Something tells me that this week is going to be a spring cleaning week.

Madness Monday: Confessions of a bibliomaniac

7 Dec

Last week in a local charity shop I bought a copy of ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter (revised by Nicolas Barker). This edition was published by Oak Knoll Books, Delaware in 1992.

The book is an A to Z of book related terms, mostly concerning older books, which I would class as antiquarian books, which are mostly out of my price range. What really appealed to me were the definitions of the words that are used to describe the physical aspects of a book, such as its binding, stitching and size.

Many of these terms are ones that I see in archive catalogues when describing bound volumes of material, so it will be good to have a reference book on my shelf that explains what some of these terms mean.

Whilst looking through I came across two terms which made me stop and think. They describe the relationship between the reader (or collector) and the books. This made me think about my relationship with books, both now and in the past. I have come to the conclusion that I was once suffering from bibliomania, but now I would describe myself as a bibliophile.

When I read the definition of bibliomania on Wikipedia, it reminded me of the trips I used to make up to London (perhaps once a month) to visit various bookshops (both new and second-hand) to buy books. At that time I was still living at home, had very few outgoings and lots of space for books. I still have, or rather my parents still have in their loft, more books than I could ever hope to read in my lifetime.

My favourite new bookshop was Dillions in Gower Street, London. It is now a branch of Waterstone’s and I haven’t visited for many years, but I still remember with fondness taking the lift to the top of the building and working my way back down through the many floors browsing.

The sentence about the purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment are frequent symptoms of bibliomania really did describe my behaviour. I did have several copies of some books, although these were usually only cheap second-hand copies, and of course it was quite normal to want both hardback and paperback copies of the same book.

I remember one holiday in South Devon with a friend I was forced to by a new holdall, just to take home the books I had bought during the week. This was when we were on a camping holiday and living out of our rucksacks in a tent!

I was forced to curb my book hoarding by a lack of space and lack of money, brought about by a mortgage when my future wife and I bought a place together. It didn’t stop instantly, but the compulsion to buy books has gradually faded.

That’s not to say that I don’t indulge every now and then, because I do, but it tends to be more selective and more controlled. I still find it impossible to pass a second-hand bookshop without popping in, but nine times out ten I come out empty-handed.

Time to put my feet up and enjoy the sunshine

29 May

Another working week draws to a close, and what a beautiful day it has been, bright and sunny most of the day, the weather forecast for the weekend is much the same.

I have already done my fair share of walking this week (over 40 miles) so I shall probably take it easy this weekend and I have no research trips planned either, so definitely a weekend for staying at home and enjoying the sun in the garden.

I have a pile of books (in fact several piles, much to my wife’s annoyance) that are waiting to be read. I have just returned two books to the library, one I have finished (and need to try and get my own copy) and the other I barely started, but rather that keep renewing it, I have admitted defeat and returned it. I really want to read it, but I have so many others waiting as well that I will come back to it at a later date.

Then there are all the ebooks and pdfs on my PC that I need to read, they will have to wait (until it rains) because I can’t sit out in the garden with a cold drink and enjoy the sunshine with them quite so easy.

All that being said I’m sure something will get in the way of my plans, I will probably get distracted by something else, but it is nice to pretend that I have my weekend planned out!

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