Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Library Love... second floor.

So this isn't strictly a post about my work, but it's my blog, and I'll do what I will with it.

So, some of you know, some of you don't, but I work at the University's Arts Library four evenings a week, 'shelving'. I've been doing it for almost three years, and I'm not ashamed to admit I'm the hugest library nerd, and it's the best job I've ever had.
But unfortunately, and with genuine sadness... it's time to leave. Not willingly you understand, as I'd happily carry on working there, but it's a student job... and soon I will no longer be a student.

It's my last shift this Friday, and this week I decided I'd do a few library related posts on here.
Me and my 3 beloved shelving friends job consists of putting away books that have been returned or left lying around, and checking the shelves on a regular basis to make sure things are in the right order. Don't even get me started on how annoyed I get when people just put random books in the wrong place. Grrr.... (OCD much?)

Anyway, understandably, after almost three years doing this, I know my way around quite well, and know the library stock pretty well too. So I decided to select a few of my favourite, least favourite, or otherwise significant or intriguing books and generally ramble about them. Feel free to not even bother reading this, there's no real intellectual value, it's just a little trip into my mind.

Because there are so many... I'm splitting it into the three floors. This first post is about the second floor... The kind of books you'll find on the second floor are philosophy books which I don't understand, politics, fashion, typography, science, maths, language, type and aesthetics.

Firstly,  this book makes me laugh so much. It was published in 1988. That's as old as I am. The descriptions of how to work the software are so amazingly old school. I'd highly recommend having a browse through this :)

Narcissism! I love how ridiculously battered this book is, and that horrible cover design... looks like some sort of 1980's romance, judging by the type. It's full of interesting case studies of various different narcissistic people.

There are lots of books on the second floor where the title tells you absolutely NOTHING about what they're about... And then you read the blurb and you're still clueless... and so you read a bit of the actual text... and still no idea. I mean... 'The Sex of Knowing'... What?!

I just love this title and subtitle. 'Managing the Mingling'... Something I always strive for in life. :D

Singing bowls. EH? (To clarify, I've read a couple of chapters of this book, and my response would still be 'EH?')

 I'm a huge nerd, and I love city planning. This book is fascinating.

She was CRAZY.

No idea what this is about. But I love that ampersand. Every time I put it away, I think 'oooh, nice ampersand.'

'From Modernism to Postmodernism', I hate you. (Just because it's really heavy and I have to put them away all the time)

I love the title of this book. I've tried reading it and it's waaaay over my head, but I'm still intrigued by the title. Feels like something I'd like to try and translate visually.

I don't know anything about Beatrice Webb, but I've read quite a few random entries from these diaries. It's so amazing to have basically someone's whole life captured in this form... she started writing when she was about 15, and carried on until she died in her 80's. Really interesting.

I was told to read this by our cultural and critical studies tutor. Further proof of how utterly irrelevant that section of our course was! (For the record, I tried, but it was one of the densest reads I've ever attempted, and I gave up after about a couple of paragraphs.)

This is an absolutely fascinating book, following the life of some modernist council tower blocks in Leeds from their initial (much hyped) inception, through to their ultimate demolition.

Another thing I'm nerdy about... Public Transport. This is a really interesting book, but more than anything else, I love that cover illustration.

This is a book in the fashion history section, featuring about 40 postcards of 1970's men's fashion advertisements. It. Is. Comedy. Gold.

This is a delightful book.

WHO KNEW THERE WERE SO MANY WORDS IN THE WORLD. Sometimes I like to just browse these for new words n' stuff.

Every so often I look at these maths books and feel sad that I can't do better maths. I loved A-level maths, but unfortunately A-level maths didn't love me, and I got an F. :(

Why indeed.

This is an absolutely fascinating book, if you're into mapping and suchlike.

This might even be my favourite book in the whole library. Basically it zooms in on the world through powers of 10 magnification... starting at the furthest depths of space, and ending at the innermost depths of an atom. Absolutely incredible, mind-blowing stuff.

This book is amazing. It's really old, and basically discusses the life and ways of 'midgets', in completely unashamed old fashioned language. It's charmingly offensive, if that's even possible.

This book is amazing. It's where I learned that Norwegian slang for having your period is 'the communists are in the summer house'. Plus much more amazing menstrual facts besides! A must read for 50% of the population. In fact, everyone should read it.

This is the pop-up book of reproduction. Seriously.

These two books combined have put me off EVER having children. OH DEAR GOODNESS HORRIFIC FULL COLOUR PHOTOS OF... OH I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT IS!

I would buy one of these hoovers. Why do these not exist?

These are completely underrated in the world of the library. The Penrose Annuals were, as far as I can tell, put out by what seems to be a printing house from the late 1800's, right through to the 1980's. They're basically catalouges showing the most up to date printing techniques and processes of the times, with articles discussing them. They are amazingly fascinating, and I only discovered them very recently, really need to spend some more time with them.

For a long time, this book was lost, and I really wanted to get it out. Me and the library ladies always giggled when I asked for hand job, but that's probably the point. (In the end it never showed up and they bought another copy. Here it is! All thanks to me pestering.)

Best type book you'll ever read.

We enjoy this book. It's full of amazing interactive optical illusions!

Mmmm, typographic cleverness. No idea what it's about. Well, Marxist Esthetics, evidently. Would it have killed them to put an A on there?

Another one of those ridiculously titled books that make me laugh with their sheer pretentiousness. 'Proposition for an art criticism beyond aesthetic categories...' Say what?

Last one for this floor... PORN. This book is covered in disturbingly soft padded leather. It's a marshmallow of a book. It's also distressingly grubby round the edges, and it freaks me out to touch it. Oh, and it's full of arty porn.

So there we go. That concludes our tour of the second floor. I hope you got something out of that, if only a new found appreciation for what a loser I am :D

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Twice I tried to get a job at St Peter's House. TWICE! There are some absolute gems in there. And your post shows how much the library catalogue really needs updating. 20 copies of Marx's Capital when all you only need to read pages 5-12 is a bit excessive.