Thursday, November 24, 2011


How many ranges, exactly, do I have to get through? The answer might surprise you: I'm not sure. I wandered through every section of every floor, notebook in hand, noting what each and every range was. It's not that I don't have the data; it's that the data is inexact. 

See, I refuse to read periodicals, reference (dictionaries and the like), special collections (inaccessible), and things that I am unable to read, which is anything not in English or Spanish. So no Japanese, Chinese, German, Korean, French, or musical notation.

That's why my count is so inexact; it's possible I find some things in English on the Korean shelves; it's possible I don't. It's possible that some sections of computer science and engineering are all reference and periodicals without being labeled as such.

So how many books do I have to read?

About five hundred. Probably a little less.

If you're curious, the breakdown is about thusly:

Again, this is inexact, but it's not just because I don't know if I can read something on every shelf. It's also because the categories are a little odd, but I tried to have it make some sense: 
  • Literature: literature (American, English, German, Spanish, French, Greek, Latin, Russian, general, Danish, Norse, Swedish, Icelandic, Italian, and Portuguese literature), prose, oratory, journalism, and libraries and the book trade.
  • Social Sciences: history, religion, sociology, marriage, communities, social pathology, political science, education, philosophy, manners, customs, anthropology, folklore, psychology, general social sciences, military and naval science, law, genealogy and memoirs, yearbooks, almanacs, general humanities.
  • Business and Economics: business and economics. 
  • Languages: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Germanic, West Germanic, Modern English, Romance, Eastern Asian, African, Oceanian, Hyperborean, Indian, Welsh, Middle Eastern (Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, and Turkish languages), Oriental philology, and linguistics.
  • Arts: fine arts, music criticism, dance, music, motion pictures and broadcasting, music study and instruction, theater.
  • Sciences: engineering, medicine, physiology, anatomy, biology, botany, zoology, physics, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, animal culture and hunting, geography, cartography, math, geology,  computer science, chemistry, general science (method), astronomy.
  • Fiction and friends: juvenile literature, recreation and leisure, science fiction and fantasy, crafts and home economics, humor, mystery, self-help.
And there you have it.

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