Saturday, July 11, 2009

Quick Guide to Boxing Books

All right folks, I have eleven hours before before I start revising the fifth draft. So all I have left in me is this:

How to Pack Books

Let's face it, an academic's net worth is mostly in books. Together they are far and away the most expensive thing I own, and I'm not about to risk the lives of my babies because my job requires me to move them about the country. Here's how to pack them!

1) Find medium-sized boxes. Unless you are a part-time body builder, a large box is a mistake. If you are reusing boxes, make sure the box is not damp or damaged.

2) Reinforce the bottom with packing tape. A lot.

3) Wrap delicate or special books in packing paper. You may think you should wrap books in plastic or in bags to protect them. Do not do this! If you are very concerned about dampness, line the bottom and sides of the box with a plastic or garbage bag. If you are going to be storing the books for a long period of time, wrap books in acid-free paper.

4) Put large hardcover books flat against the bottom of the box, with the spine against the sides of the box. Stack paperbacks on top of them. Fill open spaces by placing books sideways, always with the spine down.

5) Lift the box halfway through packing to make sure it isn't too heavy. If you don't fill a box, stuff the top and open spaces with the packing paper or big bubble wrap.

6) Seal the top and sides of the box with tape. Mark the box well.

Other Tips:
-If ever you wanted to catalog your books, now is the time. It will never be easier.

-It might help to pack books according to general theme. That way, if you find yourself needing to look at a book about tobacco growth in seventeenth-century Virginia, you can just open the box with "Early America" books in it.

-Check for library books or borrowed books before you pack. This sounds like a no-brainer but you'll be kicking yourself when the library is hollering for their Stedman critical edition and you aren't sure which of the 18 boxes it is in.

Hopefully this will be of some use as we all prepare to scatter once again!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"As long as there's a dead Nord, it's hard to go wrong."

Here is a short article on Scandinavian crime novels; namely, why Scandinavians want to read about crime when they've reduced their crime rates to among the lowest on the planet.

It also might provoke some of you to put "Scandinavian-crime-fiction writer" on your list of backup careers if this academia thing doesn't work out!

Monday, July 6, 2009

F. Unny. Funny.

I've been off the radar since late June due to thesis work, and will likely be in and out throughout July. Aside from putting the pressure on some of my fellow graduate students to pick up my slack here, I will be stopping in to dispense the occasional hilarity.

Grad school support staff Will pointed out the other day that with this whole swine flu scare, which apparently even those Harry Potter kids aren't immune to, we've forgotten our last round of Revenge of the Barnyard: Avian Flu.

But MadTV has not forgotten. Take a look.

This is what happens when childhood meets reality.