Filling bookshelves cheaply

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BSA44
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Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by BSA44 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:25 am

This is pretty much the definition of a first world problem, but anyway...

I just started as a professor at a top university following my Ph.D. I have a nice big office that has 16 bookshelves (four bookshelf units each with four shelves). I only own 5 books because everything I need to access is electronic. As you might imagine the office looks odd with all the empty shelves.

Any advice on how I can fill the shelves relatively cheaply? I could fill two shelves at most with pictures, and I looked into those buying "books by the foot" websites, but content relevant books are $40/foot and each shelf is 3-4 feet long.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

The Wizard
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by The Wizard » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:31 am

Your proposed solution is terrible.
Have two of the shelf complexes removed.
Put pictures and knick-knacks on most of the remaining eight shelves...
Attempted new signature...

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by jebmke » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:33 am

The Wizard wrote:Your proposed solution is terrible.
Have one of the shelf complexes removed.
Put pictures and knick-knacks on most of the remaining four shelves...
And depending on the height, might be able to just remove a couple of layers of shelves and install a large flat panel to use for presenting information -- or a whiteboard or something similar.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Rupert
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Rupert » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:38 am

Post a cheeky sign on the shelves that says, "Book donations appreciated." Your new colleagues will soon oblige you.

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onthecusp
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by onthecusp » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:41 am

A globe fills space and does not require the adjacent space to be filled.

There you are, just 15 more to go!

rjbraun
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by rjbraun » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:42 am

Any nearby colleagues, say, in the humanities, might be delighted to "borrow" some shelf space. Seriously, if all of your resources are electronic, why not have two or even three of the bookcases removed? Or is it more a matter of creating the right image with departmental colleagues? If it's known that your subject area lends itself to electronic books and you are known for using them, it could seem odd to have so many books lining your shelves. Especially if you are ever found to have bought the books "by the foot" I would think this could be highly embarrassing.

Edit: After removing the bookcases, perhaps get a nice oriental rug or similar to fill out the space. Just an idea, hard to say without seeing the actual office space.

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Pajamas
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Pajamas » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:49 am

Most professors have too many books. Why? Because people give them to them for free, hoping that they will review them or adopt them for use. Just be patient, accept what is offered, and your shelves will eventually be overflowing. Some of the books may even prove to be useful to you.

When you have books stacked up all over your office, knocking knick knacks to the floor and sending up clouds of dust when they topple over, you can give them to students at random when they come to your office for advice during your posted hours. The students will be very grateful and proudly tell their friends that "Professor BSA44 gave me this book and told me to read chapters 12-14."

:beer

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mhc
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by mhc » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:51 am

I would imagine over time the bookshelves will organically fill with awards, momentoes, knicknacks, binders from conferences or training, ....

You could also put some spreading plants on the shelves. Some sort of vine or ivy.

I have seen that the trend is to move away from books and paper. It may look fresher and more contemporary not to have books.

BSA44
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by BSA44 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:52 am

Thanks for reaponding! All good advice so far. However, there are three issues:

-These are massive built into the wall bookshelves. They can't be removed.
-I already have three white boards in my office. So I really don't need or want anymore.
-There are no colleagues anywhere in my building who would want to borrow my book shelves (and that'd be weird). Most of my senior colleagues have filled theirs with decades of hard copies of journal issues which they never actually read (as they also keep their articles electronically)

Keep the ideas coming!

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by ThriftyPhD » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:55 am

Keep in mind that you'll be there for a long time. At least ~ 7 years, and hopefully longer after the tenure decision. Depending on your field, you could end up quickly accumulating notebooks, reports, and other materials from you students. If you're going to be ordering things (do you have lab?), then you're talking about manuals, service records, warranties. If you're teaching you could have a great deal of homework/tests/reports. How long do you need to keep these before the grades are 'locked in' and you can dispose of them? How about documents related to university policy? Will you be placed on faculty committees, and will these have paperwork that you need to manage?

Even if you're electronic savvy, will all of your colleagues be? I love using pdfs to organize my articles, but most of my collaborators show up to meetings with a folder full of printouts. I slowly chip these down by replacing with downloaded pdfs, but that's not always an immediate task.

You will likely find that those shelves fill in all on their own without you spending money just to make it happen. I wouldn't fill them up with useless trinkets beyond the pictures/decorations you would want regardless.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by saltycaper » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:56 am

Some space was meant to be empty. One day you will look back on this "problem" and laugh.
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BSA44
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by BSA44 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:58 am

saltycaper wrote:Some space was meant to be empty. One day you will look back on this "problem" and laugh.
Oh believe me, I'm already laughing about it. This is one of the more ridiculous problems to have.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:00 am

Thrift stores and/or Craigslist.

You could look for people wanting to give away their aged Encyclopedia collections. Perhaps post a Wanted add on Craigslist.

Example:

https://brainerd.craigslist.org/bks/d/o ... 19163.html

I find old sets of (once valuable) encyclopedias fascinating. Some of them are really beautiful. But storing them is a nightmare.

It is an interesting "first world" problem.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:01 am

When I retired I discarded an entire office full of 30 years of journal hardcopies. Many years ago I thought I wanted them. I was wrong.

Eventually you will fill your shelves with (1) sample textbooks from publishers (2) sample textbooks from publishers left in the hallway by other faculty (3) classic textbooks acquired from local used bookstores (3) catalogs (4) gifts from Asian students (it seems to be impossible to stop them) and (5) your own knick-knacks.

For the near term consider plants. Unfortunately you will need to remember to water them. This will be more difficult than remembering to go to class.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by mrc » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:02 am

The more expensive the law firm, the less stuff on the shelves. My vote is a really nice (artificial) plant/object d'art on the shelves 3/4" of the way off the floor in each case. Done. Tell anyone that asks you have allergies.
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BSA44
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by BSA44 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:04 am

In response to why I care, is that I'm in a field where image matters (business/teaching MBAs) and I'm one of the younger people in my department (a number of my students will be older than me). Humor is definitely acceptable in terms of things on book shelves; I already have a bunch of doo-dads and games on my desk.
Having it look like I just moved into my office yesterday with many empty shelves would be awkward, though.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by aristotelian » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:07 am

You are a professor, you need books! Check out a bunch of stuff from the library. Most profs get 12 months or more borrowing privileges.

BSA44
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by BSA44 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:08 am

adamthesmythe wrote: For the near term consider plants. Unfortunately you will need to remember to water them. This will be more difficult than remembering to go to class.
I got a good laugh out of this. Plants are a good idea. I'll just have to get low maintenance ones, as my office is one where people work from home a lot (and I only teach in spring).

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Rupert » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:12 am

Another idea: Legos. I actually have a few shelves filled with my Lego Architecture Series creations. Pick models that make you look smart or worldly. I, for example, have a model of Villa Savoye, the Farnsworth House, and the Brandenburg Gate on my shelves right now. (I left Hogwarts Castle at home). My colleagues are now under the impression I love architecture and German history. Really I just love Legos.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:16 am

Filling shelves with books just to impress others is a terrible way to start a career. Give it some time and you should be able to creatively come up with better more practical uses for the extra storage space besides dusty old books.

If you really want to fill shelves with random books suggest you visit local libraries and check out the free book sections. People are finding out that are pretty unwanted these days so lots of books are available free.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by bertilak » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:20 am

As a recent graduate don't you have a few cardboard boxes full of old course books?

How about a dictionary, a thesaurus and a Strunk and White? Stick those three all by themselves between a couple of book ends. You might even find them useful.

I taught at a community college for a few years and the college bookstore (well, I'm sure it was actually the publisher) gave me copies of my course books -- WITH a teachers workbook and answer sheet.
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by bertilak » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:23 am

Rupert wrote:Another idea: Legos. I actually have a few shelves filled with my Lego Architecture Series creations. Pick models that make you look smart or worldly. I, for example, have a model of Villa Savoye, the Farnsworth House, and the Brandenburg Gate on my shelves right now. (I left Hogwarts Castle at home). My colleagues are now under the impression I love architecture and German history. Really I just love Legos.
HAH! I have a little Hello Kitty Lego on my bookshelf.
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bklyn96
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by bklyn96 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:26 am

Congratulations on your new position! It must be very satisfying to get such a good start after years of hard work.

At Staples you can get 8.5" x 11" clear plastic frames that can be displayed vertically or horizontally—they cost $3 each. Load several of them up with nice color copies of covers of your favorite journals and/or website home pages. You could also have a section showing cover pages from your students' work.

alex_686
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by alex_686 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:45 am

I might recommend motivational artwork. Here is a good site: https://despair.com/collections/demotivators

or if you really wants books there is: The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection: More than 1000 of the Greatest Classics
https://www.amazon.com/Penguin-Classics ... reat+books

I am not sure how many shelves it would fill, but it weighs over 700 pounds. So lift with your knees.

On a more serious note, step back and figure out what you are trying to accomplish.

Do you want to look smart and get some instant gravitas? Sure, lots of old books will do. Until somebody asks you about them.

Do you want it to reflect your personality? Lego Star Wars models it is. Or maybe a Warhammer 40k army in a Hello Kitty livery. Maybe something more refined. Become a collector and build up a collection over a few years.

My most serious suggestion is to stock up on models relating to your profession. I am assuming your are CS or something like that. Legos for your students to fiddle with, Lego Mindstorms, and other abstractions that you can play around with. A old naked computer with parts displaced. A old mac turned into a fish tank.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by rob » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:59 am

I once worked in an old office that had huge shelves filled with 2-4 inch folders with fancy looking names & numbers on the spine (it was supposed t be an IT methodology but had some std law folders as well).......

We moved offices not long after I started and 90% of them were completely empty folders :D Apparently no one working there ever looked in them... Just saying.....
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

rebellovw
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by rebellovw » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:01 pm

Call a model home development - they have tons of cardboard stereos and fake books.

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celia
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by celia » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:24 pm

How long until your book is published? You could get free copies of that and hand it out to co-workers and needy students over the years. Oops--that is giving books away. :oops:

garage sales
Craigslist
used bookstores (sometimes they have books they really want to get rid of and will make a good deal so that they can put more saleable books on the shelves instead)
campus bookstore?
Little Free Library (see https://littlefreelibrary.org for locations)
relatives & neighbors

I wouldn't worry too much about it as you likely won't have many visitors in your office. For students who do visit, there can be a sign saying "Book Donations Wanted". Word will spread and you'll soon need to take the sign down. A bigger problem is getting rid of the books when you quit.

Where (college?) are you located? If within 10 miles of me, I can bring some of our excess over. We both collect books.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by alex_686 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:31 pm

celia wrote:Little Free Library
A little bit off topic, but I thought that the ethos of the Little Free Library was the "take one, leave one". I think this might violate the spirit of the project. Besides, most of the books that I have found at the Little Free Library are of a lighter nature. Lots of romance novels with busting corsets on the cover. Not knocking those books but I am not sure I would want to advertise and brand myself with such fair. First impressions are important.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:41 pm

You need engine pieces to put on the shelves. If you're near me, I happen to have a cam from a 96 explorer that I just threw in my metal bin. Some pistons with connecting rods would look cool. Of course the ultimate statement is an aluminum engine block with a glass top to use as a table. Buying a single broken engine would give you all of these parts.

Gear heads are everywhere and if one comes into your office thinking you're just a stuffy old prof with a bunch of boring books and sees your collection of mechanical marvels, he's going to be quite impressed. I know I would be. For extra points, build stands for these parts out of legos. That's another area where you're going to get closet enthusiasts. In our house, we still have several hundred pounds of legos. My college son sold off mostly figures over the summer to buy a sim racing seat and aluminum frame for his setup.
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celia
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by celia » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:47 pm

alex_686 wrote:[A little bit off topic, but I thought that the ethos of the Little Free Library was the "take one, leave one".
There was a story on their website (I think that's where I read it), of a little girl staying at her grandmother's. One night all the books in grandmother's LFL were taken. The little girl ran to the grandmother and said "Someone stole all your books." Grandmother said "No, they didn't. They were free. How can you steal something that's free? And besides, they are not my books. They belong to everyone."

But, you're right. That is not the spirit/intent of the movement. But if OP "borrows" some for a few months, (s)he will know where to take her excess books. OP can also knock on the homeowner's door to see if they have any ideas where to get free books locally.

more places:
estate sales
library book sales (our public libraries have them twice a year and close out the day with "buck a bag" in the last hour to help get rid of them)
students moving out of the dorms at the end of the year, especially if most have to fly home (this doesn't work at "commuter schools")
Have a "Fill My Bookshelves" party and ask guests to bring books they no longer want while you provide the food.
Last edited by celia on Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yiewsley
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Yiewsley » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:55 pm

On the lower shelves - storage boxes or baskets typically used for closets or storage cubes (they have them at WalMart, Target, IKEA, etc). Even if they're empty they'll fill up the space. Or you can put stuff in them. Mine are full of yarn.

Top shelves - vintage tins, seashells, rocks, dried flowers in a vase, piggy banks, Matchbox cars (I have a row of Minis on mine), framed pictures, shadow box with interesting small items, games (Rubik's cube, Backgammon).

The possibilities are endless!

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by mouses » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:03 pm

I really can't imagine going looking for useless stuff to acquire. At some point you will realize that getting rid of stuff is the aim.

Those bookshelves are dinosaurs. Put some family and vacation photos in some of them, some personal knickknacks, some art items. Put a plant light in there with cactus or succulents, that could care less if you don't water them for weeks. Leave the rest empty, and let them fill up over time.

Don't fill them with books you have no interest in, especially as some day someone will ask you about some of them.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by rebellovw » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:12 pm

mouses wrote:I really can't imagine going looking for useless stuff to acquire. At some point you will realize that getting rid of stuff is the aim.

Those bookshelves are dinosaurs. Put some family and vacation photos in some of them, some personal knickknacks, some art items. Put a plant light in there with cactus or succulents, that could care less if you don't water them for weeks. Leave the rest empty, and let them fill up over time.

Don't fill them with books you have no interest in, especially as some day someone will ask you about some of them.
Um yeah... - it is about war and peace... - I don't want to give too much away and spoil it for ya.

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Watty
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Watty » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:26 pm

Don't put dummy books there. In addition to looking phoney there a chance that someone important could see a book on your shelf that they are familiar with and ask you something about it.
BSA44 wrote:In response to why I care, is that I'm in a field where image matters (business/teaching MBAs).....
Just for brainstorming you could put antique business related things on the shelves like old mechanical adding machines, typewriters, cash registers, paper ledger books from the 1800's open to an interesting page, early computers and calculators, etc.

Some of these can be very collectable and expensive but there is a lot of inexpensive stuff out there. Watch out for shipping costs, an old mechanical adding machine is very heavy!

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?ssPageN ... ines&rt=nc

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=a ... e&_sacat=0

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=a ... r&_sacat=0

There is also a good chance that people will also donate stuff to your "collection" once they see it.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Beehave » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:54 pm

BSA44 wrote:This is pretty much the definition of a first world problem, but anyway...

I just started as a professor at a top university following my Ph.D. I have a nice big office that has 16 bookshelves (four bookshelf units each with four shelves). I only own 5 books because everything I need to access is electronic. As you might imagine the office looks odd with all the empty shelves.

Any advice on how I can fill the shelves relatively cheaply? I could fill two shelves at most with pictures, and I looked into those buying "books by the foot" websites, but content relevant books are $40/foot and each shelf is 3-4 feet long.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

What discipline? And how did you complete a PhD without accumulating a healthy contingent of hard copy books for your shelves?

If it is any social science or philosophy or arts-oriented discipline go browse at the nearest Barnes & Noble and buy some books that are interesting. You will find incredible bargains on their clearance racks that will help stretch your dollars. Get a good dictionary. Get a general encyclopedia set. Get history books plus specialty books in your field and associated fields.

If you're in science, math, engineering then follow the good advice in prior posts regarding inviting book donations - - maybe put a sign up saying that you're creating a lending library for students.

Find a retiring professor in your field and offer to preserve whatever treasures s(he) will not be able to keep when they retire.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by stinkycat » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:05 pm

As one who has been a professor for over 25 years, I certainly wouldn't pay too much for books just to fill a shelf. Acquiring books in an occupational hazard. Whatever you do don't take your book collection too seriously. One time I told a colleague I was paring down my book collection, he pointed to his books and said: "someday these will all belong to my kids". I thought maybe you should ask them whether they even want them first.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by ImaBeginner » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:33 pm

Get a nice stand and put a Kindle on it. Place directly in the center of the largest bookshelf and leave the rest compltely empty.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:40 pm

> Most profs get 12 months or more borrowing privileges.

I totally forgot about this one.

> You could look for people wanting to give away their aged Encyclopedia collections.

Nope. You will start making marginal corrections. From there it's all downhill.

> I might recommend motivational artwork.

My reaction is yuk. Maybe this works for the business school.

> You need engine pieces to put on the shelves.

Yeah, the more eccentric the better where I come from. Can you get posters from Burning Man and an old Stones tour?

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Ruger » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:43 pm

Library sales......you can buy lots and lots of books for cheap at them.
You can also find all kinds of things at yard/garage sales. You don't necessarily have to fill the book shelves with books!
Decorative items mixed with books, photos, and empty space looks great. I think the rule of thumb I read somewhere (and I could be wrong!) is that bookshelves should have a mix of 1/3 books, 1/3 decorative items, and 1/3 empty space.

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Watty
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Watty » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:48 pm

One more thing.

If you do have a lot of books on your bookshelf you should periodically go through them to check to see if anyone has added any books to your bookshelf. For a joke, people have been known to slip in books like "The Joy of Sex" onto peoples bookshelves right behind your desk where they will show up when people are sitting and talking with you or when you have your photo taken.

It would be best to keep things as uncluttered as possible.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by HongKonger » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:50 pm

Get doors put on them.

mega317
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by mega317 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:11 pm

aristotelian wrote:You are a professor, you need books! Check out a bunch of stuff from the library. Most profs get 12 months or more borrowing privileges.
I wouldn't keep library books for show. What if someone wants to use them?

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by obgraham » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:23 pm

So wait, we're giving this guy advice on how to look phonier than he already might be?

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by rebellovw » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:25 pm

obgraham wrote:So wait, we're giving this guy advice on how to look phonier than he already might be?
Yes.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by North Texas Cajun » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:51 pm

BSA44 wrote:Any advice on how I can fill the shelves relatively cheaply? I could fill two shelves at most with pictures, and I looked into those buying "books by the foot" websites, but content relevant books are $40/foot and each shelf is 3-4 feet long.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
I owned a couple of used bookstores from 1993 to 2008. My employees and I bought hundreds of thousands of books at an average cost of $1.50. Some sources:


1. All of the 100 or so Half Price Books stores across the nation have clearance sections with all subjects priced at $2 to $3. Here's the cities which have stores:

https://www.hpb.com/all-stores-list?sto ... found=true

2. Almost every public library has an annual sale. Most books are clean donations and not worn library discards.

3. Thrift stores are a very cheap source of books, but the books are rarely sorted. It takes a lot of time to find books if one is looking for a specific subject area.

4. Going to garage sales is a very inefficient sourcing method, but large rummage sales can have treasure troves. In particular, sales run by Jewish organizations and by AAUW seem to have the good book selections.

I might be able to provide more specific sources if you can let me know where you reside. Send me a private message if you'd prefer.

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by North Texas Cajun » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:05 pm

BSA44 wrote:Any advice on how I can fill the shelves relatively cheaply?
What part of Texas are you moving to? I definitely know where to find business books in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I may even have a few I could donate to you.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:15 pm

Some thoughts:
1) Set up a bar. You can put a lot of booze on 16 shelves!
2) Set up a candy store - when you students come in for office hours you can make extra money selling candy.
3) Put a big sign up across the empty shelves "GONE PAPERLESS" which is the honest truth anyway.
4) Collectibles related to whatever you teach. For instance - if you are a US History Professor you can buy and display US History artifacts - from the wars, etc.

Personally - I'd get rid of the shelves and not collect the dust. If you are planning on having kids they might bring you home many items to display as well.

I went to school many years ago for a BSEE and then an MSEE. In addition to every class requiring at least one book - I bought dozens a books in my first jobs (this was before everything went electronic). I must of ended up with over a 200 books - all of which I finally gave up (but only recently).

Fallible
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by Fallible » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:39 pm

BSA44 wrote:...

I just started as a professor at a top university following my Ph.D. I have a nice big office that has 16 bookshelves (four bookshelf units each with four shelves). I only own 5 books because everything I need to access is electronic. As you might imagine the office looks odd with all the empty shelves.

Any advice on how I can fill the shelves relatively cheaply? ...
Bookshelves, in my opinion, should be opportunities to show your interests, experiences, and achievements in life to others, i.e., who you are, where you've been, what you've done, what your goals are. You could include photos, meaningful mementoes from travels, awards, etc. Whatever, I think it's better to have some empty bookshelves when you're new rather than filling them just to be filling them, i.e., with meaningless items, no matter how cheap.
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ikowik
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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by ikowik » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:10 pm

This thread reminds me of the book The Mystic Masseur by V.S. Naipaul. The main character buys books by the pound with no discrimination on content or title

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Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

Post by daveydoo » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:10 pm

BSA44 wrote:I have a nice big office that has 16 bookshelves (four bookshelf units each with four shelves). I only own 5 books...Any advice on how I can fill the shelves relatively cheaply? I could fill two shelves at most with pictures, and I looked into those buying "books by the foot" websites, but content relevant books are $40/foot and each shelf is 3-4 feet long.
Maybe you can fill them with photos of other people's families. And maybe you can get some old bowling trophies and awards at Goodwill :D . Call me crazy but isn't it intellectually dishonest to fill your shelves with books you've never read?! (On the other hand, I've bought books that I've never gotten around to reading so there is that.) Just get rid of the shelves.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

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