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Real and Virtual Organizing of Books

Today my wife and I spent a bit too much on books, one weakness we share.

The local Borders Books is closing (actually four are closing in our area) and it isn't a popular store. In an urban area, it's not unusual to have a "bad" neighborhood mere blocks from a "good" one. The bookstore is hidden in a dying strip center, behind a gym and across from a Walmart. This is not the neighborhood for a large bookstore. The Walmart is always busy, but I was often one of four or five patrons in the bookstore. Even the well-known used bookstore, which is on one of the busiest corners in the metro area, is seldom busy.

After comparing prices to other sources, illustrating another issue for Borders, we bought several books that were (finally) cheaper at the store. Previously, Borders only received our book-buying business when the chain graced us with discount coupons, otherwise we tend to favor used bookstores, online retailers, and Barnes & Noble (one local B&N has a nice used section).

The problem with buying books: my wife and I both then feel compelled to enter the new titles into our databases. Yes, we have catalogued our books. There is some overlap, but not enough that we shouldn't maintain our individual databases. Then, we have to organize our shelves carefully to make sure each section is accurately sorted. Our house truly is like a personal library.

I've been told this is a very odd ritual. I don't understand how people deal with their books without a good system. Since my earliest computer, I've maintained lists and databases of my books. As a young child in elementary school, I created a card catalog for my books. Order is that important to me. Thankfully, order is important to my wife, too.

Now that the organizing is semi-complete, I am setting aside the database and shelving duties to finish some writing. I always want to organize even more so than I have to date. Even my writing projects reside in a customized database, a spreadsheet, and an outlined "to-do" list. I track everything to keep myself on task. I lose focus if I'm not organized.

I have been told, and I have read repeatedly, that order and routine are common desires of people with ASDs. That does seem to be the case. I have found that like the stereotype of being focused on a subject or two for periods of time, the stereotype of order applies to me. The fact I liked the absolute-least trafficked bookstore in the area reveals something, too. I like to get out of the house, I don't want to deal with people.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting another chapter section from A Spectrum of Relationships. I'll also be working on my other websites this week. Remember to let people know about this blog and the upcoming eBook. I'm working on several books related to autism, all of which will be announced on this blog.


  1. Books... love books. Have since I started reading at 3. Use goodreads for my database. Love it.

    When I was in Univ, I use to make a calendar with all my courses (engineering) and the open slots I'd slot in my study time. The overwhelming "I don't have enough time" feeling would ease and I could get things done.

    What I didn't know, although after landing in autismland I started suspecting, was that I probably was an "Aspie". I use "was" since except for a passing comment by one of our Dev Ped's that the Aspie was probably his Mother not the child, I have no urge to be tested. It's just one of those things you tuck in the back of your head and remember "I did that", "I had trouble with", "this is how I managed" and shrug and move on.

    But if you want to click the "organization" box under that dx... that would be me and my unending lists, calendars and goodreads.


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