About the Header

7 06 2009

So.  I have a blog.  I wanted it to be a pretty blog, so I chose a theme that had a picture header.  And then I found out the picture header was customizable, and… well, that was my doom.  But it’s given me a blog topic, so it’s not ALL bad!

The original header was a spectum of paint sample strips.  Pretty, but… generic.  This is MY blog, I want it to say something about me.  Then I remembered a few articles I’d read recently about organizing books by color, and using books as a color design element in interior decoration, and thought, hey, that would be different and cool and quirky!  So, in the time-honored tradition of the interweb, I Googled a few pictures and stole one for my header.  (I was going to give credit.  Really.  But then I had another thought!)

Then I thought, this is pretty… but wouldn’t it be so much more meaningful to have books from my own library as my blog header?  (I really should shut myself down cold when I start thinking; it always leads to trouble.)  I chose green to go with the site theme, and because Glossaria’s avatar is a little green bookworm.  I started pulling books based on the color of the spine… and then I had another thought.  I thought, alright, I can pick *any* green books… but wouldn’t it be nice to have a selection of books that reflected the full range of my interests?  (Ha.  HA HA HA.  HA, I say!)

This would be where I really started getting myself into trouble, for a number of reasons.  To start with, I have a *lot* of interests.  I have even more books, and woefully insufficient shelving.  The books that are actually on shelves are more or less organized.  The books that don’t fit are… not.  Finding the representative titles I had in mind was occasionally more challenging than it should have been.

I also discovered that some subjects are more likely to have green covers than others– gardening, for instance.  Herbalism.  Tea.  Anything on the Celts or Irish.  Many, many green books for these topics.  The history of piracy, on the other hand, tends to black or tan or maroon or leather-brown covers (though you’ll note I did find *one* green spine)– good old-timey piratical colors.  I do not own one single paleography or calligraphy book in green (they’re light blue, red, black, or cream, mostly).  My books on the history of flight are all in shades of blue (for the Great Blue Yonder, perhaps?)  All of my chocolate cookbooks are either dark brown or (inexplicably) pink.  I did find one Bible in green (most are black, white, or red), but it’s a translation I don’t much care for (The Way: The Living Bible— it came out in the 70’s and reads like it, man.)  Some favorite authors had to be left off, because I couldn’t find a title with a green spine.  It made me think a lot about what goes into cover design.  Could there be an unconscious (or even, deliberate?) color association for certain subjects, like the colors of academic hoods?  If there is, it’s not in library science– the hood color is lemon yellow, AACR2 and DDC22 are both green, and my old textbooks are every color of the rainbow.

I did finally come up with the shelf’s worth you see above, but it was a a considerably larger project than I’d originally intended.  All the same, I’m pleased with it.  I have a subtle personal statement permanently attached to my blog, I learned a few new things about my own collection in the process, and I got to experiment with an “outside the box” library organizational system.  While this system could work with single-subject libraries, or with custom covers (covering all one’s reference books in red, for instance), it’s not the answer for my home library, I think.  But it was fun to play with, and I got a cool header out of it.  And… wow.  A much longer blog entry than I’d intended, too.

If you want to know what titles I chose (I’m aware some of them came out a bit fuzzy or got half-chopped to fit the header), there’s a full list under the “About” tab, above.




3 responses

8 06 2009

Dear god… well can’t say you didn’t really get into the assignment. The header looks great!

8 06 2009

Your system would certainly be helpful when we get one of those patrons who is looking for a book they had checked out a while ago, “um….it had a red cover, I remember.”

9 06 2009

I’m speechless. My header looks a little like Malibu, that’s why I picked it.

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