The methodology was quite simple. Most of them are arranged like this on shelves, so ‘Σ shelf length times number of shelves’ gives total yardage of books, by spine.
Approximations had to be made for this kind of situation:
And after some deliberation I decided to include the antiquarian department, out of respect:
The final outcome is that I possess approximately 28 yards of books. I have no idea what this means. I probably need to calculate the corresponding weight and word count for the data to become in any way meaningful. Plus, I suppose, some form of quality weighting: maybe I can estimate how many times each book has been read, or the probability of it being read again. But that will have to wait for another wet day, or month.
I left out certain reference volumes, including cookery books. I have also omitted the new Kindle, for two obvious reasons. One being the difficulty of assigning a spine thickness to an e-book; the other that there aren’t actually any books in there yet. This is because I don’t really know what to do with the thing. I doubt if I’ll let it supplant ‘real’ books entirely, or even in large part, so I have to find a selective rôle for it. I don’t often go on extended holidays any more, at least not the kind that contain wide open reading spaces. (I get too much of that at home.) I daresay it will come in useful once my arms become too weak to hold up a weighty tome, or my eyes demand magnification of 8-point text; but neither of these has happened yet (as at 3.50 p.m. today), and I’ll probably have lost the ability to work technology by the time they do.