Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And you thought the barcode conversation was riveting

For years (well, since I've been here), I have made a custom spine label for each new book I add to the collection. It was something started when they were automating the collection before I got here, and the other person who was working here at the time insisted that we keep doing it, as it would make things look uniform. And so, despite the fact that every vendor will provide spine labels for the books you buy, I have kept with the in-house production of spine labels, because our labels are big and clear and easy to read and it makes things look nice and uniform and appeals--in a deep, fundamental way--to my OCD.

But, as you might imagine, while it doesn't take a lot of time, it also doesn't take no time. And there are something like 40 labels on a sheet, so there's always a question of how long to wait before printing a sheet, as I don't really order books in nice neat batches of 40. I can run the sheet through the printer multiple times, but after the first time the quality decreases, which does not jibe well with the aforementioned OCD.

So as I get busier and busier (and more behind on book processing), I have begun asking myself why I don't just go ahead and use the vendor-provided spine labels.

And so I did.

Sure, things won't look all uniform anymore. But that didn't seem to be a good enough reason to keep doing something that took time I don't have to spare. The vendor labels look fine. And unlike the barcode thing, I have no problem remembering to do something that doesn't create extra work for me.

Part of me feels like I've compromised my standards in some way. But mostly, I feel. . . liberated.