I’ve been running around with a measuring tape in one hand and a floor plan of the Film & Audio department in the other, because we’re installing new shelving and I have to make sure that everything will fit.
So for your amusement and enlightenment, here are the sizes of some of our collections (in inches).
Feature films on DVD: 736 inches. That doesn’t sound like much, does it? But you need to remember that one DVD takes up less than half an inch of shelf space. So over 1,400 DVDs? Not too shabby. Remember, you can check out five at a time for one week. And it’s free, as long as you bring them back on time.
Foreign films on DVD and VHS: 736 inches. Makes sense, as the foreign film collection is shelved on the back of our feature film racks. Did you know that we have films in 54 different languages? I didn’t even know that Dzongkha was a language until we purchased Travellers and Magicians.
Playaways: 108 inches. Playaways are checked out a lot, so I know it doesn’t look like we own that many – but trust me, we do. I’d recommend Bangkok Haunts, in which a detective of the Royal Thai Police has to deal with the ghost of his ex-lover, the FBI, and some very cranky elephants. Watch out, as it is the third in a series.
Books on cassette: 664 inches. We’re down to our last stalwarts, the sturdy and most popular titles. Our copy of Poirot’s Early Cases (one of my favorites) has been checked out 65 times! And while I prefer Monsieur Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells, we do have plenty of that wacky Miss Jane Marple, if you’d rather.
Nonfiction books on CD: 704 inches. We have more nonfiction books on CD than we have books on cassette! I just finished Lucia: a Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon and learned a lot about gondola parking.
Lecture series: 1,080 inches. This section is a combination of all formats and is full of thrilling (or dull, depending on your tastes) Teaching Company and Modern Scholar sets. I’m big on the European history, myself.
Family listening: 90 inches. Books on CD that the whole family can enjoy (or at least tolerate). It’s a small but growing collection filled with things like Wintersmith and The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things. How can you go wrong with a title like that?
So there you have it. 4,118 inches (over 343 feet) of audiovisual love, from us to you (and that’s probably less than a quarter of the entire collection). How do you think we measure up?