Friday, March 4, 2011

Organizing Ospreys

(or “The Ridiculous Things That Keep Me Awake At Night…”)

(or “The Closet A-R Pokes His Head Out to Have A Look at the Outside World”)

Like so many others I have a small collection of the miniature wargamers “porn” of choice: Ospreys.

Over the years I picked up one here and there on topics of interest. I've often wondered about how to organize them; spread they out throughout the library among other books of the same period (as the rest of my books are generally grouped) or keep them all together. I’ve kept them all together. This is partly for organizational purposes, but also for aesthetic reasons - they just look nice all together.

The second ridiculous point of wonder and concern is whether, among the group of books by Osprey Publishing, to organize them by series (Men-at-Arms, Elite, Warrior, Campaign, etc) and series number or by period. Up until this point I have chosen the former – mostly for aesthetic reasons. And until recently I was pretty much able to find what I needed through physical memory of where things were within the collection.

Over the last year my collection of these books has more than doubled – thanks in large part to the fact that Amazonsells them pretty cheap – but mostly due to Plum Circle Books who sell them on ebay even CHEAPER! I am, unfortunately, a SUCKER for “a really good deal” and have found myself buying ones of marginal interest or that I “might” find useful/interesting at some point… (idiot).

Anyway, because of this recent influx, I am finding now I have a harder time locating the exact book I wish to refer to at any given time and I have slowly been trying to convince myself that it’s time to reorganize them by period…. (aesthitic right brain shudders at the dimished beauty of it all, A-R left brain shudders at the whole slew of new organizational questions…? Do I organize them by series within broad period groups? Or by strict dates? What about overlaps!? Shudder-shudder-shudder!!).

Is anyone else tormented by these sorts of things…? Or am I just the biggest idiot alive!? Sometimes I really kind of do feel like I’m just a character in a Larry Leadhead comic…

Another post if/when I sort it all out…


  1. That is a whole lotaa Ospreys. I sold most of mine some years ago in anticipation of moving to a smaller house - then the market collapsed.


  2. I don't know what's sadder, that you feel the need to organize them or that you have so many.... who am I kidding, I am SOOO jealous!

    I tend to pick up the odd Osprey when I go to shows, usually because I take advantage of deals and bargains. However my collection is pretty meager compared to yours.

  3. Those Osprey people planned this fiendish torture 40 years ago when the 1st one came out.

    I used to have mine grouped together but found that the older ones tended to get squeezed out of sight not to mention going blind trying to read small titles sideways, so I mixed them in with my other books, arranged by topic.

    Not having a degree in library science, I got stuck on multi-period ones and had to improvise. Generally I organize my books by campaigns of primary interest to myself. so overlapping Ospreys like British Army on Campaign Vol I is in with Afghanistan while Vol II has gone with the Crimean stuff etc. Not perfect but usually close enough.

    The exception is the old British Regiment ones that I bought in the 70's, they are grouped with other History/Uniforms of the British Army books in a section before campaign histories start.

    I have found the odds of retrieving a book of interest when needed has gone up from about 70% to 90%.

    Looks messy but then the rest of the librabry is messy looking anyway with books of all size and shape.


  4. Amazing collection!!!
    I would order them by period, Rome, WWI or whatever and within each period then chronologically.
    Mind you, then there´s the special stuff within each period..???...I see your dilema. :-D