Protecting Your Book Collection

Hey everyone! I figured with many of us stuck at home, I should give you all an idea for a new project.

As many of you remember, last year in November, I ended up cataloging all of my physical books. Many of you thought I was crazy, others thought I was brilliant, and most of you were shocked by the numbers of books I own. I remember getting a lot of people wondering why I would do this, so I figured I would sit down and tell you all why. I currently work in insurance as a licensed customer service representative. It is my job to keep my clients informed and make sure they have the proper protection in place.

Picture of my personal book catalog.

When you buy homeowners, renters, & condo insurance, you’re paying for the peace of mind that you’ll be covered in case your house burns down or some other awful thing happens. One thing that we tell our clients is to make sure that they have an inventory of most of their possessions.

We don’t realize how much we have until we make an inventory of it. A few months ago, I would have said I had close to 300 books & that 30% of my books were autographed. By doing my catalog, I found that I have 730 books with 258 of those books signed. Now, this doesn’t include the three boxes I found in the attic yesterday, nor the books that I am getting in the mail/just arrived in the mail. That is a HUGE difference. If my house were to have burned down before I did this catalog, I would have told the adjuster that 300 books were destroyed, NOT the 730 books that I have.

Books I found yesterday in the attic

Now, one of the things I paid attention to when cataloging my books was the list price of the book. For those of you that don’t know, that is the price that is sold in stores. So, if we look at how much my library is (ignoring depreciation, I personally recommend replacement cost coverage), we can see what it would cost to replace my entire library. Are you sitting down? Because you might want to sit down for this number… My library is worth $15,381.09. **insert shocked face**

If my house were to burn down, and the adjuster had that 300 book number, and each book was said to go for the $28 hardcover price, the total worth of my library would be $8,400. That means that I lost $6,981.09 without even knowing. This is why it’s important to catalog your stuff.

Picture of some of my favorite books on my shelves.

It’s essential to think about these things because fires happen. This gives you and the insurance company a place to start when trying to rebuild all that you lost. I recommend going around your house with a video camera and show what all you have. This is super easy to do & will help you know where to start if something were to happen to your home. Another way to go about this is to take annual photos of all of the stuff in your house. Whatever you do, keep your photos, catalog, videos, etc. backed up in multiple locations and make sure that one place is not in your house.

So, there you have it. This caffeinated faery is begging you to catalog your stuff & make it easier on your adjuster, your insurance agent, and on yourself. I personally used Google Sheets for my catalog. The reason I used google sheets is because it is backed up in the cloud automatically & saves itself. Once you do your catalog, it’s a perfect time to sit down with your agent and make sure that you have the proper coverages as well.

♡ Kristy

15 thoughts on “Protecting Your Book Collection

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    1. Honestly the price was added because I was curious. The main thing you’d want in the catalog would be the title, author, format (paperback, hardcover, etc), if it is signed, and the ISBN of it. The ISBN is the important one because that will show if it is a first edition or a rare edition.

  1. That is some HARDCORE bibliophilia! Good on you for being so conscientious (and for acquiring all those signed copies *insert pleasantly jealous face*). I seriously hope you’re never in a situation where all that cataloguing will be necessary, but as you say, better safe than tragic ending.

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