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So I've just moved into a proper room for the first time in years and as of yesterday have collected all my crap from the many places where it was stored. So I finally have all my zines together! I spent much of yesterday evening sitting amongst them, cooing.

I have already sorted my books by subject (plans to implement Dewey Decimal system are temporarily on hold) but have drawn a bit of a blank when it comes to zines. Shelving them like books seems a little pointless because they don't have spines to identify them by. Also they are all different sizes. I have about 2 suitcases full to somehow organise - can anyone make suggestions?

Current 2 ideas:

1. Make half-size (A5) magazine files, which will hold most zines, then store the few full size (A4) zines separately. Order by subject, etc.

2. Use box files - the ones that are just a sturdy, A4 sized box. This would let me store any size of zine (except the 3 stupid massive ones I have), collect less dust and possibly look neater. Mmm. Neat zines.

So yeh, how do you order your zines? How do you impose order on things that are by nature pretty chaotic and wonky? I have previously stored them in a big pile in suitcases and also a broken television, but that was before my slightly unnerving desire for order and ease of reference. Suggestions!

Also, here's some zine geek fodder - some of the categories I've come up with so far (haven't gone through most of them yet, but there's main themes emerging)

-cookzines
-music zines
-how-tos
-queer
-feminist
-politics/anarchist
-history

then I was thinking of having just 'perzines', ordered alphabetically by title, but I'm tempted to order them into categories such as

-general heartbreak
-trainhopping/evasion ripoffs/surprisingly dull tales of adventure
-lonely teenagers
-overly posi
-overly negi
-coffee/bikes/living in portland
-twee
-classics/formative teenage reads
-comedy terrible

Hmm.

Tags: obsessive

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haha "lonely teenagers"...i love the perzine categories.

i have often times considered trying to organize my zines but then...yes...i just start thinking how i am totally unorganized to begin with, and how organizing something as chaotic (as you put it) as zines makes that seem extra impossible.

all of my zines are in a giant one-drawer plastic storage tub from target (or some store like that.) i originally bought it to store my crafting/zine supplies but then found it was much better for holding the zines themselves. its very unorganized. i have to dig through a lot to find zines.this post is making me think its time to re-do my zine storage.

maybe if you were to shelve them you could use color coded stickers or something to at least mark which category they fall under? and if you REALLY wanted to get into it, you could number the stickers and have a reference log of which numbers are which zines...my dad used to do this with his cassettes, i remember. that would kinda solve the "no spine"/book-binding issue, though its still not as simple as just looking at the spine of a book.

i will say, at least the giant plastic storage bin keeps them safe and makes it easy to move them. thats one reason i don't want to unpack them all- i move once every year it seems, if not more.
Mine are in this big decorative biscuit tin/treasure chest that originally had some souvenir biscuits from Switzerland (I got it from a junk shop, god knows what vast quantities of bicuits it originally came with ...). They're organised by size, and alphabetically by title in each size, because I am anal like that. I should take a picture, but I've been moving, and it's still in Reading.
I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

I have kept mine mostly in the basement in a cardboard box. Except sometimes it falls over. Plastic Milk Crates work pretty well too.
I used to have one of those! I found it round the back of a Christian bookshop. But about 5 moves ago I got sick of it. Darnit. Have found and lost so much good furniture over the years - I suppose that's what comes of moving about twice a year...

Elizabeth Rockett - Riot-GRRRLife Zine said:
Currently all my zines are on my computer desk on this huge shelf, stacked up against each other with each subject grouped together. So Feminist, Queer, Cooking, Perzine...

But one of my friends was able to buy one of those like card racks that they have at stores to put postcards and normal cards on and she uses it for some of her zines and it works perfectly. If you had a connection or found one on craigslist there pretty rad to have...Then you could even turn your zine rack to check out which ones you want.
Your system may not be traditionally "organised" but it does sound fun. I love digging through stuff for treasure ;)



Bri Zine said:
haha "lonely teenagers"...i love the perzine categories.

i have often times considered trying to organize my zines but then...yes...i just start thinking how i am totally unorganized to begin with, and how organizing something as chaotic (as you put it) as zines makes that seem extra impossible.

all of my zines are in a giant one-drawer plastic storage tub from target (or some store like that.) i originally bought it to store my crafting/zine supplies but then found it was much better for holding the zines themselves. its very unorganized. i have to dig through a lot to find zines.this post is making me think its time to re-do my zine storage.

maybe if you were to shelve them you could use color coded stickers or something to at least mark which category they fall under? and if you REALLY wanted to get into it, you could number the stickers and have a reference log of which numbers are which zines...my dad used to do this with his cassettes, i remember. that would kinda solve the "no spine"/book-binding issue, though its still not as simple as just looking at the spine of a book.

i will say, at least the giant plastic storage bin keeps them safe and makes it easy to move them. thats one reason i don't want to unpack them all- i move once every year it seems, if not more.
Haha, I think most zinesters aren't all that organized about their zine storage. Me, I come out of comics and I like the ol' alphanumerical thing. For zines around magazine size, comic boxes work great (can be bought at comic book stores).

Also, at sewing/craft supply stores I've found boxes made for storing sewing patterns which work great for zines in the digest / half-size range.

Quarter-size zines are tougher...
Mine are in haphazard order in a comic book longbox.

The perzine catagories make me SO happy.
I have this tall, skinny, folding metal shelf that I think is maybe intended for DVDs - it fits half-letter size zines perfectly. I keep my quarter-letter zines shelved (standing upright, I mean) in a Teva shoebox and in a folding box meant for index cards or photos. The larger items I keep in magazine files, and I have a miniature milk crate for odd miniature zines. I keep anthologies separate and arrange them alphabetically by title, and individual titles arranged by author (which is kind of a pain, since author name is often hidden inside). I have a lot more minicomics than other types of zines, so those are separate.

That said, my alphabetizing & whatnot are in disrepair at the moment. I'm thinking of making little tab dividers so I can see where each letter begins & ends.

I'd recommend looking into what zine libraries do; they've been tackling these problems for a while.
I organize my 1/4 and 1/2 sized zines in boxes in alphabetical order, with divider cards that stick up with the letters written on them. This makes it really easy to look for something, especially if i have a lot of issues of the same zine that may not be able to be grouped together in terms of content. I originally wanted to order mine in categories but found it got too confusing. A4 zines are kept in magazine holders along with other diy publications.
mine are (uhm, were.. before i moved xcountry and sent all of my belongings to myself in the mail) organized by size. theyre currently in stacks in big ziploc bags on milk crate shelves.
I just reorganized my zine collection and I put them in cardboard magazine folders (since they were super cheap!) and organized them according to subject matter except for the perzines, it's a mess right now with no organization. I put the holders all on a big wooden shelf that was given to me by a friend. It makes me feel like I'm a library!
I've got like an accordion folder and another kind of plastic folder. Also a few pirority mail bags and boxes (one from mae below actually!) Not really organized though.

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