Assignment #3 – Space & Objects
1100-1200 words; Due March 18
The goal of this assignment is to describe the interior space of the bookstore that you’re researching—incorporating into your blog post a floor plan that also maps the placement of the store’s genre and subject categories—and to consider ways of reading that space and the objects contained within it. Making use of the materials contained in the curated archive for your bookstore and the digital tools available to you on the course website, you’ll explore and illustrate how the sales floor, sales counter, shelving, and displays are/were configured in the bookstore, what genre and subject categories are/were included in that configuration, and the way these categories are/were positioned. When considering the spatial narrative that these items suggest, you should pay close attention to how the store’s configuration directs traffic flow to and through the bookstore and be sure to include as objects in the bookstore not just the books or periodicals but also any other merchandise sold in the store. You must also incorporate into your post/floor plan at least two or three ideas or terms from the course readings, in this case those ideas and terms that best help you to define “space,” “objects,” and “collection.”
For this assignment you will compose a short blog post that describes the interior space of the bookstore that you’re researching, with visual materials that illustrate that space and its presentation, and hand-draw a floor plan of that space. All this information will be accessible in your curated archive, though which items you deem most important and how many you incorporate into the blog will be up to you.
As in the previous assignment, your post can reflect your own voice and thoughts, although your personal tone should not become intrusive or distracting. This time you’ll see that I use the final two paragraphs of the post to reflect on the spatial narratives of my father’s bookstore. Similarly, you must use your reflection to consider ways of reading the space of the bookstore that you’re researching and the ways the objects in it are arranged, displayed, and identified.
Blog Post Title: Devise an appropriate title for your post that clearly conveys your narrative’s focus. Avoid simply rehashing the assignment name; what title will best reflect what your post is about?
Provide at least six tags for your post, i.e. “City Lights,” “bookstores,” “Lawrence Ferlinghetti,” “San Francisco,” etc. Tags are index words that inform readers about the people and topics included in your post, so they’re valuable aids in leading readers to your blog. It’s ok if you repeat a number of tags in all your posts. In fact, that’s essential for establishing and advertising the subject matter of your blog. Tags should be no more than two words and they should have a direct and meaningful relationship to the content in your post.
For a good discussion of tags and how to use them read Tom Ewer’s post “WordPress Tags: Everything You Need To Know” here: https://managewp.com/how-to-tag-effectively
To create a useful floor plan you’ll first need to find narrative descriptions, photos, or videos of the interior of the bookstore you’re researching. Your initial step should then be to map out as best you can the spatial dimensions and configuration of that bookstore. Next, you’ll want to use the same materials to determine what genre and subject categories the store employs/employed and where they are/were located within the space of the store. For this step you may also want to check the bookstore’s online site (if one exists) or perhaps call the store to ask for help (if that’s possible); these are potentially useful ways to supplement or clarify any incomplete information in the materials you’ve consulted. But keep in mind that a perfect reconstruction suitable for architects or surveyors is not likely or necessary. As with the map and timeline in the previous assignments, the significance of what does get mapped on your floor plan will be evident by its inclusion and because it is incorporated into your narrative as illustrating some point about the bookstore’s space and objects.
Sample Floor Plan