Posted by: nancyisanders | November 16, 2009

Research Center

Hi! My name is Humphrey. I’m a cat. I’m also a writer. You probably know that by now. But what you may not know is that for every manuscript I write, I create its very own research center.

For instance, currently I’m writing an article about the wonderful benefits of eating tuna fish. Every day. To create my research center for this article, I decided to dedicate one shelf on my bookcase for all the books and resources I already have on hand that cover this delicious topic.

First, I emptied the bookshelf from all its existing books.

Okay, okay. As you can see by the photo, after I emptied the shelf, I had to try it out for size. It wasn’t too hard to get up there. I just used the printer as a launch pad, leaped to the top of the desk, and then walked right in. It fit perfectly! (There was just a slight problem getting down from there. I fell out, but fortunately, someone caught me two-thirds of the way down. Actually!)

Once all that was done, I spread all the books I already own on my topic out on the dining room table. I organized them according to theme:
*The psychological benefit of eating your favorite food. Every day.
*The benefit of only having to shop for one item to eat. Ever.
*The benefit of never wondering what you’re going to have for dinner. Tuna fish!

Then I was able to see, at a glance, which research books I needed to get from the library or used book store to give me sources to round out my article. I next placed the organized piles back on the shelf to keep them handy as I write. My research center was ready to go.

Now…I think it’s time for a snack. Tuna fish, anyone?


  1. That sounds way more organised than my knock-all-the-old-books-to-the-floor method or making space for new research materials. Or even my, slide the stack over until it moves onto the next desk and then forget it exists method. If I do that often enough, eventually all the stacks fall to the floor again and I spend some time shelving. Thanks for sharing your research method.

    • You’re welcome, Cassandra! Altho, what a great visual you shared of your old methods. Smile.

  2. Isaac & I enjoyed your ideas Humphrey. Isaac was wondering how you got up there, but thanks for telling us in your article. I usually stack all my library research books somewhere on the floor. Your method is much nicer. Ahh, the life of a cat. That’s super you always know what to make for supper!

    • Yes, tuna is always my first choice! Smile.

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