Monday, December 19, 2016

My Library - More Than a Collection of Books

The one thing I've been waiting for since we saw our new house for the first time almost a year ago is finally finished. My library - more than a collection of books now! A week and a half ago, we picked up nine of IKEA's Billy Bookshelves. Hand crafted shelving is hardy but extremely expensive and bookshelves in local stores are flimsy although extremely affordable. I was so pleased to find IKEA's shelves are sturdy and the prices comparable to Target and Wal-Mart shelves.

In three nights last week my husband pieced the bookshelves together and placed them accordingly. The room immediately transformed with their placement and the minute they were up, I unpacked tote after tote of books. My poor books had been packed up almost a year ago and although I knew I missed their presence, I hadn't realized how much it would feel like reuniting with friends as I unpacked them. My books have stories and hold memories...even if it's just the knowledge of where I was in life when I bought a particular book.

Front entry to library

View from front windows
So, the unpacking of books was glorious. With limited time that night - although I was up until 2 A.M.taking them out of totes - I simply stacked books on shelves according to genre. As only book lovers can imagine, that wasn't as easy as it sounds. I had to estimate how much shelving to designate for what I already owned and for how much each genre may grow in the future. Also, there's the matter of some books applying to more than one category. Let's be honest, I reveled in it.

That was Friday, 12/16. On Sunday, 12/18, my friend and fellow reader S.R. offered to come over to help alphabetize. I gladly took her up on it. What better way than to enjoy the project than with a friend? I want to say it took us about two and half hours. Seeing the empty space left when we were done was both sad and exciting. Sad because I had cleaned out my book collection before moving and now missed them, even if they were just to take up space. Excited because I haven't really bought a physical book just for the heck of it in a long time and Barnes & Noble will be exciting in a new way for the next few visits.

Anyway, I'm obviously excited, but who am I kidding? You just want to see the pictures!

The shelves along the back of the couch (left to right) hold Christian nonfiction and fiction, textbooks, childhood books, signed editions, and very old/first editions. The single bookshelf on the other side of the window holds biographies and general researched stories on people (mostly authors) and mythology/fantasy. The single bookshelf juxtaposed to it (only in profile here, but can be seen to the left in pic above) holds memoirs and general subject nonfiction.

The main wall has four bookshelves, where I decided to put fiction, since it is the largest genre in my collection and the most likely to grow. The single shelf juxtaposed to those contains Classics.

As you can see, there's room to grow. After that, well, who needs windows?

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