Monday, June 5, 2017

About The Books

I said yesterday that I am a minimalist.  I don't like to be surrounded by a lot of "stuff."  I also said that the one exception to my own "if I can't use it right now then get rid of it" philosophy is books.  I like books.  All kinds of books.  Weber likes books too.  This is good for our relationship and bad for our bookshelves.  When we got married, we had limited shelf space.  We agreed that we would both purge our collections until our combined books would ALL fit on the shelves that we had...nothing stored in boxes or double-shelved.

That was seven years ago.

We have more books now.  We did not purchase shelve space at the same rate that we purchased books.  The books were double and triple stacked on the shelves and the floor.  We couldn't find the ones that we wanted.  I didn't even want to look at the shelves because it just made me sad.  This whole scenario was not pretty.  We finally decided that we needed to bite the bullet and do something proactive.  It was time for some new shelves.

Well...not some new shelves; it ended up being all new shelves.  We went the built-in route.  Fortunately, we have a very good friend who is very capable, talented, and more importantly, was willing to take on our shelf building project.

When it came time to install the shelves, we had to pull all of the books that were fortunate to be on shelves and add them to their friends on the floor.  Our library was a chaotic maze of towering stacks of books.  One false move, window-rattling clap or thunder, or cat who thought stack hopping her next new sport would cause the tenuous at best piles to be reduced to something that looked like a demolition site.

Fortunately the cat stayed away and the weather cooperated.  It was not until the new shelves started being moved in that said cat became interested.  I think she saw the new installation as six story kitty condos.  She spent a great deal of time choosing her perfect unit - checking accessibility and view from every possible location.

This photo makes "the neighborhood" look much more desirable than it really is.  There is just no truth in advertising!!!

Blueper B saw the the real deal and was not at all impressed.

He was not interested in renting a condo anywhere near here. Lol!

Once our friend got the shelves installed, my job of reshelving all of the books began.  I have no idea how many books we have, bu I do know we have approximately 160 linear feet of shelving, that's 1932 inches.  If we assume that the average width of a book is 1.5 inches and that most of our shelves are full, I'd say we have well over 1000 books.  That is a lot of putting book on shelves!!! Our goal was to get them on the shelves grouped in broad categories - poetry and prose, history,  biography, language, creativity, writing, photography and so on.  We will make a second pass and fine tune our categories and alphabetize the shelves a little later.  At this point, we just needed the books off of the floor and in some semblance of order.

Who knew that we had two copies of the Tao of Pooh and three of the Te of Piglet, Dr. Seuss titles in five different languages, two editions of Grimm's Fairy Tales - the happily-ever-after version and the not-so-happily-ever after earlier edition, an American history book with a publication date of 1865, family Bibles dating back to 1890, and a ridiculous amount of poetry.

Though it seemed next to impossible, my goal for today was to get everything off the floor and on a shelf.  This is where I was at lunchtime.

And at dinnertime...Voila!

We are just waiting on drawer and cabinet fronts.  I have a few little aesthetic things left to do, but for the most part I am done!  Even though things aren't alphabetized yet, I am confident that I can now put my hands on any book that I want in no more than a minute or two.  What a great feeling!

The dogs now think the real estate here is pretty nice.  That cat's final choice for her abode is a single cat residence in the form of an upholstered chair rather than in a multi-story cat condo.

Now to take time to relax and read, read, read!!!