At this point in my life, I am supposed to be downsizing, right? Not adding to my collections of stuff. And I have made a lot of headway in getting rid of unnecessary clothes, kitchen gadgets, multiple sets of dishes, and extraneous papers and photos. But I do make an exception for two things -- teacups and books.
Storage for the books was getting to be a problem. We had to: 1) stop acquiring books for the rest of our lives, 2) get rid of a pile of books (and our collection is already carefully curated), or 3) get some more bookshelves. Guess what we chose to do?
I am pretty excited about these new bookshelves. We got several in December, and then a few more last week.
The family room now has a really cozy, library feel to it. Before, it seemed as though the TV dominated the room, and I really disliked that. But now, this baby is the star of the show.
I moved the furniture around so that my favorite chair faces both the fireplace and the wall of books. It's like sitting with a roomful of my favorite friends. C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Elizabeth Goudge, Wendell Berry, Miss Read, Dostoevsky, Dorothy Sayers . . . wise mentors, all.
I have had so much fun organizing and alphabetizing all my books. From left to right I have fiction, then a shelf of poetry and fairy tales, then nonfiction, then my Harvard classics, cookbooks, then all my Christian books, then children's books (only a fraction of what we once had), then a half shelf of Christmas stories, and then some reference books (dictionaries and a set of encyclopedias).
In another corner is a bookshelf that contains all my how-to books, gardening and home decorating, sewing and writing, beauty and style.
In the library (my husband's office) are two floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with his books (a lot of political and economic books, as well as his favorite fiction, including John Grisholm, Tom Clancy, Lee Child, etc.)
Upstairs are four more loaded bookshelves with books that belong to our children, and in the basement more books belonging to our son who lives out of state. I don't count those.
I'm really wondering where I kept all these books before. For weeks as I've been organizing these shelves I have kept running into more, shoved here and there on tables and in piles on the floor and in boxes in closets and in drawers. This is even after having got rid of at least a dozen large boxes of books from our homeschooling days.
The happiest thing about this is the amount of room still left on the shelves! Plenty of room for nice used books from Amazon, Abe Books, and the library sales. (I seldom buy a new book, unless it is a particular classic. Most of the new books have been gifts.)
And just so you know, I use the library a lot. Not every book gets the privilege of being part of this collection!
Ah. I feel quite rich as I sip my tea and gaze at their friendly and wise faces.
Do you collect books, too?
Do you collect books, too?