I love books.
I don’t know that anyone who knows me at all would fail to understand that statement. The seasons where I let myself read, I read voraciously.
And for many, many, many years, my dream has been to have my books cataloged and organized and in matching shelves.
Chris has tried to make this dream a reality for several years. In our first year of marriage, at our second residence, he “built in” bookshelves (as much as he could in a rental) to give us a bit of extra storage space and a nice piece for our living room. We added a bookshelf that we used as pantry space at our next residence (since the house we lived in had ample pantry space). Then we migrated everything over to our last apartment (man, we’ve moved a lot) and just used the same configuration of shelving because a) we had no money, and b) we decided it wasn’t worthwhile until we had a permanent address again.
When we moved into our home (yay for permanence) last spring, one of the things I set my heart on was to finally purchase some matching bookshelves and create my long-dreamt-of library, but it was one of the last indoor things we could do because it wasn’t an essential piece of making our home work. Because IKEA has finally made its appearance in Colorado, we figured through all the pieces we desired and a timetable in which to purchase each of them.
But we’ve continued to purchase other things that have been more needed in the meantime, so the project has continued to be pushed off by our circumstances.
For my birthday, Christopher’s parents purchased the bookshelves and Christopher assembled and put them in place in our home.
And it is freaking awesome.
This post will kind of do double-duty because there’s so much more of my heart wrapped up in it than there probably should be, so it fits here but it also fits over at the renovation blog. There will be other stuff featured at the reno blog, though, if you want to check out some of the other things we’ve been up to lately (who am I kidding? You can see what Christopher has been up to…).
Our garden level/den looked like this when we moved in:
We used the Billy bookcase system from IKEA. I took the measurements for the room and used their Billy planner (http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/rooms_ideas/planner_billy/index.html) to figure out how to make the best use of the wall space. The bins on the left shelf are a reddish color (also from IKEA, but I don’t remember what they’re called), and are the perfect storage space for Christopher’s shoes. The chair is a Poang from IKEA, and it’s super-comfy. We plan to get a second one in time, but it’s a great spot to read, rest, and enjoy the coolness (thermally) of our garden level.
Perhaps the largest piece of this, however, was actually cataloging the books. I wanted a system, but not just one of my own… so I landed on the Dewey Decimal system. It’s simpler than the Library of Congress system and a lot of more recently published materials actually include the numbers with the publication information. I still have a few more boxes to go before I’m done, but I’ve made some pretty incredible headway the past few weeks.
I am a little confused over the difference between [Fic] and the 800 classification for literature, and I can only assume that it has to do with intelligence level ([Fic] being more juvenile fiction; 800s being “literature” with a snooty holding of the head). The “younger” books have been moved upstairs with the bookshelves that used to be downstairs. It seems to work well for us. There also wasn’t sufficient room for our bibles on the shelves, so they got their own bin on the Expedit.
For the cataloging, I’ve been using a freeware program called “Book Hunter.” I found it through the Apple App Store. It doesn’t have a plethora of bells and whistles, but it does the job and has plenty of color to keep me happy when the books’ covers are in the system.
Anyway, I keep looking down the stairs and thinking, “Man, that looks good” and sighing a bit because it’s pretty cool.