Weekend Workroom: Library & Cataloging

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:

Yes, the paint on the walls was high gloss. It was everywhere, which is one of the main reasons we painted EVERYTHING. We replaced the light when we moved in, and the carpet and the stairs this past spring, but I digress…
And now it looks like this:

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.

Next task: Replace the desk. We haven’t found one we like yet. Give it time.

Weekend Workroom: A Little Bit of Everything and a Lot of Rocks

Our weekends have been a bit jumbled lately, as we’ve sought to keep our lives on track with our one-car status and we’ve had a slew of events that have kept things interesting. Not much time for crafting (though I’m hoping to change that this week – more in Thursday’s post), but Chris and his parents have been doing a lot of work outside.

Two Weekends Ago (April 20-22): Missions Weekend
In preparation for Christopher’s upcoming trip to Nepal in June with some of the youth kids, we helped put together and run a Nepalese-style lunch and servant auction for some fundraising (the lunch happens every year – the food styles just rotate). It was a great event, but a lot of work lugging tables and chairs into place the night before, and helping get everything ready to go that Sunday. Overall, raised about $3000 for the trip and went home and slept (at least I think that’s what we did).

Last Weekend (April 27-29): Grab Bag Weekend
We were scheduled to go to the regional marriage conference, but decided it was a bit too much to sandwich between the track meet Chris was scheduled to coach on Friday afternoon and the prom that we were scheduled to chaperone Saturday night. But it was a good set of days. I went with Chris to work on Friday and was blessed to be able to do some shopping for things we had been putting off for a while due to finances (more on that in Thursday’s post, as well), and then I joined him at the track meet (which I’ll admit I actually enjoyed quite a bit, even when I wasn’t reading). Saturday morning, we had donuts and spent some time together before doing some more long-put-off shopping, Chris mowed the lawn, and we went to prom. I don’t know why any parent in his or her right mind would send a teenager to prom. It was awful. There are not really other words to describe it. But my date was great!

This Weekend (May 4-6): Rock Haul
Christopher’s parents came up Friday night, so I spent my day off Friday cleaning the house (mostly because it really, really needed it – it is spring after all). The reason they came up? To figure out a solution for the west side of our house, where Chris found another layer of rock under the ground cover when he tried to clean it all up last summer. With the use of a crazy machine that moves stuff like rock and the creative re-use of old railroad ties, everything is looking much better, and it’s not even quite done. More on that will be posted when it’s finished at the other blog (http://mercuryreno.blogspot.com).

So, it has definitely been a mishmash around here lately. Lots of things happening with our weekends. And our camera needs to be charged, but we can’t find the correct cord, so picture-taking is somewhat limited. What few pictures I take, I have been taking with my phone and sending through my Twitter account. Here are two to note:

Christopher riding with the “Dingo.” Yes, that was it’s name. No, it did not eat any babies.
Just rocks. But it helped us get our driveway back, and we are very grateful for that.

Completely unrelated to most of this post, but I made two of these roasted red pepper
and Italian sausage pizzas this week. They were absolutely awesome.

Weekend Workroom: A Little Renovation

We (and by “we,” I mean Chris and my father-in-law) have been renovating our garden level this weekend. Because our main computer is out of commission, I’m hoping to post pictures along with my post over at The Mercury Renovation tomorrow evening, if possible. It’s pretty cool, to be honest. It doesn’t look so nasty down there anymore…

A sneak peak:

Before the demolition. Lots of mismatched stairs, one broken (third from the bottom) that came up with the carpet, and non-square walls.
After demolition. the challenge of re-leveling the stairs took a lot more time than it really should have. We went out the front door and in the garage door for many, many hours.
Newly finished stairs! They are sturdy and beautiful, and we will eventually paint them – but, for now, I’m just totally stoked not to have to skip over a step or two when descending.

You’ll see more in the post! There’s a lot going on around here…