I love setting up bookshelves. And I’m kinda nerdy about it.
I think I love it because, for me, it’s a work in progress. I’m forever tweaking – rearranging items or finding spaces for new books, or a photograph. This time around, I’ve even a potted plant or two since the shelves now face a window, so there’s a chance they might actually survive.
For the sake of wall space, we had to downsize from the three Ikea bookshelves (that used to house all of our books) down to two, and I found culling the collection the hardest part, at first. I mean, I’ve been collecting books for years and years – they’re some of my favourite treasures, filled with lovely words and images, happy bits, sad bits, terrifying, electrifying, chilling, angry… pensive. I love my collection of books. Getting rid of a single one of them goes again my natural grain, and felt even slightly sacrilegious.
This time, I had to get ruthless though. And really, after packing the whole lot away into
thousands of boxes hundreds of boxes about thirty smallish but very heavy boxes, I felt different unpacking them. We’d been away from each other for several months, and the time apart did us some good. I came back to them with fresh eyes, and I had less love for some than I thought I had. It’s interesting. And besides the fact that this task of re-shelving was not the only job in the house that requires my attention these days, I wanted it done. (Or at least, mostly done. Right away.)
I do tend to arrange them with the kid lit at on the bottom shelves (obviously) and as your eyes wander up the shelves, they’re separated by fiction and non-fiction, and then subdivided by topic – to some degree. Sometimes they’re arranged by author. Sometimes more by size and colour. I love Shel Silverstein, but he must NEVER have a back cover facing outward… those jacket photos are ENTIRELY to scary-looking. Nearly every kid I’ve ever met says so.
And the edges of all the books have to line up at the front of the shelves – not all pushed to back. (Nerdy, I said.)
As I culled my books, achingly at first, I pulled out the ones that were dated, like design books… they often have a limited shelf-life. There were books like Dog Training for Dummies which I haven’t even looked at in about ten years. Same goes for some of the babies-in-infancy books… how to get them to sleep… when to start on solids… bu-bye now! And I took out a lot of novels I’ve read and will not re-read, or the ones I’ve had for years, but, for a myriad of reasons, no longer hold my interest. Will I really read this? I think to myself… Honestly? No. Out you go then.
It’s been liberating.
As I sorted all my genres however, I noticed there was one pile that was significantly taller than all the rest – The Dirty Books.
Oh my goodness, I have a relatively large collection of smut, it would appear. Lots and lots of erotica, some by famous people, mostly my the infamous though. Some stuff written by women, sometimes for women, gay writers, poets, dull normals… I have photo books that range from art nudes to downright questionable images. And I mean that literally. *cocks head to side and ponders* What… am I… looking at… exactly…? Yeah.
You might be pleased to know there are no pop-ups.
And in order to help tame the stuffed, busy-looking bookshelves, I had to move them. Lo and behold, they fit into a small cabinet I recently emptied (of it’s content of stationary of all things… I tell you, my sicknesses have NO bounds!!) in our bedroom. So here’s where I stash The Dirty Books now:
(Please don’t judge my balls. I know Christmas is over… I’m BUSY, yo!!)
And the crazy part is, there are still lots more on the shelves in the TV room. But as I said, it’s a work in progress. I’d love for the bookshelves to look more artful and airy, but this is where the majority of them have to live, and I’ve pared down to the very least amount of books I can live with. Hey, I got rid of ONE WHOLE BOOKSHELF worth, so I’m doing pretty well, don’t you think?
Next time, I’ll tell you about my love/hate relationship with glossy, expensive, delicious ma-ga-zeeeenes…
But in the meantime… um… where do YOU stash your Dirty? Heh.