Thursday, June 16, 2005


Awhile back, Robert posted something about arranging books on bookshelves, and I promised I'd respond when I had time. But first I wanted to take pictures of the bookshelves, the ONLY bookshelves I currently have in my house. OK, not true (I'm already lying like a rug!): there is a cheap 3-shelf unit in the spare room which has a bunch of crap on in, including some books...ok, they are really catalogs, but there are some travel books there too: Fodor's Greece, I think, among others. And my sewing box. And the mending that's been waiting for attention. And...well, a lotta other crap, God knows what; I don't remember right now.

Sparky has an even smaller bookshelf in his room, which is absolutely stuffed with his books. He has more books stacked on the floor in front of it. There must be close to 200 books in that corner, next to the head of his bed. The CDs are piled on the other side of the head of the bed. ;-) I really need to get the poor child a CD rack...

ANYWAY. All my scrapbooks are on one of the built-in cupboards in the living room, with this school year's memorabilia stacked on top of them. It's bad. I'm not posting pictures of THAT!

I think the Beast has got books in his workshop area too, but not on shelves, just sort of where they fell when he stopped needing to refer to them. He has a whole set of "Family Handyman" books, but those are still packed.

OK, we've reached my dirty little secret: we moved in October 2003, and we have not unpacked a
s i n g l e
b o x
of books. Not a one. There are at least six of them cram-jammed under the steps in the basement. That's not counting Beast's Handyman collection (probably about 30 volumes) or the Gardening collection (probably 15). Sigh. We still have college textbooks, for crying out loud!

For the first couple of months, the bookshelves in the kitchen were completely empty (by the way, these shelves are where the pantry was originally planned to be, but that's not enough space for pantry, so we got nice built-in bookshelves there instead). They looked so nice that way, but gradually we started dumping stuff there. Then Christmas occurred, which in our house means books. And then {poof}: DISASTER.

I straightened them up before company arrived last month, and then took photos.

The bottom of the top shelf is probably 6 feet off the ground, so I put all the breakable, DON'T TOUCH THIS SPARKY! stuff there (cuz I break things too). From left to right: crystal candy dish (wedding gift), small brown teapot (scored for two bucks at a garage sale so my Brit friends/family can have proper tea), crystal decanter (first thing on the shelves, a housewarming gift from coworkers of the Beast's), a porcelain Japanese doll (a gift from a penpal--it used to smell like rosewater), a ceramic pitcher (I use it as a vase), the pitcher my mom used to make iced tea in (I think it's radioactive--yes seriously--it's definitely cracked; I don't use it).

2nd shelf down: no clue what those big ugly notebooks are, but on top are the atlases. Then a rose vase I bought a couple of years ago, and a couple of candles. The books are the Beast's, more candles, and more "what the hell?" books: the bottom two are my dad's rescued in January from Mom's apartment. They are commentaries on Acts.

Next shelf: These are most of the books that we've gotten since we moved. This is the shelf that "just grew" after Christmas 2003. And the "decor shelf" which was a total mess before I cleaned it up. Yes. It's clean now. (see below) Huh. Moving on.

The whole shelf unit

Fourth shelf down: Phone books, current happenings (in the mag file) and still more candles. Are you sensing an addiction? Next to the candles is all the cooking stuff; recipe cards, book stand and cookbooks (see below).

Almost at the bottom: More, "decor." A fish from Michelle (why? I don't collect fish or care about them, but it's pretty and handmade), a box of thumbtacks, a ceramic heart box (a wedding gift), a candle holder (why am I keeping it? I don't like it that much), aloe (which desperately needs a new pot) , a beeswax candle from England (purchased in 1985) in the back, and houseplant fertilizer. Then, more books, IN ORDER (still here, Robert?): they are all Bible study guides, or "Bible-y" things anyway. Dante is there. The two dark blue books toward the right are more of my dad's. The sideways stuff? No clue, they are Beasty's, with a beaver on top of them. Don't go there. hee

Bottom shelf: the current crop of library books, a card I found eons ago with my mom's and my sister's names in it (not really them, but .... ok I'm weird), some small notebooks, Sparky's handprint in plaster, and a plaster praying hands thing I made for my mom about 25 years ago. Across the way are about 80% of the Bibles we own, along with the dictionary (which belongs elsewhere...Sparky?!), the cover from one Bible on a sample of the collection of 50 empty file boxes my dad for some reason had collected before he died.


This is a close-up of the sorts of things we have collected lately: Laura Ingalls Wilder set, Trading Places, medical dictionary, Egyptian hieroglypic dictionary, Diana Gabaldon books. There is no order. It's insane.

Books left

More of a close of of the right-hand junk shelf (Sparky made the plate behind the abortion sticker; I think it's an interesting ironic statement). The snowmen are Packer fans. We used to keep our evening prayers in it, but I (eventually) started to feel that was a little blasphemous. It took about 4 years, though.

Cookbooks, yeah. [Yawn] The one at the far left is a 3-ring-binder of recipes I've collected on cards over the years. I also use Desperation Dinners a lot, but the one I use most isn't there (must be in use, eh?). Joy of Cooking. Better Homes & Gardens. Whatever. And the file folder is new recipes I haven't filed yet.

I'm just noticing that a library book I thought I'd lost is sitting on this shelf--can you spot it? I have to remember to grab it and bring it back tomorrow; it's REALLY overdue!


A little further away...that thing on the bottom shelf with the football stitches? That's Sparky's Bible cover, sitting next to his Sunday School homework folder. Yes, we have two of the same Bible: I got one for teaching Sunday School the year they gave them out to my class. Sparky's copy of it is the infamous one in which he's inked, "I HATE MY MOM!!"

Cookbooks and Bibles

So, Robert. Are you twitching? These are the most unlibrarian-y shelves imaginable. Perhaps I'll be embarrassed enough now to open some of the boxes. I'll take pictures when that happens, but I don't see it being done anytime in the next, oh 3 months. It's a good winter chore. And I'll have to buy more shelves anyway.

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