My life revolves (maybe more than it should) around books and reading. It wasn’t always like this, but near the end of High School and especially once I started college, my obsession, addiction, whatever you’d like to call it took hold. I don’t think there’s a way to cure me of my need for books, but I’m cool with that. It could be a worse addiction.
As I said, college was where most of this started. I had a job and almost no expenses. Because of this and utter boredom between classes, I walked to the local used bookstore more days of the week than I should have. In no time my collection grew and grew. Even once I transferred to a college farther away, I took almost no time to sniff out a used bookstore up there. Strangely it is the top floor in an Ace Hardware, but I found it through seeing a sign in the top floor window. I’m good at this, and I don’t know how (not complaining.)
Even with this change in schools, I never forgot the bookstore I first fell in love with. Each visit home would include at least one if not two trips there. No matter how much time had passed I’d be able to find a book I was planning on buying in the same place. I think I memorized every inch of that store. It was, and still is, like a second home to me.
Because of this, and going to garage sales, a huge sale in a church basement (30 books at once,) now getting into giveaways and other internet book obtaining opportunities, my collection has made a drastic increase. At present I am the proud owner of over 1300 different titles. That number increases daily, and that’s not at all including the ebooks that I’ve been getting recently.
Now after that intro as to how and why I have as many books as I do, I should get to the main topic for this post. I would like to share with my readers where my books are and how I can actually store that many books in so small of a room (my bedroom is roughly 7 feet by maybe 12, but with a bed and a big desk and a dog….there’s not much room left.)
Here in this first set of pictures, we have my paperback shelf. This is where a majority of my books are stores because they are small enough to created this cluster fuck. It is right at the foot of my bed and every now and then I marvel at the fact that this thing hasn’t collapsed upon me in the middle of the night.
In the these pictures it is shown that these books are stacked as efficiently as I can get them. They are stacked laying down. And each shelf has three stacks front to back and four stacks left to right. In the middle section of this bookcase I only have one row of stacks. But behind are five stacks of larger paperback and hardcover books.
Above this shelf is a small stack of books that are too large to fit on the other shelves. These include my copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Kurt Cobain’s Journals, and various literary magazines and other titles.
This section of books is held in place my a make shift frame I made over the summer. Without it there would be unusable space left on top of this bookshelf that houses my dvd collection (and yes I made sure to show my complete 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls. I’m not ashamed to display it and I’m proud to enjoy the show.) These books are mainly the larger hardcovers that wouldn’t fit anywhere else and I can’t fit anymore in there.
The next pictures are of other haphazard shelving ideas I had. In the first picture is the pile of books I had planned to read this year. Normally I don’t bother trying to plan a reading list of for a year, let alone a month. But for 2012, I tried. So far I have read around 20 books this year, and almost none of them have come from this shelf. But, hey, at least I tried. In the other pictures, I show the shelf above my closet. I was able to throw away a large amount of the crap that was up there, but there’s still A LOT to get rid of still. So far this is the space I have available. There is also an entire section for my Animorphs collection (that is almost a complete set).
These two shelves have moved over the years. At one time I had them stacked on top of each other and that never seemed like a great idea. As of now they are safely nearer to the ground and form a corner in front of the closet. Sometimes I like to sit down in the floor and be surrounded by the book while I read. Though recently I’ve had to move my guitars into the corner since my puppy didn’t like sleeping that far away from my bed. His bed is now in front of the dvd bookshelf and children’s bookshelf (mentioned in a little bit.)
In this shelf are housed many of the large paperbacks and hardcovers of the same general size. As with the other shelves (though I failed to mention,) the titles range from the classics to the newest titles I’ve bought. The only discrimination in these shelves (for the most part) is size. And I don’t have much against any one book size. It’s just easier to fit the puzzle of books together this way. This shelf, right now, looks like there are things missing. That’s because there are books missing. Normally this shelf is full, but with taking books out into the to read pile and letting my girlfriend borrow a few the weight on the shelf has been lessened. I think the shelf thanks me for that.
What bookcase is this? Why, this is my bookcase of poetry. Yes, that’s right. I have a bookcase filled only with POETRY. This shelf is home to some of my favorite books, and I haven’t even read many of them. (Mainly in the bottom two sections of the case) are the many of the oldest books in my collection. These date from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. My two oldest in here are a book of The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore from 1884. The second book, and my (for now) oldest is A Library of Poetry and Song dated 1872.
On top of this case is a selection of poetry books that didn’t fit down below anymore. Makes it look a bit nicer up there at least
The children’s shelf. Why does an adult book lover have a children’s shelf? Well I don’t know about you, but i think it’s only right to have children’s books on hand. Many of those stories are just as important to the literary world as any “adult” classic can be. There is also another reason: I realized a while ago that many of these stories that we seem to know and love because they are just part of culture, I have never read them. How many people have read a Winnie-The-Pooh book? Well I haven’t, but I’ve seen the cartoon. That doesn’t cut it for me sometimes. I have the Complete Winnie-The-Pooh in this shelf. As well as stories like Charlotte’s Web, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and too many others too name. There are novels, picture books, the Narnia series, the Harry Potter series, and many Roald Dahl as well. Some I have read, many (like the rest of the my collection) have remained untouched but awaited my eyes.
Everyone needs a little escape from the real world and from serious books of the adult variety. This shelf provides that when needed.
To close this post out, I would like to present my newest book shelf. It’s also my smallest bookshelf while at the same time I can hold more books in it than all my other shelves combined. Here it is on my desk.
Ok, I know it looks like a book doesn’t it. It’s that black one in the middle of the picture. Now let’s take a closer look.
What’s that? is that my copy of Rebecca Hamilton’s The Forever Girl? Why yes it is, and it’s also a shameless plug. But who cares, it’s a great book and still fresh in my mind. Plus at the time I hadn’t started another book on my ereader, so it’s justified. Right?
So here it is, my humongous bookshelf. As of now it’s holding over 300 books, many of which I have in print (since I still love holding real books, hence the book turned ereader case.)
So there it was. That was my collection of books, as it stands for today as least (more are in the mail as I type.) Hope there was something interesting in there and you didn’t wait your time reading hundreds of words for no reason.
As always comments welcome and encouraged. I’d love to hear about your books as well.