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Every Book Needs a Home

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” 
–Anna Quindlen


Eric was on vacation last week, and I did a lot of tweeting about the new bookcase we were building. You see, the huge bookcase we built last summer is already full, and I was starting to pile books up under the window in our living room. They were piled neatly (I’m a little lot OCD), but every book needs a home, and the floor is not a satisfactory home for books–not in my house, at least. We’re also running out of room to put new bookcases (note: I think we need a bigger house), so I designed a bookcase that would fit nicely under that same window. Then we got down to the dirty work…

Bookcase dirty work

We have wood. And screws. And a sander.


I didn’t take a bunch of photos of our work this time, because quite frankly, I was too excited and I just wanted to get it built without a lot of interruptions. Eric did a huge amount of work, though, and I am very thankful to have a husband who loves to build stuff. You know men and their power tools–POWER TOOLS.

Bookcase finished and in the house!

The lovely bookcase in its new home + obligatory photo of Rascal wishing he could get at those birds outside.

Ta-da! That was quick, wasn’t it? Not really. I’m just going to skip right over how I had to spend three days polyurethaning, which is the WORST part of building a new bookcase. It’s so tedious, and it makes my neck and shoulders hurt. Blah. But in the end, it looks great.

Books piled up, waiting to be shelved in their new home.

Books on books on books.

The books that were piled up on the floor are so happy to be meeting their new home. I’m pretty sure I heard them sigh in ecstasy. They almost started jumping onto the shelves on their own, but I held them back so I could sort them properly.

Books all shelved.

Done! I love it.

Amazingly enough (or not so amazing, if you know me pretty well), the shelving took about forty-five minutes. I kept rearranging until I was satisfied that they were properly sorted. I’m such a book nerd. Also, we had to leave a space open in the middle because there is an electrical outlet on that wall that we need access to, so we decided to make that the Kindle Charging Station–now we can stand our Kindles up in that space to charge them, and Rascal won’t be tempted to chew on the cords. Hallelujah!

Books sorted on the left side.

Books sorted on the left side.

Yes, I sorted the books according to the challenges for which they are being read. I thought this would be the easiest way to keep track of the individual stacks they were originally in.

Books shelved on the right side.

Books sorted on the right side.

That “finished books to be reviewed” shelf makes it look like I am pretty caught up with reviews. DON’T BE FOOLED. I have a bunch more on my Kindle that I haven’t reviewed yet. I need to stop being such a slacker.

So there you have it–the wonderful, beautiful, much-loved new bookcase. I think we did a pretty good job. It looks great in our living room, and my books are happy to have a real home. Thank you, Eric, for all of the time and hard work you put into this for me–couples that build bookcases together, stay together. You’re the best.

{ 31 comments… add one }

  • tnbbc April 25, 2012, 10:21 am

    Love the new shelves and love that you and your man made it together. Wish my guy was that handy!!!

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 10:29 am

      Thanks, Lori! We actually had a ton of fun building it, too.

  • readinpleasure April 25, 2012, 10:36 am

    This is so wonderful. (Eric must really be a great guy) My books are stacked in boxes under the bed, on top of wardrobes, and in bookcases and still I have some in the cabinet in my office (workplace). My home is small and there is virtually no space for anymore, but I keep buying. Read my latest purchase on my blog.

    BTW, I love the view from the window. Are you sure Rascal is not enjoying the view of the lush greenery rather?

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 10:51 am

      Yes, Eric is pretty wonderful. I’m very lucky. (Then again, so is he. Hahaha!)

      I’m pretty sure Rascal just wants to be out there, birds or not. The birds would be an added bonus.

  • Cassie April 25, 2012, 11:06 am

    I love how you’ve organized all your books by challenges. I should really do that. You’re organization is inspiring.

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Thank you!
      (I love the name of your blog–it’s fantastic.)

      • Cassie April 25, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Haha thank you dear. :)

  • jenn aka the picky girl April 25, 2012, 11:34 am

    Yea! This is fantastic. Spacious and practical. My TBR shelf is crazy out of control…

    Everything looks so nice and neat now, and I love the Kindle charging station. :)

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 12:50 pm

      Thanks, Jenn! The depth of the bookcase will ultimately serve many purposes: I plan on putting a nice runner on it and adding a couple of plants on top; then at Christmas time, we are going to put our flat screen TV on it and move the entertainment system right out of the living room to make room for the tree. It should all work out very well.

  • adamsbibliomania April 25, 2012, 1:04 pm

    It is so encouraging to see there are others out there who are as meticulous (cough obsessive cough) as me! :P Looks great Heather :)

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 1:07 pm

      Ah, I do prefer “meticulous.” That makes us sound more refined. Good call! Haha!

      Thank you, Adam!

  • Nicolle April 25, 2012, 3:44 pm

    Beautiful work!
    I’m in need of a new bookshelf as well. Currently, my books are doubled up on my Ikea “Billy”, some are stacked on top and others are on the floor.

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 4:58 pm

      Thank you, Nicolle! The next time we run out of room, I have no idea where we would put another bookcase. Haha! At that point, I may need to start stashing them elsewhere.

  • jeandayfriday April 25, 2012, 3:45 pm

    Nice work! I need to do this in my house. I have books everywhere. I love the spot for the Kindle! :)

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 4:59 pm

      Thank you! It was a lot of fun to build, and very rewarding.

  • Vasilly April 25, 2012, 5:04 pm

    Yay for a new bookcase! Plus, you have room. ;-) I love how you put the case under the window. You can sit, read, and enjoy the view.

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 5:35 pm

      Once the cat gets used to it, I have a feeling he’ll be the one to do the most sitting on it. Haha! He’s not really sure about it, yet.

  • Tatiana April 25, 2012, 5:06 pm

    I was about to say… (re: the books to be reviewed section). Also: can I have your cat?

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 5:34 pm

      No, you may not have Rascal. Haha!

  • thetruebookaddict April 25, 2012, 9:14 pm

    That is gorgeous! I love it. Great job. You know how I deal with the plug issue (really no choice)? I feed an extension cord in between or up over. I have way too many shelves and little wall space to leave the plugs unblocked. :)

    I have a guy building me three 6 ft tall, 5 shelf bookcases. They’re going to be melamine MDF so not real wood, but they’re bound to be better than the ones I have purchased at the store. Of course, this was before our current financial problems, but he said he would wait for me to get the money together. Pretty nice, huh?

    Oh, I redesigned The True Book Addict today…well, more of a tweak, I guess. Stop by and take a look if you get a chance.

    • Heather April 25, 2012, 9:32 pm

      Thank you, Michelle! :) I probably would have done that with any other outlet, but we literally use this one ALL the time, so I wanted it open. I really liked the idea of having somewhere to tuck the Kindles away while they’re charging so they don’t get messed up by a certain nosy cat.

      It’s awesome that you’re having more bookshelves built–I know for a fact that you need them more than I do! Hahaha!

      Your blog’s new look is very nice. I like it!

  • jaynesbooks April 25, 2012, 10:30 pm

    I need to organize my books as well, but that won’t be happening this weekend due to family that is in town and there is quite a bit that I need to clean up, including books.

    • Heather April 26, 2012, 7:37 am

      Have fun with your family!

  • Amritorupa Kanjilal April 26, 2012, 7:14 am

    Brillant work, Heather! I’m having a new bookcase built too ( I’m not as handy with tools as you seem to be)


    • Heather April 26, 2012, 7:46 am

      Thank you, Amritorupa! Honestly, if I’d had to build this on my own, I would have bought one from a store instead. The only tools (that we used to build this) that I’m really handy with are a tape measure, a pencil, and a paint brush. Haha! Eric did the majority of the tool work.

  • lucysfootball April 26, 2012, 11:11 am

    Gorgeous! I’ve run out of room for bookcases in my teeny little place – the books are starting to take over. Which I’m fine with, but it’s making me a little crazy with the messiness. :)

    • Heather April 26, 2012, 5:56 pm

      Thanks, Amy! My book piles were orderly, but they were getting on my nerves. I think we’ve run out of room now, too, unless we get rid of other furniture…

      “Hey, kids! You’ll have to sit on the floor now, and we got you sleeping bags, but don’t those bookshelves look great?!”

  • Leah April 26, 2012, 4:46 pm

    The news shelf looks great! And you have mad organizational skills – I love it!

  • ProfMomEsq April 29, 2012, 4:11 pm

    The shelves are marvelous, and I laughed out loud at you spending 45 minutes organizing the books. (I am laughing *with* you, not *at* you, because I am “meticulous,” too.) We are a family of four in a very small house, I so I finally had to break down and donate a huge portion of the books I collected over the years. Otherwise, we would have no wall in the house without a bookcase, and a dining room table would have been made of books. It was sad, but I make myself feel better thinking about the souls who will get to read those books now.

    Have fun moving those TBR books to the other shelves! :-)

    • Heather April 29, 2012, 6:23 pm

      I have a feeling that I should really go through my books and look for donation-ables, but…I don’t think I’m ready, yet. I get this book-collection gene from my father, who probably has somewhere around 2000-3000 books (no exaggeration) boxed up, and currently in storage. There are so many things that I’m willing to give up, but books just aren’t one of those things at this time. I’ll probably end up like my dad, with books stored in boxes wherever I can find room. Sigh.

  • Reading Wrap-Up: April 2012 | Between the Covers May 2, 2012, 8:03 am

    […] since I typed up the reading wrap-up for March. But I did some exciting things in April! Eric and I built a new bookcase, and I changed the look of the blog; I am super happy with both. I was looking forward to getting a […]

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