Sunday, 3 August 2008

A tour of our bookshelves

While on holidays, Jeff knocked together another bookshelf for his study. Since we've been married, he has made five bookshelves from scratch, put together four bookshelves from Ikea and we've been given three bookshelves by friends. Admittedly, we did sell Jeff's first two bookshelves to the people who bought our house in Darwin, but we sold an awful lot of books then as well. I had one bookshelf when we got married. Jeff didn't have any. This is what we have now (and please excuse the mess - if I waited until all these rooms were tidy before taking photos, I'd never do this post).

In the study (this first picture is our newest, quickie bookshelf):In the lounge:In the dining room, also affectionately known as the library:(Yes, that one's my favourite: it holds my Penguin Classics and our Great Books of the Western World set, as well as providing a surface above Samuel's reach for me to organise homeschool materials. Not to mention it is the pinnacle of Jeff's bookmaking efforts - it took him six months to build, in between lectures.)In case you weren't counting, that was eleven bookshelves in all. At the moment, we have two free shelves for books (at the bottom of that last bookshelf). Amazingly, we have no books in boxes, awaiting a home. However, a number of our bookshelves have books on the top and there are quite a few shelves which are double-packed, which isn't exactly optimal.

Where on earth has this obsession with bookshelves come from? From a love of books! Combined with the possibilities of possessing an entire house, rather than just a bedroom in a share-house, in which to store those books. We don't need to cull nearly as often or as extensively as we did when we were living at home with our parents or, for Jeff, when he was in army accommodation. And so, I fear, we have become a little undisciplined in our accumulation of books.

A chord was struck in my heart when I read this quote from Anna Quindlen recently:
"I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."

Yes, windows are nice in their place, but blank walls where a bookshelf would fit... I could always do with more of those!

1 comment:

mom24 said...

Heavens to Betsy! That's quite the set of shelves you've got there! I remember feeling guilty (like I wasn't using the library enough and was spending to much on books) when we moved from 1 to 2.5 shelves the end of last schoolyear.

I always loved, loved, loved books when I was growing up and ate them up like candy. However, I've found myself struggling to concentrate these days and wonder if it's just the hecticness of motherhood or if I'm actually losing braincells! I do love books and homeschooling is providing me with the opportunity (and need) to dig into books again.
How many of those books do you end up reading more than once? I am starting to keep only those that I can use a reference or that I know the kids will read in the course of school.
LOVE the quote!

ps. We started school today! No time to blog about it (though I desparately want to!). Schedule is being tweaked (I certainly need more than 15 minutes for a shower! lol!) but seems to be good. I'll share it later...