Sunday, October 7, 2012


First order of business is to ask you to please ignore the woman on the ladder in a skirt in high heels. 

Second - this photograph isn't my ideal bookshelf but in the interest of time, I simply chose a picture. Otherwise, this blog would never get written. Which is exactly why I am writing this blog...  because I don't know how I could ever choose a bookshelf.

A childhood friend of mine now lives in NYC... not a place I would necessarily want to live but she does make it so inviting in her social media updates. She posts pictures of her dining experiences and delightful yard (yes - she has a yard!) and I long to take a trip to THE city to see her. 

This morning she posted a picture of her new bookshelves. My mind raced....  new bookshelves? The possibilities are endless! The best part of this fantasy is that just last week I mentioned to my husband that I would like to have floor to ceiling bookshelves when we do some more remodeling and he agreed. 

Game on!  This morning with the sharing of a picture from NYC by a lady I haven't seen in 30+ years, the urgency was renewed and I have now spent no less than 45 minutes looking at pictures of bookshelves online. 

Where do I want these bookshelves? Not just which room, but which wall? Do I want people to be able to see them and their contents or should my arrangement be more private? I saw one photo of bookshelves (floor-to-ceiling of course) covered by drawstring curtains.  That is a novel concept and just might help keep some of the dust off my displayed items. 

Items? What do you think is acceptable to put on a bookshelf? Books only? A photo frame tucked in here and there? Mementos from vacations - shells? shadowboxes? Attractive storage bins and boxes? If I choose a photo frame or mementos, do I need access to an electrical outlet for a digital frame or an accent light to show off my treasures? 

How will the books be arranged? By genre? By size? By spine color? There was a photo of books arranged by color -- not sure that is even remotely appealing to me.

What is on a bookshelf and how those items are displayed is an art. I saw home improvement shows talk about rules for bookshelf displays... something about an odd number I believe? A messy bookshelf can cause more stress and clutter in a room and give off the aroma of a pack rat. (Did I mention I saw a bookshelf covered by a beautiful curtain?)

Should all the levels be traditional shelves or should some areas have doors behind which I can hide clutter or keep my "excess" so I can change the display occasionally? 

How tall will this masterpiece need to be? All the way to the ceiling? Let's face reality - I am 5'2" ...  anything taller than 6 foot will require me to get a ladder or step stool for access. 

How will the shelves be arranged? Dress-right-dress? I have often been told I am too linear.... Shelves of different heights and lengths to accommodate some of my favorite coffee table books as well as my favorite tattered paperbacks? Special cubicles for treasures? 

Where do I even start? Graph paper! I know it is a great tool for design projects like this.  Are there people at the home improvement stores who can help me design this like they do my kitchen? Scott is taking a CAD class now. I am certain a bookshelf is not a challenge that requires 3-D or layered design, but it might be fun to use it. 

I am certain I am not the first person to face this dilemma! But - it just occurred to me... perhaps there are very few of us left. How much space does it take to store thousands of books these days? My Kindle is approximately 6" x 8".