Moving Woes of the Bookish Variety

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. ~ Anna Quindlen

I am moving. One of the things I try to do whenever I move is cull some books from my shelves. It is a difficult process, because, well, I love books. On the other hand, the hubby often asks me “Are are ever going to read that again?” Or, “If you haven’t read that in 5 years, maybe it’s time to let it go.” Both are fair points, but seeing as he is not a book lover, he just does not understand my attachment.

This time, I knew the process was going to be even worse. I knew that I was going to have to give up one of my bookcases.

My mostly-cleared off bookshelf

The hubby, for all his non-bookish ways, built this shelf for me when we were first married. We had moved into our first house, and I needed a bookshelf. All I had was a small shelf I had used in my college apartment. I wanted a shelf where I could put all my books. We quickly discovered that bookshelves were expensive. We did not have the money to spend several hundred dollars on a decent quality shelf that was big enough for my books, and other ephemera. I finally turned to the (quite handy) hubby and said, “Well, why don’t you make me one?” And he did.

I designed it with shelves of varying sizes and heights, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, which I thought would be enough room. That, *ahem*, turned out not to be the case. (See above for my bookish ways). The shelf has survived a trip from Florida to New Jersey, and New Jersey to New York. It’s made it five years.

Along the way, I discovered I am not, in fact, an engineer. Although the shelf looks good, a design flaw has led to some sagging, and general weakening. Plus, we tried to make this on the cheap side, so it doesn’t have a back, which would have helped keep it stable. As you can see in the picture below, the only part of the shelf that touches the ground are the very outer pieces. I’ve tried to keep it from sagging too much, or even breaking, by shoving old school binders under one side. Classy, I know. The hubby also screwed this case to the one on the left, again, hoping to lend it some strength. Alas, I knew that these were temporary fixes, and eventually I would have to part with my shelf.

My flawed design

And now the time for goodbye has arrived. Fare thee well, my dear bookshelf. I shall miss you.


5 thoughts on “Moving Woes of the Bookish Variety

  1. Aww: I'm thinking about building myself some bookshelves one of these days! Fortunately I have a dad and best friend who are both really into woodworking and more than happy to advise me. ;)I just culled over half of my own book collection, and I love that the only ones left are by authors I really, really love plus about 40 TBR. Somehow, it makes my shelves more special!

  2. Amy: Thanks!Eva: Good luck building your shelves. I'd like to give it another try, eventually. It will have to wait until I am more settled in a place. I've been living a rather nomadic existence the last few years.

  3. I love this post. :)I never had a book shelf until I got married (just under two years ago). When I lived at home, I used the linen closet outside my bedroom to house my books. And it was FULL. Matt keeps hounding me to cull, but I have a really hard time letting go of things, so I don't think it will ever happen. But, I have been trying to keep myself in check with buying more books, and so far, it's working!

  4. Oh, culling books is so hard! I just moved myself, so I know how you feel. Maybe hubby will build you a new shelf when you move :)Just discovered your blog via BBAW. Yay for discovering new blogs!

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