Sunday, November 20, 2011

My books, my shelves

     In "The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot," one of the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators mystery novels for young people by Robert Arthur, The young detectives are given a series of clues to figure out. One was, "It sits on a shelf like a well-fed elf." The solution? A book.
     Digital reader fans can store all of their books on one slim device, or on a laptop or desktop computer. Since I don't have one, I need not a shelf for a single fat elf, but more like an entire shire for my village of hobbits.
Ikea's Billy bookshelves "corner combination."

     My wife and I were considering  built-in bookshelves, but the time and expense were prohibitive. A colleague said Ikea had some kit furniture bookcases that looked almost built-in. After a trip to Canton, we purchased four six-foot-high "Billy" bookcases. (Extensions can be placed atop them, bringing them almost to the ceiling. They even sell a library-style ladder).
     I installed them in an "L" formation in one corner of a room that I now think of as "the library," giving us shelf space for about 500 books. That's more than enough space for most collections, but only about a fourth of my wife's and mine, so we're still using other, older shelves scattered throughout the house as well.
     My goal is to place every fiction book in alphabetical order by author, with other sections divided by category, and the tallest, heaviest books on the bottom shelves. My wife jokes (at least I think she's joking) that we should arrange them by color. Since I'm willing, even eager, to do the work of arranging them, I will probably prevail.

    How do you display your books? Let me know.


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