I love to read books.
I love to buy books.
I love to reread books.
I hate to give them away, because I might want to read it later.
I once answered a phone poll, and among other things they wanted an estimate of how many books I own. The options were along the following lines:
a 0 books
b 1 book
c 2 or 3 books
d 4 or more books.
I was astounded. So astounded that I can remember that the first and last options were 0 and 4 or more respectively. Who would have fewer than 4 books in their possession? I still don't know what the question was trying to acheive.
When we were having Dad design the house one of the essentials on the list was a wall to place our bookcases against that wasn't in a bedroom. I've known people who have had to give away thier libraries when they are expecting their second child, because they need the spare room for the new baby. This was not going to happen to us.
But over time, one acquires more books (particularly if one is studying and/or needs resources for preaching).
Then one ends up with the following problem:
Books on a cupboard in my office.
One of two huge bookcases full of books against the book wall my Dad made certain was in the house plans (it would've helped if I'd rotated the image, but you get the drift).
Books on a small shelf in the spare bedroom (it needed to be rotated too).
Books on a shelf in the cupboard in our bedroom.
Hmmm. Even though I have brought myself to do some selective culling of the book population, there are a few issues.
1. I'm asthmatic and seem to be having a problem with house dust.
2. I'm a terrible housekeeper and never have time to dust all the bookshelves.
3. I really need to rationalise book locations. After all, there is a perfectly good book wall to have a consolidated library.
We priced cabinets with doors to keep out / minimise the dust and that would take up the entire length of the book wall (which had some space for more bookcases - but inevitably not enough length to fit the little bookcase that lives in the spare bedroom).
We measured the lineal metres of shelf required. Checked out what was available, and ordered three units (2 x 1200mm wide units and 1 x 600mm wide unit). If the skirting and cornice was removed from the sides, and they were made to fit together, they should fit perfectly. We looked at the example in the furniture shop and decided that the shelves were reasonably spaced, and that if we got the 2100mm high rather than the 1800mm high units we would get an extra shelf and that would get us closer to our desired lineal metres of shelf.
They came today.
They looked pretty.
They were heavy for the blokes to manhandle.
My Beloved had to take the skirting board off the walls along the book wall so that they'd fit. We were really hoping that the walls of the alcove were plumb. We joined the three units together and then slid them back into the space.
My Beloved pushed on the joins with his feet and I ran back and forth and pushed the ends back little by little until it fit snugly into the space.
We decided not to specify the distance between the shelves, because we decided that what they had was about right, why would we stuff them around any more? They were already putting doors on, and taking skirting and cornice off, and making them to fit neatly together.
It didn't even cross my mind that a taller 2100mm high bookcase would have THE SAME NUMBER OF SHELVES as the 1800mm one. (Doesn't everyone want to absolutely maximize how many books they can store? Or I might want to have all my 4 books on separate shelves, you know.)
And who would guess that those shelves would be evenly spaced, so there's not a hope of putting an extra shelf in between two existing shelves, because they are all 370mm apart and my shortest books are all 190mm tall.
One of the things I was looking forward to was not having books stacked on their sides.
Another was not having two rows of books on the shelf so that you can't see the back ones.
But my very clever Beloved has come up with a solution.
The smaller books could be stored in two rows with one behind. But this means you can't see what you've got.
However, by putting a half width shelf along the back that is slightly lower than the top of the front row (and entirely behind them) we can raise a back row so that the majority of each spine will be visible.
He is very clever, my Beloved.
And the chance that I'll let him go?