Friday, March 21, 2008

New bookcases!

For a while, I've been wanting to get rid of a very flimsy, unattractive, and outdated shelf-thing-a-ma-bob that we've had in the main room (living room? family room? whatever you want to call it) of the house. It served its purpose as a "thing holder" (everything from a stereo and CDs to framed photos and other curios), but it was from the 70's and had definitely seen better days. The surfaces of some shelves had suffered water damaged at some point, which made the ugly dark imitation woodgrain look even worse. Just take my word for it-- it probably wouldn't have won any beauty contests even when it was new. ;o)

This weekend, we dismantled it and put in its place some much-needed book storage. (With doors! Where I can hide things! And not have to dust them! Yay!) We still have to fiddle with one of the doors to get it to close properly-- and I'll probably rearrange some things and put a few odds and ends on top-- (It looks too empty right now, I think.)-- but for the most part, it's all set up and oh, so much nicer-looking than what was there before!

Here are a few photos from different angles:

From the middle of the room, looking over a couch:

From the foyer:

From the door in the main room:

If you're wondering, these aren't all our books-- not by a long shot! We still have the bookcase Donald built us in the guest room. All those shelves are still full. . . Then there are a couple of full shelves in our bedroom. . . Oh, and some arts and crafts books in another room, as well as who knows how many other books scattered here and there-- cook books in the pantry, computer books in the office, current reading on nightstands, etc. There's certainly no shortage of books around here!

Of course, some of these books are more for show/admiring than for reading. Let me count how many copies of Anne of Green Gables we have, just for the fun of it. . . Fourteen, I think. (g) Many of them in Swedish. Don't ask me why we "need" that many. I suppose if we ever have a whole bunch of kids (or grandkids), they'll each have their own copy to read. ;o) Seriously, I think Donald bought many of these cheaply-- some because they're older editions. I think one of them is a first edition of the Swedish translation. Obviously, this is an exceptional case; we have just one copy of most of our books, which is plenty (and sometimes is more than enough, depending on the book). . . . Though it'd be kind of funny to have a whole bookcase filled with different editions of a single novel, wouldn't it? (g) It'd definitely be a conversation piece.

On a tangent-- Isn't is funny how manufacturers'/distributors' photos of bookshelves rarely have all that many books in them? For example, here's our bookshelf, as the manufacturer wants you to see it:

There are exactly eighteen books stretched out over all six (exposed) shelves. I suspect they do this for the same reason that home decor magazines usually show sparsely populated bookshelves: They must think it looks better this way. Maybe it does. Less cluttered-- less chaotic. Plenty of room to display a tasteful arrangement of candles and blown glass vases. But you'd think that most people in the market for a bookcase probably have, I don't know, books they need to store, so why not show us what it'll look like when it's crammed full with a motley crew of tattered paperbacks, with the occasional leather-bound extravagancy propped up between broken-spined hardcovers? I think people'd appreciate the honesty. ;o)

Yeah, and the photos of bedroom suites could forego the luxuriant bedclothes in favor of an unmade bed with assorted garments strewn here and there. . . (g) Ok, it'd never work. So many people are buying the illusion of what they'd like their lives to be, as much as the furniture that's to be the set. Drat those marketing experts! They think they're so smart! ;o)