New Bookcases = Reorganizing

I knew the situation was getting desperate when I had to start stacking books on top of the row on top of the bookcase, and sideways on my bedside table so that I couldn’t see the spines.

So this weekend we journeyed to the fairly new Ikea store in Reading for two more Billy bookcases. We had a short list of other stuff we were looking for, but kept finding useful items – a desk chair for my husband’s attic workstation, a metal filing unit to replace the impossible stationery box we’ve used for years, two shelving units that would together hold all of our CDs and DVDs, etc. – such that by the time we finished our plates of meatballs we’d blown over £200 in store. But hey, we got loads of useful storage solutions, worked on our Christmas shopping, and found some bizarre Swedish foodstuffs to try too.

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I’ve now been able to eliminate all double-stacking and make some more sensible categories. So upstairs in my study I have all classics in one bookcase, and another with one shelf of priority fiction, two shelves of biography and memoir, and one shelf of literary reference. Downstairs one whole bookcase is devoted to nature and field guides, another houses priority fiction paperbacks (two shelves) and science fiction (two shelves, thanks to my husband’s Terry Pratchett collection), and a third is split between travel (one shelf); general nonfiction, music and cats (together a partial shelf), and religion and poetry (two shelves). With the addition of a side table and floor lamp, my reading corner is now complete.

The good news is that I have the equivalent of two small shelves empty, which is unheard of in this household but means we have some room to expand into.

It’s been a busy weekend what with shopping, yardwork, editing and helping my husband make a Christmas cake. The downside is that pretty much zero reading got done. But it’s been fun to do some different things, including walking through chilly, fireworks-lit streets for a pint and a pie at one of our local pubs on Guy Fawkes Night.

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How did you spend the weekend? Did any reading get done?

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21 thoughts on “New Bookcases = Reorganizing

  1. Love Ikea, especially their bookshelves! Not much reading got done this weekend – did manage to read a bit to Fiona, she’s obsessed with “Brave” and the “Llama Llama” books. But it was a really enjoyable weekend spent rediscovering our old college town, finding some delicious new treats at local shops (several of which we’ve earmarked to take you and Chris to when you can visit) and some much-needed yardwork/indoor painting time. Looking forward to more reading to come this week!

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    1. I’d had bad experiences with two other branches of Ikea in the UK — they were just horribly cramped and busy — but the new Reading store is really nice, and we got there for opening so didn’t find it too hectic. We spent four hours there, including lunch, but it was all fairly pleasant.

      I’m glad you guys are enjoying Indiana life and the mixture of old and new experiences 🙂 I hope we’ll manage to road trip out to you before too long!

      As much as we like having our own outdoor space again, the yard is a lot of work. All I did this weekend was rake and sweep some leaves, and it was pretty exhausting. At some point we need to mow the lawn, which we haven’t done since we moved in, but it’s been so wet lately that we don’t know when the grass will actually be dry enough to cut…

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  2. That’s the thing about Ikea, isn’t it? You’re always running into innovative storage ideas there and picking up things you didn’t go in for! But I couldn’t live without my Billys!

    I spent the weekend under the weather with a cold so I read two entire books, and a bit.

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  3. Last Christmas my daughter bought us a leaf blower/vacuum and it has saved us HOURS – although raking leaves can sometimes be therapeutic.
    You can easily lose hours of your life in IKEA – we always end up with a stack of stuff we didn’t know we wanted by the time we get to the checkout.
    Love your new shelves. Bet it feels good to get all the books sorted.
    Even caught myself looking at the titles to see what I could add to my totally ridiculous TBR list!!

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  4. This weekend I’ve been reading John Grisham’s “Testament. ” I can hardly put it down. I visited my neighbor, John, in the Rehab center he recently was transferred to, bought groceries, power-walked in the early a. m., did 2 loads laundry, and attended 3 Revival services at church. More than I imagined!

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  5. Good luck with feeling you’ve got your shelving sorted. That was us six months ago. Guess what? We’ve got books in tottering piles lying on their sides squashed into all sorts of spaces. Our resolve of ‘One book in, another must go’ didn’t last at all….

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  6. Your “before” picture of crowded shelves looks just like mine currently. Problem is I don’t have anywhere left in the house to add a new bookshelf so a major clear out seems to be on the cards. If only I can persuade my husband to do his bit and. It take books back out of the donations pile. As for reading this weekend had me nose to the grindstone on one of the books for my children’s literature course – Little Women which I loathe.

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    1. We were lucky in that we’ve moved to a larger rental house than we’ve ever been in before, so there were sensible holes for bookcases to fit in.

      Oh dear, sorry you’re not enjoying Little Women. I loved it at age 12, but don’t know how it would stand up to a rereading in adulthood!

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  7. I managed to finish most of “The Novel Cure” as well as reading my New Statesman and Saturday newspaper online, also ran and marshalled at a run, which took quite a lot of time out of my weekend. And did some work yesterday afternoon. So not no reading, but not as much as I sometimes get done.

    Love your reading nook and well done on having empty shelves!

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      1. Oh, no, it took me longer than that, I just finished it. I couldn’t have read it as a dipper, as I would have been all twitchy about the cross-references; reading it in one go (sort of), I felt OK about them as I remembered most of them being there and correct. Some of the heading organisation slightly annoyed me. Of course, I should be writing my review right now …

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  8. Nice new shelves! Since we moved to West Wales, our nearest Ikea is quite a trek so I view a trip there as a grand day out. I’m not usually a fan of flavoured water but I couldn’t resist the pine and birch ones – they’re delicious! 🙂

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  9. Congrats on the new shelves: what a lovely feeling. I started Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing this weekend: wonderful so far. Overall, though, I hope there will be more reading in the week to come and the next weekend too!

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  10. Hooray for bookcases! Ikea is so so so tempting, I’ve only been once and I wanted everything in there. Luckily I talked myself our of buying the many throws I decided I needed.

    I’ve had a brilliant and blegh weekend. I’ve not been well, but I’ve had an amazing weekend for reading, especially after a month or so of finding reading very difficult.

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