State of the Shelves

The Billy bookcases in my library spare bedroom used to look like this:

Bookcase 4
That is, on both walls, jam packed, double depth, no space left at all. More on the top in boxes too.

Now, after a couple of months of real winnowing, one wall in that room now looks like this:


You can see a couple of empty shelves, and most of the rest are now single stacked only. I am on the verge of being able to consolidate these books into 2 bookcases on the opposite wall with a little more purging. Then I can reclaim this space to a) finally get rid of the horrid yellow paint on the walls and b) put the spare bed propped up in my garage in the room which has never had a bed in it!

Only problem is the huge desk in the opposite corner, which I was sitting on to take the photo – I’ll have to dismantle it to get rid of it. It’s a tall modular work station type one and was assembled in the room for those pre-laptop days – it won’t go through the door as it is!

I can honestly say though that this ongoing book cull is proving to be a good experience. All those impulse purchases from the charity shop that I’ll never actually read are going back there by the bag-load (the manageress knows my gift-aid details off by heart), plus many, many more – as I try to distil my TBR into more realistic numbers.

While my desire to add new books to the shelves is essentially undiminshed, I have begun, I hope, to move towards an equilibrium state in my book piles – it’s getting more difficult though…

We’ll see, and if I ever get to that stage where the room does get redecorated and remade into a bedroom with bookshelves rather than a bedroom of bookshelves I’ll be sure to post a photo.

Have a great weekend everyone.  I’m off to play with my books some more.



25 thoughts on “State of the Shelves

    • I have ten Billys, plus my wall of books in another bedroom and assorted other book cases around the house – just too many – but those Billys have done me proud service over the years.

  1. Culling is hard work but if the mood is right (and the bookshelves groaning!) then it’s very rewarding. Those unloved books can look at a person very reproachfully. You’ve made huge in-roads, Annabel, and there’s so much space now. I would find that awfully tempting…. 😉

      • One book I’ve had for years, but never thought I’d read (although I did listen to the audiobook) was Arthur And George by Julian Barnes. But as it’s FINALLY being televised, I think I’ll read it. So it’s one I’m glad I kept. I DO find it hard to cull unread books – just in case…

  2. Well done Annabel! I’ve been gradually thinning the books and so often, like you, it’s the impulse buys at the charity shop that go out. But I need to get a bit more fierce now…..

  3. I’ve got to the point where I’m ready to do this too. I’ve been taking the odd bag of books to the charity shop every so often for a while but am going to stop that in favour of a serious cull in the summer. I have a friend doing the same thing so we’ve decided to see if we can sell them and do something nice on the proceeds.

    • I’ve donated around a dozen bags of books so far this year – I will also have a yard sale in late spring as I’ve done the past couple of years. I hope your plans come off – sounds nice.

    • I just can’t reduce the TBR through reading fast enough (it was into the 1,000s of books). What with being addicted to new books and Shiny, the TBR just isn’t going down, so a cull it had to be.

  4. Hurrah for more shelf space and a de-clutter. Lots of unread books can be overwhelming, you may find you tear through your unread books now.

  5. I’ve just seen this – inspirational! I need to do something similar, I ran out of shelf space long ago and have heaps all over the floor, which makes nagging my daughter to tidy her room rather an exercise in hypocrisy.

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