Our house is pretty much reaching a crisis point in terms of book-holding capacity, and I say this as someone who bought four books this week alone.
Tragically, though I keep buying books—new and used, fiction and poetry, graphic novels and cookbooks—my bizarro rushed life means I rarely actually read an entire book.
Still, it comforts me to have them around, and there could be worse habits (like, perhaps, scouting the world for vintage pantyhose packages).
Though Jacob’s office came equipped with nice built-in bookcases,
we filled those up in a second
and moved onto the pink room,
and living room.
Man & Woman: the Encyclopedia of Adult Relationships is just about the most awesome encyclopedia set ever, FYI–and it’s not nearly as heteronormative as you’d think! It’s all amazing 1970s ridiculousness.
I even took all the yellow and orange cookbooks to my yellow and orange kitchen down the road and noticed not a dent in the cookbook collection.
So! Though I’m not particularly handy, when I came across this recipe* for quickie shelves in Readymade (which is helpfully not online, but it’s so easy I’ll just walk you through it), I literally left the house immediately to get the supplies.**
I had the shelves on the wall inside of two hours–that’s the kind of house project I like.
Basically, you just buy a bunch of corner braces in pairs plus screws (and drywall anchors, if necessary) that fit them. Then you put the braces on the wall using the screws, stack your books up, and go have a beer.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t bought enough corner braces, so it ended how most of my house projects end: with me half-assely finishing it and not being particularly proud of the result. I also put a few of the braces the wrong way so they were visible, which was not my intention.
A few days later, however, I bought more supplies and fixed it up right.
Though the shelves have the downside of not making the books themselves particularly accessible, I’m not really concerned.
I’m not planning on rereading The Bell Jar or, for that matter, To the Lighthouse, again for a while.
*OK, here’s a question: what do you call it if it doesn’t involve cooking? Recipe does not seem right. Plan? Technique? Blueprint??
**In case anyone thinks that my endorsement of this one idea constitutes ringing praise of Readymade, I would like to issue the following statement: The newish Readymade redesign (which coincided with the seriously fucked, pretty-much-ousting of founding editor-in-chief Shoshana Berger, whose columns I so enjoyed) is so painfully stultifying, stupid, simplistic, slick, and SAD that I can barely bring myself to give it a cursory glance. I’ve been a Readymaker since issue #1,
but man oh MAN their new design/corporate takeover is horrid. All models (am I wrong that once upon a time they used real people in their photo shoots?) and shit to buy, with no interesting projects whatsoever. [This is adorable, however]. UGH.
Sorry to end on an annoyed note, but SERIOUSLY.
The shelves, however, are pretty cute, no?