A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a new bookcase we acquired from some friends. Sharp-eyed readers might have noticed that I mentioned that we were thinking about having two more bookcases from the same friends, albeit rather smaller. We decided that we would, indeed, like them. My five fiction bookcases in the dining room were overflowing; I relied on having lots of people borrowing books to have enough space, and that wasn't working since friends going away from the summer had returned books without borrowing more.
So I thought I might use one of the new bookcases for my recipe books, and then use the current recipe book bookcase for an extra fiction one. I wasn't entirely sure where it would go... but last Sunday evening we collected the two bookcases, and as they were quite light, I tried one of them out in a few possible spots the following morning, before realising that the perfect place was by the back door. Transferring all the recipe books didn't take long, and since there were two spare shelves I moved the cool boxes (which were in the way elsewhere) to the bottom one, and the potatoes, onions and garlic (which were on a tatty old vegetable rack) to another one. I really like the result:
Even a week later, it still makes me smile when I look at the new bookcase from the kitchen:
I shelve our fiction books alphabetically by the surname of the author, but decided that, rather than simply moving them all around to fit in the ex-recipe-book shelves, I'd remove the 'teenage' fiction that was amongst the rest, and give its own bookcase. I suppose it's a little arbitrary what counts as 'teenage' fiction, since the teens who borrow books from me take quite a wide range... but I decided to move books that were actually written for teenagers. Including, for instance, my 60+ Chalet School books, the Harry Potter series, books by Noel Streatfeild, Malcolm Saville, LM Alcott and LM Montgomery, the Redwall series... and a few others:
Then, I moved the rest of the books along, filling in the gaps, but not squashing them on the shelves as they were before. I added in the extras that I didn't previously have room for, and left a few small gaps where I knew there were still books out on loan.
What did rather surprise (and slightly worry) me was that although I had gained five extra shelves, by the time I reached the end of the fiction, I only had two and a half shelves with nothing on them:
Tessie always likes sleeping next to books, so she was pleased with the new arrangements:
Meanwhile, another bookcase was sitting, empty, in my study, where Cleo thought it made a comfortable bed:
I knew where I wanted to put it (next to my desk) but there was a slight problem in that that spot was taken by a small white bookcase, on top of which was our broadband router. Wires stretched from the computer in one direction, and from the telephone socket in another. We didn't want to have to make holes in the new bookcase, so Richard said he'd make a new phone wire, enabling us to put the router neatly on the unit that houses the computer, printer and scanner. It took a few days for him to have the time, but towards the end of the week he did.
That meant that I could move the white unit out of the way, and the new bookcase to its new place. At the bottom went some heavy encyclopedias which we've been looking after for friends for about seven or eight years now, and which were previously at the bottom of the recipe bookcase.. and which had been sitting piled up on a table in my study for a few days. They fit nicely, so I then moved my writing books, and various other reference books, and also my shelf of fiction-that-I- have-not-yet-read. I like very much having a bookcase next to my desk:
So, now I was left with a mostly empty bookcase at the other end of my study. I had already planned to move some of my favourite children's fiction books up from our guest flat, since we have regular small visitors and like to have a variety of books to read with them:
I wasn't entirely sure what to do with the white unit which no longer held the router. It contained such useful items as empty CDs and DVDs, and cases, and some old CDs with software, and a load of apparently random cables; so I found a spot by the window where it could go quite nicely:
Then I started thinking about the smallest of our regular visitors, and how much she likes 'toys' of all description, and thought that perhaps this wasn't quite such a good idea. So I sorted out the contents of the white shelves, and moved them to the empty one above the children's books:
Then the colouring pencils (in a tin) and some paper for children's use, and a couple of old glove puppets I found, fit rather nicely in the white shelves:
All of which is very satisfactory... and leaves me with much to ponder. God supplies not just what we need, sometimes, but what we want - and in this case, what we didn't even know that we wanted. I am quite sure we would not have chosen these exact bookcases if we had gone to the Thrift Shop, or even Ikea. We would have discussed for ages what we might possibly buy, and probably not come to any conclusions. Yet these three bookcases that were available are, as we have found, perfect for the space we had, and look absolutely right. The Great Designer apparently doesn't mind our increasing acquisition of books, which is very reassuring.
At the same time, it's slightly concerning to think just how easily we have assimilated three new bookcases into a house where we didn't think there was room for any more... and how quickly the shelves have been filled.