My boyfriend has bursts of tidy fever. Most of the time this entails stuffing things into drawers and cupboards, never to be seen again. On one occasion, he said, ‘Couldn’t you get rid of some of those messy books?’
It was as big an insult as, ‘I hope you don’t mind me saying, but those jeans make your bum look big…’.
Yup. He actually said that.
He’s lucky I’m not a violent person.
I have nothing against reading on a nice, compact, tidy Kindle. It’s a lightweight solution for taking loads of books on holiday, or having a sneaky read in bed with the lights off without disturbing your other half (whether they deserve it or not). But I am most fond of old-fashioned, old school, woody-smelling, with a lovely cover, know-how-far-you-are-into-it, ‘proper‘ book.
I will occasionally lend a book to someone after I’ve read it, but only to the trustworthy people I know will return it. (Which is by the way unlike me – never trust me with your book – I’ll want to keep it).
I like the way books look, and occasionally I’ll re-read them. Good ones, I get really emotionally attached to. But since the boyfriend’s messy book comment, I have made more of an effort to keep them all tidy, after all they deserve to be treated well and looked after. I do purge my books every now and again, decluttering those few books I really didn’t enjoy, and will never read or refer to again. These fellas go to the charity shop where they no doubt will find a good home, while I make space for some new ones.
I bought some proper bookshelves – the type that lean against the wall – and promptly filled one, then two, now three. I have books neatly piled on top of the wardrobe in the spare room, and they fill the space up to the ceiling perfectly. My bedside table has a small revolving selection, and I’ve managed to create a small tower on my dressing table. The guest bathroom is also a safe harbour for my books, and great for my guests when they’re stuck for something to read. Usually on the loo. But we won’t go there…
There are book lovers out there who balk at the idea of styling your bookshelves, or lining them up by colour; I think they feel it means you’re not serious about the books themselves. I’m a designer by trade, and I find the visual order of storing my books by colour or size really quite pleasing. I do however keep fiction separate from non-fiction, and art books in another room. You might prefer to line them up alphabetically, or by genre.
There is a happy ending to this story. We’re undergoing a huge renovation on our house which is a very messy process. It will be gorgeous and worth it, I hope, and we are even going to devote one of the rooms to becoming a library.
It looks like I’m going to need more books…
Here are some ideas for storing your books, and some inspiration for your own little (or large) library.
IKEA (of course!):
All images are courtesy of Pinterest, and all the kind people who let people like me use them. All credits for all of the images can be found on my Pinterest page.https://www.pinterest.co.uk/frostdrop/bookshelves/