The alternative was to stop buying books…

… or buy more bookcases & I was never going to stop buying books! The result is two beautiful Tasmanian oak bookcases. They’re standing just inside the front door. My living area is open plan so they’re in the place a hallway would be if I had a hallway.

I spent last weekend moving books which was fun but exhausting. I decided to begin my alphabetical sequence of books I’ve read in the new bookcases & to move my gardening & cookbooks to the bottom shelves so they’re closer to the kitchen. This is the beginning,

& this is how it looked when I’d finished. There’s room for books to be shelved from the tbr shelves as I read them.

A new home for my books by Jane Austen,

Vera Brittain &

the Brontës.

Moving the alphabetical sequence round was easy. The really difficult part was rearranging the tbr shelves. I have the tbr arranged by imprint or by subject. I like to keep my favourite publishers together – Persephone, Greyladies, Slightly Foxed, Virago, Hesperus, Canongate, Girls Gone By, Vintage, British Library Crime Classics, Folio Society, Oxford & Penguin Classics –  & then I have sections for literary criticism, biographies, letters & diaries & history (in chronological order by country, of course), general fiction & crime fiction.

The shelves had become a bit mixed as I desperately tried to fit a few more books on to already overcrowded shelves. In the end, I had to put some books on the floor in categories to see where I needed to make space.

This is where I left it when I stopped for a cup of coffee & a rethink.

In the end, I had to combine literary biographies, letters & diaries in one chronological sequence which gave me more room for general historical non-fiction & biographies in the bay on the far right. I have bays of fiction on either side of the non-fiction because, quite honestly, I was exhausted by the end of all that & needed a cup of tea. Maybe I’ll move all the non-fiction together next weekend…

Here’s the end result. It was a relief to go to work on Monday for a bit of a rest.

28 thoughts on “The alternative was to stop buying books…

  1. I had an immediate surge of envy when I saw those empty shelves. I need to buy more cases but have no room for them. Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures. I love browsing other people's shelves, even virtually.


  2. I have an old bookshelf that's collapsing so I'm window-shopping for a new one. That's my excuse for putting off a shelf-reorganizing project! What a great way to become exhausted… 🙂


  3. After living for more than a year now with double and triple stacking of books (despite giving piles away for charity every now and then), I think I'm coming round to your solution. More shelves!


  4. You and I have been doing similar things! I've just finished my annual cleaning of the bookshelves. Just removing the books, wiping down the shelves, and lightly vacuuming the books. This always takes longer than it should because I invariably start leafing through certain books and reading bits here and there. I'll be posting some photos on my blog one of these days.


  5. I'm afraid the shelves won't be empty for very long… Still, I had a lot of fun moving everything around. I still have a couple of walls for more bookcases though, which is a good thing!


  6. I'm lucky to still have a couple of walls free for bookcases. I don't know what I'll do when I run out of walls but hopefully that's many years away yet.


  7. I cleaned all the shelves as I moved the books, it was a good chance. Like you, it takes longer than you think because I stop & read things. I look forward to your photos.


  8. Lovely oak shelves make books appear more enticing, don't they? Are there any more books anywhere else in your home or is that the complete collection, so far?


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