Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up for August 15, 2010: New Bookshelves and Organization!

It has been quite a wonderful week! Months ago I made plans with my friend Kyla to go to Michigan's sole IKEA store. When we had made plans originally, it was so she could buy some things for her new apartment-I was just going to tag along.

However, when my birthday came around last month, Matt didn't know what to get me. I was kind of at a loss, since I didn't know what I really wanted...until I realized that the perfect gift would be a new bookcase to match my existing one that we bought back in January (it is from the "Billy" line).

When I lived at home, I did not have bookshelves in my room. Instead, my mom let me use the linen closet outside my bedroom. That closet was STUFFED with books. Books we stacked in every which way and went back three layers, and sometimes four! It eventually got too full so I started putting my books in my brother's old closet (he had moved out by then) to help with the weight in the other closet. It was madness.

Moving into the apartment was difficult at first. All my books (in 26 different boxes) have been sitting in a closet in our second bedroom. When we went to IKEA back in January, it was to get shelves for our DVD collection (also pretty big-probably 500+ movies) and to get me one shelf to store my classics. Since then, I have wanted another shelf. All of my classics barely fit in the case I have (It is 32 inches wide and 80 inches tall, with 8 shelves-I bought two extra to fit more).

So, I wandered into IKEA on Thursday with Kyla with the mission of bringing home another bookshelf along with some other fun items. Well....I got to the bookshelf area and saw that in addition to what I wanted, they had another that was narrower-only 15 or so inches. And I thought to myself, "Gee, Allie, it would be swell to put that smaller one in the corner on an angle." I called Matt and he said yes, so not only did I come home with one more BIG bookcase, but I also grabbed the skinner one, and two more shelves for my new big case.

I was gloriously happy.

They fit in our bedroom, which is now way too cluttered with furniture (but who cares if my books are there!). I tackled opening the closet to bring books to my new shelves, but got overwhelmed pretty quickly. I made sure to pull out some of my favorites, but it was hard to decide which books to put back in their boxes. I ended up giving up after pulling 13 or 14 boxes from the closet and picking my favorites from there, but I know there are some old friends who are still packed away.

*side note-My husband just brought me a sandwich and some coleslaw with some tea and said, "I know you are busy blogging, so here is some food." Isn't that sweet? *end side note*

Anyway, I was wondering how everyone else organizes their bookcases? One of my larger cases has all of my classics, which is pretty much everything I am reading for my challenge and then some. I used the smaller bookcase to place some of my hardcovers on since the shelves are taller (I didn't buy extra shelves for it), and the new case has a lot of YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and a few contemporary lit things on it, all alphabetized. I'm not sure if I like it the way it is. I love having a case devoted to my classics, but I obviously don't have the room to have a shelf for science-fiction, one for fantasy, etc. But how do you all organize your books? I would love to know!

In reading news, I finished The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. I absolutely hated the first Cooper novel I read back in college, but I really enjoyed this one. I'm looking forward to when my posts go up!

I also read the first two acts of The Tempest in anticipation for the read-along tomorrow. It is the first new Shakespeare play I am reading for my challenge, but it is not as rough-going as I thought it was going to be.

Tonight I am going to try to knock out the first 80 pages of Charles Dicken's Bleak House for Amanda's ReadAlong, but we'll see how that goes.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the next big novel I read? I'm not sure what I want to dive into!

Happy Reading!


  1. is there a blogger that doesnt own the Billy bookcase ;) We have two ourselves. Funny I was talking about the last of the Mohians today as I have a copy of it somewhere but have never read it.

  2. Having now read the first 7 chapters of Bleak House, I found the first two completely skippable. Just fyi. :D

    Jason and I have a strange way that we've organized our shelves. We each have different cases for our own books (ie books I don't want to read but he does is on his shelf, and vice versa). Then we have a shared shelf for the "both of us" books. We have short stories, plays, nonfiction, poetry, mythology, and language material all separated out, as well as my Harry Potter collection, and then I have a shelf that's solely devoted to my Just-Me-TBR, and Jason has a shelf solely devoted to a 50-book set mostly consisting of ancient philosophers.

  3. Your book collection makes me want to start my own book collection! It motivates me! :)

    Aw, Allie that is a wonderful husband you have there, making the sandwiches for his wife!

    Keep up the great work with your blog!

  4. Your husband sounds like an angel! And your mum too!

    Some of my books are in my bedroom (like 100), others are on a bookshelf that is at the hall (200) and others are on a bookshelf in the garage (200) with some other books of my mum and brothers (old textbooks). I am desperated to buy a new bookshelf!

    I loved your post... it would be wonderful if you'd give a video-tour or photo-tour of your bookshelves (even if I get green in envy!).

    I can't wait for more book.posts and for the next Thursdsay Treat.

  5. I remember being so happy to move out of my tiny little apartment where I could only store about 100 books into a house where I could bring out all of my books! I was so ecstatic! We turned one whole room into a library, with bookshelves around two walls (the other two walls have a big window and closet, so no shelf space) and then four bookcases down the center of the room so it really does look like a library. And yet I still have books spilling into other rooms. As for organization, I keep my children's and some young adult books upstairs, separate from the library. I have some young adult series in the library (like Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia), then everything is divided into non-fiction and fiction. The non-fiction takes up two big bookcases and are organized chronlogically since most of them are history books. Then random non-fiction are organized at the end. My fiction books are organized alphabetically right now and are divided into read and TBR books. Once I get my TBR shelves tamed I may reorganize that. We also have a really nice hardbook set of the Great Books that we keep in the living room. And I keep a few favorites on a shelf in my bedroom.

  6. I organize my books by author and then in sequence to either when they were written or if it is a series by series. I have a TBR shelf and then after they are read they go to the shelf with their author. I have shelves in my family room, library and bedrooms. I love displaying mine on bookshelves and have to admit that I am now filling up the bookcases in the bedrooms of my children who have moved on out of the house :). It gives me so much more room to grow!. (Thank you CaRiiToO) Love, Mom

  7. First of all, your husband is a sweetie pie! Next, I hope you like Bleak House, which is one of my favorites. The first couple of chapters are a bit slow, but stick with it, it is so worth it!

    Finally, bookshelves -- I have a bookcase in the kitchen (is that weird?) which has cookbooks, food essays, food memoirs, and some travel books. I have another bookcase which has all my Harry Potters and children's fantasy, children's classics, then some other classics, mostly Dickens and Austen and related books. Then I have one bookshelf with books I've read and another with books I haven't. Plus lots of books in boxes in the garage, waiting patiently for built in bookshelves. I can dream, can't I?