Bookshelves: To Like Or Not To Like?

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THAT is the (ultimate bookish) question.

I HAVE VERY MIXED FEELINGS ON BOOKSHELVES.

I realized this this morning when I woke up and found myself looking at my bookshelf (it has been placed near the foot of my bed for greatest bookish pleasure), and realized I DON’T LIKE BOOKSHELVES AT ALL but then I LOVE BOOKSHELVES.

lot-of-feelings

I am a very odd bookworm. Therefore, I have decided to take a census… of my own feelings in the form of a list (and, you know, I GUESS you could share your opinions if you desperately wanted to).

SO. The PROS of having bookshelves:

  • Now your books won’t be all over the floor! Or on your heads! Or covering your desks! We bookworms are a very odd species and don’t really know of good places to keep books. Often I just try to keep them with me for their own personal safety and end up lugging around 20 pounds of bookish wonderfulness.
  • THEY’RE PRETTY. I like pretty things. Also bookish things. (But not shiny things. Shiny things are just… too shiny. ‘Nuff with the shiny.)
  • They make it easy to hide large quantities of books. See, when your books are stacked on their sides (like the ones on some of my desks and things are), they appear larger to Buggles (read: non-bookworms; ones without a drop of bookish blood in their veins) and hence a bookworm may get away with buying MORE books, usually at the cost of the aforementioned Buggle’s wallet.
  • Buggles find it easier to view you as a normal person. ‘Tis true, I am afraid. Buggles, they’re odd creatures for a bookworm to behold.
  • You can easily hide villainous artifacts in the back of the shelf between two books, with no one the wiser. See? Lord Voldemort would have been so much better off if I had been his chief advisor.
  • BOOKS = DECORATION. Well, um, duh. FOR BOOKWORMS. For many Buggles, the concept of “books as decoration” and not “ripped-up books with their pages mutilated into odd shapes or their covers framed on the wall” is a new and exciting concept. AND BOOKSHELVES MAY MAKE THIS COME TRUE in a normal-looking and societally-accepted manner.

And now the CONS of having bookshelves (because I am a pessimist and like to end on sad and dark lists):

  • They could fall on you. Now, this is VERRRYYYYY serious. Especially if you (like me) tend to have very tall bookshelves that could crush you from halfway across the room. Also, if you live near a faultline. Or just anywhere you get natural disasters, really. I have many books on my bookshelf. So remember: when with bookshelves, earthquakes = pancakes. (And no, I’m not excruciatingly proud of myself for coming up with that.)
  • Thou shalt cry when thy books are not the same length. Books that are not the same length should be made illegal. Seriously. Do you know how hard it is to suddenly have a book change SIZE and not be able to place it next to the book you wanted to place it next to? DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW HARD IT IS TO CREATE A NERDY BOOK AESTHETIC WHEN THE BOOKS YOU PAIR TOGETHER DO NOT GO TOGETHER BECAUSE THE BOOKS ARE NO LONGER THE SAME LENGTH? DO YOU FEEL MY PAIN?! I shall stop shouting now.
  • The pain of deciding between pretty and books. I FOR ONE DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW SO MANY BOOKLRS HAVE SO MUCH SPACE FOR THINGS OTHER THAN BOOKS. Have you ever looked up the #shelfie tag on Tumblr?! Because you should. Because there are some ridiculously wondrous bookshelves out there.

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  • How to organize?! Because sometimes your books are not the same length as the bookshelves. Meaning, they do not fill up the space from bottom-of-the-shelf to top-of-that-same-shelf so then you have this oddly empty space and it’s oppressive and saddening. And also sometimes you want to rainbow-organize your books but then the series will get separated BUT THEN it’ll look so pretty and OH decisions are difficult.
  • THEY’RE SO UGLY. AND EXPENSIVE. AND TIME-CONSUMING. So I know it seems like I’m directly contradicting myself from what I said in bullet no. 2 of the “pros,” but this is a serious issue. Sometimes they are quite ugly. Like, do you know how much a good, PRETTY bookshelf costs? And how much time and effort and energy goes into making it prettyful? I think I actually made a mistake combining all of this into one bullet point, but alas. We all make mistakes.

… Okay, I’m still confused. I MEAN I like my bookshelves?? But then they’re dangerous. And sometimes ugly. And make me cry when I don’t know how to organize them. Do you like bookshelves? Are my reasons appropriate for your bookish opinions? TELL ME, fellow bookworms! TELL ME.

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14 responses to “Bookshelves: To Like Or Not To Like?

  1. I really love books and everything… Like really, and read 24/7 but I own only like, 3 books – which are all that of YouTubers! Any others I get from the library – and I’m not one for reading the same book over and over again. Personally I think bookshelves are space consuming and clutter your room up, however I am a very minimalist decorator. It depends on the person and the room in which the bookshelf(s) is in. If I had a home library I’d be totally fine with a bookshelf like yeah….that would be nice. I’m rambling! Good post😉

    • That’s probably good and more cost-effective than what I do, which is try to buy every book I can lay my hands on. I LOVE reading my favorites over and over again. Yeah I get what you mean! Bookshelves can be SOOOO big. I’m also a minimalist decorator. I think I’d really like those bookshelves built into the wall as decorations, if you know what I mean? Like just the shelf part not attached to a bookshelf in cool shapes.

  2. I love bookshelves. It can be quite agonizing to organize them but once you’ve got your way, it’s a masterpiece.

    Oh, thank you so much for sharing that shelfie tag. Had not known about it. I’m all over it now mwahabaaaaa.

  3. This is great! OH THE AGONY of not-same-length books! I hate them! Also, I have a bunch of picture books from my childhood that I love and want to keep for nostalgia, but they’re UGLY AND DON’T MATCH MY OTHER BOOKS!

    • YES. And also it’s very annoying when you have one hardcover and one paperback in the same series. Or like HARDCOVER paperback HARDCOVER, because then there’s this really tiny short book sandwiched between two taller books! OH THE PAIN OF BEING A BOOKWORM. And then just… what do publishers have against making books the same length? ARE THEY TRYING TO ANTAGONIZE OUR LITTLE BOOKISH MINDS?!

  4. I’ve never had a proper bookshelf before this year. My husband made it and I love it. Mostly because I designed it with the help of my father-in-law. BUT, I have no idea how to organize it. I just have things clumped in there right now. I should probably make that a priority project…

    • YES. I’ve had bookshelves all my life because I live with my parents and it’s sort of not my choice. But that’s really cool that your husband made you a bookshelf! I’d totally jump at the opportunity. Right now I just have the plain highest-weight-supporting-white-boring bookshelf from IKEA. The only reason I got anywhere with organizing my bookshelf is because my aunt insisted on it, and now I love the way she helped me organize it!

  5. 12 years ago, we moved into our dream house. The front room is designed to be a formal living room, but my husband and I grew up in houses with formal living rooms we weren’t allowed ever to enter (unless the parish priest was visiting), so we didn’t want one of those. We decided to make that room our “library.” Problem was, we only had a couple cheap bookshelves from Office Depot. My husband said, “Someday we’ll buy better bookshelves, and I’ll attach them to the wall and put in crown molding.”

    We had no idea it would take 12 years before that home improvement project moved up in priority and actually HAPPENED! But as of this spring, I have beautiful, built-in bookshelves in my LIBRARY. (And I’m no longer embarrassed to use that name for this room.)

    I LOVED taking my double and triple stacked books and organizing them on these shelves. I don’t know how to attach a picture in a comment, but you can see my beautiful shelves, installed by my talented husband, in this post: http://diannesalerni.com/new-cover-new-schedule-new-shelves-old-books/

  6. Pingback: The End of Brilliant 2-0-1-5 | Books and Bark·

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