We have a small book problem challenge proliferation in our house.  What can I say?  We love books, we’re a family of readers.  Last time we moved house (when we only had one child!) one of the movers looked at me incredulously and said “What, do you have your own library or something?”

I looked at him equally incredulously.  You mean not everyone has a houseful of books?

The problem is, every time we get a new bookcase, we fill it up.  And we’ve run out of room for new bookcases.  The ones we have are double-shelved.  We did go through a couple of years ago and rationalise our collection.  We still had all the books from before The Dad and I moved in together.  We don’t really need three copies of Polya’s How To Solve It (he had two…), although we might still have two copies of Gödel Escher Bach.  Some trashy novels and out-of-date walking guides made their way to the second-hand bookshop too. But we get given books as gifts, or accumulate them other ways.  And we still visit the public library almost weekly!

I’m afraid our children are picking up our habits.  Or perhaps I’m secretly pleased.  Either way, there are books everywhere.  I have to prise baby books from Pearl’s hands and point out that she really enjoys much bigger books with more words in them now, and the little ones will enjoy her old ones more.  Until yesterday, Fainjin’s and Babess’ books were stored in a laundry basket (overflowing) because all the bookcases were full.  And the laundry basket, along with everything from their room and Pearl’s (except beds and a chest of drawers) was in the lounge while the rooms were re-lined, painted and papered.

Now the rooms are done, and we have an opportunity to put them back in some semblance of order.  I really want to cut down on the amount of “stuff” we have.  There are lots of toys the kids never play with, clothes and shoes they never wear or have outgrown – or worn out – and some plain old junk.

Yesterday I put Pearl’s bookcase in the little kids’ room, and shelved their books.  I put their couch and rocking chair next to it, in the bay window, to make a reading corner.  It looked lovely and inviting and oh-so-tidy, and I took a photo because you can almost guarantee it won’t ever look like this again!

Don't worry, the shelves will quickly fill up with the books off the lounge-room coffee table...

Next step: the bookcase from our room (one of the bookcases from our room) goes in Pearl’s room.  Then… um…  perhaps it’s time to weed out the trashy novels again.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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10 Responses to “Books”

  1. Marita Says:

    We have similar book issue. Ikea visit is due soon for more shelving. DVDs and CDs proliferating also.

  2. Café Chick Says:

    Your house sounds like a bookworm’s dream home!

  3. Emma Says:

    You can never have enough books! I was cleaning and alphabetizing bookcases the other day, and realized I need at least 3 more bookcases to have any sort of order. I’m pretty anal about my books…they must be alphabetized by author and most units are categorized by type of book…Irish history, British chick lit…

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      Oooh, you are good! I’m happy if most of them are on shelves 🙂 We do have vague categorisation in place – a languages section, a maths section, a classics section, a Terry Pratchett shelf… but that doesn’t guarantee that all the books are in their right places!

  4. Jill H. Says:

    What, all that renovating, and you didn’t include a library with a balcony, a velvet-upholstered window seat, and a wooden ladder on a rolling track? Tsk. A serious oversight.

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      I really want one of those ladders in my kitchen! Perfect for the high cupboards. Sadly we didn’t have the funds to extend the house, otherwise a fourth bedroom/library/study/music-room/sewing-room would have been ideal!


  5. Graham Says:

    You might need the second copy of Goedel, Escher, Bach… I grew up in a household where we two children had to fight over a single, increasingly battered copy… You woudn’t want to raise children like that. (and you can read that last sentence any way you like)

  6. Melissa Says:

    Good luck with the decluttering and book clearing. I find as soon as I get rid of books, more just seem to appear – books I ordered on Book Depository arrive days after I have schlepped another bag of books into work for the annual book sale. But, your reading corner looks lovely and I would also be secretly pleased that my children were picking up my book habits …

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