I've mentioned it here on the blog but Debash gave me an ultimatum (she doesn't remember it being quite so stern) about eight months ago . . . either get more bookshelves or stop. buying. books.
In her defense, the $17 particle board/cardboard/sticker-that-looks-like-wood-grain set of shelves (all three layers of 16" x 24" goodness) was well overcrowded and the stacks and stacks of books atop the Walmart specials and on this end table, and that coffee table, and this chair in the dining room, and the dining nook off the kitchen, and in the box in this closet, that closet, and the other three closets were clearly, certainly, undeniably in need of some space to breathe, collect themselves, relax, and show their spines proudly.
So . . . I did it. I bit the proverbial bullet and I went to Walmart (where all good decisions on home decor are made) at like 10 PM on a Sunday and bought two of the cheapest shelves they sold (this was not a real solution - I'm eventually going to endeavor, with a friend, to build built-ins) and I brought the home and proceeded to use every four-letter word in my vocabulary, and eventually physically destroyed said shelves in the driveway (imagine me "silently" sulking through the house to get to the driveway that I might smash these cheap, bent, crooked, ugly, poorly conceived shelves atop our cement (see-meant to Kansans) slab. Twice. Each.).
Then, the following weekend, I went to Target (where all moderately trendy decisions on home decor are made) and selected a beautiful set of shelves. I carried them to the car. I brought them home. I tore open the packaging. And discovered they were the wrong color. NO matter (yes - I'm so lazy that I won't repackage and return bookshelves . . . in my defense I presumed I would also, eventually, smash these against the driveway too). I put them together.
I moved the books from the falling in shelves to the unit. Half full. I did a loop of the house and amassed every book in plain sight. Two thirds full. I pulled a box out of each of the six closets where we were storing books . . . TOO full.
Back to Target. Repeat. In the same "wrong" color. More boxes came out. More books came out of hiding. More beautiful, dead, didn't die-for-nothing trees-turned-paper-turned-pages-turned-printed word-turned-book-turned AWESOME were out of the closets and on plain display.
I stood back. I admired what I had done here. I rested. I fired up smile.amazon.com (where you can decide what non-profit gets 0.05% of your every (eligible) purchase - please choose Congregation Emanu-El in Wichita, Kansas if you don't already have a place to send your fractional gift. I found my wish list. I. Went. Off.
In the last four months I've purchased 37 books (for me - I've purchased more for the kid and the future missus). And why NOT? I (typically) select used books that are "like new" (which is code for - a library sale and/or someone gave me this book that I'll never read).
I've continued to fill out shelf two and it feels wonderful. My Judaica collection is up. I own (save for ONE) every book Daniel Handler has written. I'm building out Lemony Snicket. I'm just getting warmed up. Don't worry - the shelves are still available (and on SALE) at Target. I'm going this weekend to buy one more. Maybe two. Okay - three.