a rainbow of books

I have one bookshelf in my apartment – which is sad because I love shelves. I like the idea of having everything where I can see it and putting it together in ways that look nice.

But I do like the one bookshelf I have, because it moves well and I’ve lived in..uh,  I think nine places in the last ten years. All of the pieces pop apart and back together! Sadly, this same feature makes it difficult when re-arranging furniture as dragging it across the floor pulls it apart but it’s too heavy to lift, necessitating disassembling and reassembling.

Oh well, I still like it.

Anyway, said bookshelf has been arranged the exact same way for the past three apartments – and unfortunately I don’t have a full before picture. Basically the top shelves were my knick-knacks and stereo while the bottom shelves were books and TV stuff. Books were on two shelves and arranged by size. The bottom shelf held tall books, mainly old text books I’ve kept. The shelf right above (below the stereo in the pic below) had books two rows deep – the front row being small paper backs and the back being slightly taller hardcovers, e.g., my Harry Potter (HP) books.

Well, inspired by this flikr pool, I pulled everything off the shelves (except the TV and movie-playing devices) and rearranged by color. I put all the colored books on one shelf (including cream-colored), with brown, white/grey, and black on others.

I also pulled the dust jackets off all the books but one. Dust jackets annoy me because I always fear getting them wet or ripped or something, so when I’m reading I take them off anyway. Threw all but the HP ones in the trash. The OCD girl in my head started hyperventilating a bit when she realized this rearrangement would split up my HP books. But I shut her in the closet with a paper bag and went back to my project.

Aaaand…

I didn’t like it! Oh, of course the books were darn purdy in their rainbow of hues and I liked how it looked so much more orderly and less chaotic, but all of the color was concentrated on the top and bottom. So, I grumblingly went through the hassle of unplugging my DVD and VCR (yes, I still use a VCR! I’m so vintage…) and rearranged again – with some cable ties to help corral the unsightly.. well, cables.
But… now all the color was on the bottom! And the white on the top seemed to blend in to the walls. Ugh! What to do? I pulled down the white Sephora giftbox lunchbox (which I think is adorable because it says “a good man will bake you treats”) and put up my little red vase of silk roses.
Ah, better. And it actually looks better than this in person as the flash in my poorly-lit apartment is washing everything out while in reality there are shadows so it doesn’t look so white-space-dominant.
(In the background of the two photos above you can see how the flowers and lunchbox swapped spots on that shelf in the background.)
I let my OCD girl back out of the closet, and she liked the new set-up, too. And 42 brownie points to those who can spot where all the Harry Potter books ended up! Come on, test your geek cred!
You may notice the the stereo is no longer up. That’s because I so rarely use it and it took up a lot of shelf space. So spent a bit of my tax refund to get a little iHome speaker for my iPod. (Finally lost my mp3-player virginity last fall, and even though I’m not a huge audiophile, I already find myself listening to more music than I used to. Usually singing along to classic musicals.)
When I make rainbows, I like arranging yellow to green instead of the classic light-spectrum. (If you don’t believe me, check out the paint on my new chair.)
Yes, that is a Precious Moments statue. NO, you MAY NOT give me Precious Moments stuff! I only have two and both have very special meanings. I don’t want my place overrun with little ceramic statues of children.
The silver cube is my baby piggy bank. Now it just holds some of my coin collection: a couple re-designed 2009 pennies! Yeah, I’m a numismatist nerd. Betcha didn’t even realize they redesigned the pennies last year, eh?
The brown shelf includes a jar of pretty rocks I picked up on the beach in Ninilchik, cigar boxes full of little mementos like tickets to plays, and a photo my mom found in her basement of Charles Lindberg and the Spirit of St. Louis! A real photo taken by one of my relatives. It’s the bees knees.
So the white/grey shelf isn’t totally grey and white. But I couldn’t figure out where else to put my blue box. It has things like Christmas cards and invitations to friends’ weddings. I like to flip through on occasion and reminisce.
The huge architecture book is the only thing that got to keep it’s dust jacket as the book is black and I already had enough black books.
The silk flowers I found in the dollar bin at Michael’s a few years back. Normally silk flowers are not my style, but I loved the different shades of red so put them in a red cube vase I had.
Even my videos got in on the color-organized action. I do still use my VCR, and these are my remaining tapes – all of which I got during college, most at Cottey where we Comets raised movie-watching to an art form. My DVDs are kept in sleeves in a CD case, though all the boxes are stashed in a cupboard.
So there’s my breaking out of the organization mold! Twas a good adventure.
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3 Responses to a rainbow of books

  1. Amy says:

    Where do I begin?? Love that you explained the Precious Moments (b/c, yes, I was wondering), had to look up “numismatist” and Ninilchik, and love that you shared all 3 Afters with us.
    Idea: for the blank space above the yellows and reds, you could put a tall vase where the piggy bank is and hang some art to the right of that, or prop a cute tray behind the books (like maybe two of these from Ikea: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60152627).

  2. Alissa says:

    Yes, I have definitely been thinking about hanging something on the wall behind the orange books. Don't know what yet.

    And it's a good thing we don't have IKEA in Colorado! Man, I'd loose a lot of money on shelves and storage boxes. Though I hear IKEA's moving into Denver in fall of 2011. Oh, that'll be a crowded day on I-25…

  3. Pingback: Rainbow Quilt | Content but not Complacent

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