It’s no secret around here that I collect power tools the way old ladies cats. In fact, I may or may not have added a little something to my tool collection this week, ahem, but that’s a confession for another day.
Today I’m here to admit that I have another little problem. And by “little” I mean that one whole wall of my spare bedroom has been dedicated to this obsession for the last year. That is, until this weekend–when I finally went out and bought a damn piece of furniture for once in my life instead of putting it on the every expanding project list– and now my secret is out in the open for everyone to see.
That’s right. I’m a paperback addict.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I buy hardcovers too. And ebooks. And graphic novels. And pretty much any other stories I can get my hands on. But it’s old worn paperbacks, with their bent spines and stories I’ve read a dozen times, that really have my heart.
Wait, wait, let’s step away from my obsession for a minute and talk about this shelf. It’s the Emerson Bookshelf from World Market, and I’ve been eyeing it up for over a year.
I never bought it because even though there were some very specific things I loved about this shelf, I was also considering creating my own bookshelf with gas pipe a la the old master closet from memorial (except freestanding instead of attached to the wall).
(More on how that closet was build here. I still miss the damn thing.)
If I had internal filters for whether or not I am going to DIY something, they would probably look something like this:
- Can I build it better? (i.e. a custom size, with a different look, with better materials or craftsmanship)
- Can I build it cheaper?
- Will it be fun (and by “fun” I mean “a challenge”)?
Although that’s really probably giving me more credit than I deserve, because mostly I build things when the mood strikes and buy things when the mood strikes, and I tend not to have to justify it to myself either way.
However, I saw this shelf when I was strolling through the aisles of World Market the other day, and a quick survey of my inner DIYdiva revealed that a.) I actually liked the look/coloring/details of this bookshelf better than the one I had in mind to build, and b.) realistically I wouldn’t get to building a bookshelf until sometime next fall. Or winter. Or the following Spring.
So I was like, eff that, put this thing in my cart. Except it was slightly too large for a cart. And also my car.
What? I can totally drive while ducking.
Turns out my skills do not extend to being able to carry a seven foot long box into my house single-handedly, though. And I’ll admit, that had me stumped for a good three minutes while I tried to figure out how I was going to get it out of the car. And then *facepalm* I realized you don’t actually need to carry the entire box in at once, you can just open it and carry in the parts.
So. That was easier than hitching it up to the donkeys and having them drag it in (which was Plan B.)
I hadn’t actually gotten around to assembling the bookshelf, nor did I have plans to this weekend because I had a lot of fun stuff lined up that involved actually being showered and out in public, but then I got my third flat tire in the last six months. Third. I’m not complaining, but just in case the Universe is listening in, I’d like to state loudly for the record that I don’t need any more practice installing the spare tire.
Anyway, the point of the story is that since I had one flat tire and one that was looking dangerously low (and no way to get them fixed until Monday) I found myself unexpectedly home with nothing to do except laundry or make a mess in the Parlor.
Big surprise which direction I went there.
Which brings me back to this:
It also brings me to maybe the most disturbing thing I’ve ever read on the internet. See, these books have actually been boxed up for three years, because that’s how long it’s been since I lived in a house that had actual real furniture in it. (Because, you know, there was that year I lived in a garage while building a house, then the year I spent living temporarily in the unfinished house then moving into a rental for six months, and the last year which has been spent whipping the Liberty House into shape, which is all just a bunch of excuses for why I still have not unpacked things that were boxed up in 2009. Back when I said there will come a time when I have to stop building my life and start living it, this is the stuff I was talking about. At some point I have to unpack.)
And, holy shit, I’m full of words today. The point is, I’m a little rusty at, ah, setting up a finished room. When I went to put curtains up in here I damn near had an aneurism and finally emailed the ever-stylin’ Jen from Rambling Renovators— whom I have followed forever— in a dead panic about window treatments. (She made this Pinterest board for me because that is how awesome she is.) But since I don’t have anyone on speed-dial for styling bookcases, I turned to the internet and, horror of horrors, the internet was all “it’s okay to keep a few hardcover books out but paperbacks should be boxed up or thrown away.”
Or, my favorite, “paperbacks have no place on bookshelves.”
Holy fucking WHAT?
There was also the suggestion to wrap all of your books in the same color of paper. You know, like you used to do with grocery bags and your schoolbooks when you were six.
Internet. We need to talk.
I’m trying to be open minded here. Everybody has their own style, and for some that means a bookshelf with fifty fucking knick-knacks and three books they bought at a thrift store and never plan to open. And, you know, cool. They’ll probably be in Architectural Digest, and I will totally be happy for them while I’m snuggled up in my house, surrounded by stories I love. Because at the Liberty House, there will be books.
There will be books in every damn room. I will be surrounded by pristine hardcovers, paperbacks that look like they’ve been read a hundred times (because they have), science fiction and chick lit and short stories and classics. They will not be shelved by color, or genre or how pretty they are. In my house Jane Austen will cozy up with Tolkien, and Thoreau will rub shoulders with The Brothers Grimm (the originals? You should totally read them.)
And when you zoom out to look at the big picture? There will also be messes.
This is only the beginning…