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text 2018-07-19 02:06
Notes from a desperate bibliophile

Shelving.  That elusive infrastructure that literally supports every bibliophile's habit.  There's never enough of it; it's been in perpetual shortage since the first library in Alexandria was built and a new daily lament was heard:  We're running out of room for all these scrolls!!! 


This bibliophile has been especially challenged by her delusional idea that it would be good for her character to live in a small home (Learning to live with less will be good for me!).  Less of everything except books, of course.  Coupled with the equally delusional: I'll never fill this small "second bedroom" with books - this will be fine!, I'm constantly challenging the laws of physics, attempting to fit an infinite number of books in a very finite space.


I know a lot of my fellow bibliophile friends double-row their bookshelves.  I've never been able to stomach the idea, because, of course, I will immediately want/need the books in the back row and not be able to find/access them.  But I've been thinking about this ...  


Last weekend was spectacular, weather wise - pure sunshine and warmish temps - so I cajoled MT into rummaging around in our shed for scrap wood.  A bit of further sweet-talking and he sawed some of it down, left me with the hammer drill, self-drilling screws and a couple of cans of left over paint. The result was two of these:



I did the bare minimum putting these together: the quickest sanding, one coat of black paint and one coat of clear.  I eyeballed the location of the legs and hammer-drilled the screws in.  What are they?  Well, they're elevated shelves that are half the depth of my bookcase shelves.  In the bookcases, they look like this:



This is not the greatest picture for depth perception, but you get the gist.  They allow me to double shelf my smaller books, but still allow me to see the titles AND easily access the books in the back.  Finished it looks like this:



With the smaller books it works PERFECTLY (those are my Agatha Christie books).  I'm not as pleased with the look when I add the larger hardcovers, as you can see them on the right.  They fit fine, but they look too 'in your face', but I didn't want to waste the space.  I doubt I'll do more of these for my hardcover fiction, but I'm definitely going to cobble together some more for my smaller non-fiction books and my paperbacks.  


I figure this should buy me at least one month before I have to start stressing about bookshelf space again!


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url 2017-10-05 22:08
Cat and Book Lovers: This Bag Was Made for You ...

Just shared on my FB wall by a friend ... isn't it too cute?

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photo 2016-06-12 14:01
Of course not

So very true...

Source: tickmick.blogspot.se/2016/06/mitt-liv-i-ett-notskal.html
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text 2016-05-30 10:40
New bookshelf...

Even for book lovers a new bookcase is rarely cause for its own blog post, but I'd never seen anything like this before a couple of months ago, and today I got my own.


It's perfect for us because we just don't have any space left in the house for another traditional bookcase.  It's called a vertical book spine:



(Before and after.)


It's 1.8 meters tall (just under 5 feet); I'm using it to keep my To Be Read books, although if you look on the shelves to the right, all those spine-out are the ones that don't fit.  It did free up a heap of space on my actual shelves though - you can imagine that won't last long.


Anyone else have one of these?  I'd like to eventually get another tall one, and maybe one short one - they're great to tuck into corners and corners are all I have left.  

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review 2016-05-22 00:37
Phantoms on the Bookshelves
Phantoms on the Bookshelves - James Salter,Jacques Bonnet,Sian Reynolds

40,000 books.  Bonnet has 40,000 books in his personal library.  At one point he had bookshelves in his bathroom, so he couldn't use the shower and could only run the bath with the window open.  He also had bookshelves in his kitchen, so no cooking with strong flavours could be done either.  I've been looking at my 1300 or so books thinking to myself I'm staring into the face of a possible obsession, but 40,000?!?  I suddenly feel quite well-adjusted.


I loved this book; it hit just the right note of chatty and philosophical, with so many quotable bits I just stopped trying to keep track - I'd have ended up reproducing the book itself.  Unlike Books: A Memoir this is entirely about the books: collecting, reading, organising; what Bonnet says about himself might amount to 2 sentences in total if you threw in a few articles and punctuation.


My only, only niggle is the result of my own reading inadequacies: he drops a lot of titles into the text (of course), and most of them are ones I've never heard of and seem to be only available in French.  This is entirely understandable, because Bonnet is French and this book was originally written and published in French.  So I was left in a few places skimming over French titles that meant little to me; c'est la vie.


Speaking of this being a translation, I can't speak with any authority, but I thought this was an excellent translation insomuch as I felt like the author's personality came through perfectly; the narrative felt smooth and natural and Reynolds took pains at the beginning to explain how French titles would be translated to English based on whether or not an English translation of the book was ever published.  A bibliography is also included at the back of books mentioned in the text.


This one is for the book collectors out there; those who love physical books and find tranquility in standing in a room surrounded by them.  For you, this is a book worth reading (and owning, of course!).



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