Well, it’s been all go around here this weekend! As is traditional of British Bank Holiday weekends, the weather has been largely miserable and I have been busy doing DIY. I may not look up to much, but I am the Queen of Flat Pack Furniture Assembly. There is nothing I can’t put together – just give me an allen key and I am away! I love the sense of achievement when I stand back, exhausted, and take stock of what I have built. ALL BY MYSELF! I was so excited when I moved back in with my mum, as I finally have the space to put up bookshelves and bring all of my books down from the loft where they have been gathering dust for years. Last week I bought three bookcases from IKEA, and I put them up this weekend. I had already decided to set myself a challenge; I was only allowed to keep as many books as fitted on my shelves – no more boxes in the loft, and no more piles on the floor. I thought this would be fairly easy, as there seemed to be so much shelf space when they were standing there empty, covered only in my blood, sweat and tears. However, after lugging a good twenty boxes down from the loft, and becoming surrounded by a sea of books, I realised just what a task I had before me. There were enough books to fit about six bookcases, and so I was going to have to half my collection!!! A momentary panic threatened to overwhelm me before I pulled myself together, collected some carrier bags, and got ruthless. If I didn’t love it, and either had no plans to read it any time soon or didn’t plan on reading it again, it had to go. I filled six bags with books and went to the charity shop to drop them off immediately after sorting them so that I had no time for remorse to set in (some of the more special ones I have put up for sale on my etsy shop – check them out!). It was tough, but I have to say, I feel so much lighter knowing that I am no longer responsible for so much baggage. I now only own books I genuinely love and/or really want to read and will get to very soon, and there are no more guilt inducing piles of books ‘to be read’. I am free! And I have really lovely neat and tidy bookshelves!
I have a small bookcase in my room with my favourite books; Austens, Whipples, some Elizabeth von Arnim, Bowens, Woolfs, children’s classics, and some favourite reference books. In the spare bedroom next door, I have two big bookcases that are separated into middlebrow books and literary reference books and then general reference, classics, modern favourites and children’s/young adult books (mainly Harry Potter!). It’s a bit of an eclectic system but it makes sense to me and I love that I can now have access to my books whenever I want. Bliss!
It was both enjoyable and interesting going through my books, some of which I haven’t seen for years and totally forgot I had. I found loads of books that I was surprised I’d kept, and they were easy to give away. Others were delightful discoveries; I forgot, for example, that I had a first edition of one of my favourite children’s books, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess. It’s so beautiful! I was quite disappointed that I hadn’t kept any of my university books, and I couldn’t believe that I have virtually no copies of the classics – this is probably because I borrowed them from the library when I read them as a teenager and never bought my own. I need to redress that, but not until I have my own permanent house and can build some bookshelves. For now it will be a one in-one out policy; and I mean it this time!!
Here they are in all their glory!! Lovely, lovely books: