Witch livingroom library #2

The Resident IT Consultant has kept up a steady pace all week, so just in time for St Andrew’s Day and the First Sunday in Advent, we have shelves. Not just undercoated, but ‘overcoated’ and filled.


He painted for three days, and then the joiner came and secured the shelves with screws. Except for the one he forgot to do, so that will have to be done on his next visit.

'The Paretsky Shelf'

In anticipation of putting ‘all’ the books up, we placed the first few early, as they were hanging around all un-boxed. These are on ‘The Paretsky Shelf’ as we have named the slightly taller shelf for recent hardbacks. New hardbacks are very tall and never seem to fit where other books will happily go. As for Sara, she was pleased to have a home, although she declared it slightly tacky. (I’m hoping that’s the paint tacky, not the tasteless one.)

And the day I swanned off to Edinburgh I left a room full of boxed books, and returned to a wall filled with books. He’s quite useful that way, the Resident IT Consultant. He even made time to pick me up from the station.

My heart is flowing over, and so, obviously, are the shelves. They are generous, taking up a whole wall. But that is never enough, is it? There will, eventually, be more shelves in other rooms, but each step has to be done in the right order. I estimate at least two more months before the next worthwhile contribution to our shelving issues.


We spent the following day placing the newly released books in a more orderly fashion, while also pruning quite a bit. I was being very good, sacrificing all my Ann Grangers and my remaining Wycliffes and some of the Ed McBains.

We gained a little more space by moving some books to the shelves in the alcove, which until this week had held a number of completely irrelevant items.


We’re slowly getting there. Thank you for your time!

7 responses to “Witch livingroom library #2

  1. Sitting here in the workroom of muddle, within the house of random stacks and various shelving, I am envying that lovely white space, and the sense of order that you’re able to start off your library project.

  2. Sorry about that, but I’m glad to be envied, as well…
    I think it makes a difference if you are staying put or arriving somewhere new. It’s easy to just leave things the way they are (although I recommend a large tub of white paint and a paintbrush and some madness), and the only reason we are doing this is that we have to. And some of the money spent comes from having bought a smaller, cheaper house, necessitating an efficient shelving system simply to fit into the house. We hope.

  3. Well. We definitely benefit from all your reading. I often wonder how you get through so many books, but you have recommended some excellent ones that I have enjoyed. Keep up the good work!

  4. I did the same fairly recently, so I agree with you about how exciting it is filling those pristine white shelves. I had vertical bits of wood fixed at irregular distances along mine: they support the shelves above and stop them bowing (books are so heavy!) and it’s easier to pull out a book in the middle. How do you sort? Alphabetically, by date of publication, serendipity
    . . . ?

  5. Odette, I’m good at making people think I read a lot! That’s all.

    Linda, 10 kilos per metre, we reckon. The shelves are plywood, so should take the weight without dips.
    Sort? Well, the top two are out of my reach, so are mainly things I have no or less interest in. History, etc. Then we have four to five shelves of fiction, alphabetically ordered (apart from those tall ‘Paretsky’ books), which the Resident IT Consultant calls ‘my’ fiction, which is rich, seeing how much of it is his (this is just the adult fiction). Below that we have his Lake District books, his train books, some travel, anything big and a few bits and pieces. On the floor underneath, which you can’t see in the photo, is an untidy heap of what didn’t fit.

  6. There’s something quite dreamy about those clean empty shelves, although it’s also nice to see them filled as well. What a useful Resident IT Consultant you have!

  7. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to accept that something was meant for use and that you do need to clutter it up. But this is better than millions of boxes behind the sofa.

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