Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Present: 04.28.13

The Present: 04.28.13

It's been well over a month since I last wrote a blog post. These daily musings didn't have the same feeling in the absence of books to write about and I bored of writing them quickly. I thought I would write today in celebration of the fact that my books are finally coming out of boxes once again. This was exactly what occasioned the Aimless Reading projet in the first place. This is the second time since that they have been completely unpacked and re-shelved.

I have some built-ins just outside my office in the hallway of the new house. They were in pretty rough shape when we moved in. The drab, off-white paint was cracked and peeling, one of the shelves was missing, and another seemed to have been added at a later date without any concern for how well it fit into the book cases. It was not as deep as the unit itself and barely wide enough to catch the shelf-clip on either end.

Our initial plan was to have Lori faux-woodgrain the whole hallway, including the bookcases. The house was built in 1949 and all the walls were originally made of luan that had a warm, orange-y finish to it. We decided to try the book cases first. She painted an orange base over them, then started layering a dark brown wood grain over it. It quickly became apparent that this was not the way to go. It was just two dark and it made the house seem less modern.

In the meantime, I had two new plywood shelves cut at Home Depot. It was kind of a pain because they do not sell boards that are truly 12" deep. The boards they call 12" are actually 1/4" to a 1/2" inch less deep than that. I had to by a large sheet of plywood instead and have them cut two shelves out that. I think the sheet cost something like $35. Anyhow, I did that and also had to buy a few extra clips for the added shelf.

In the end, we decided that our current design approach of painting everything white should be followed with the bookcases.  Lori re-painted everything. Painting over the orange was bad enough, but she also encountered a problem painting over the wooden doors on the cabinets beside the bookcases.

There are eight of them and the finish leaked through the white on all of them. She ended up having to prime, then shellack, then paint two or three coats on each one to get rid of the wood underneath. However, we did want a little color, so we bought some playful floral fabric and pasted to the wall behind the shelves. You can see it in the photo behind all the books.

Last night I unpacked all the book boxes. I decided to categorize my books this time instead of just alphabetizing everything in one big clump. I spent most of the afternoon unpacking and separating out the poetry books. Once they were out I alphabetized and shelved them. They nearly filled the entire built-in. I filled in the lower shelves with a Spanish language/Latin American section, which took up almost two shelves. I filled the final shelf in with a few books on film and then a group of unclassifiable practical books on subjects ranging from dieting to wilderness trails to parenting.

My next project is to shelve fiction, philosophy, drama, history, sci-fi, etc. I am trying to decide If I want to keep the cheap shelving I moved from Buffalo with or buy something a little nicer that I can put in my office. I may think on this for a little while before taking action.