Bathtub full of books.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When I lived with Amber, I started collecting books.  I'm a big reader (and a fast reader) but I used to never really buy books.  I had a dream once where I had a giant library (the kind with a ladder and everything!) and I realized that in my dream I wasn't that old.  If I wanted that library, I was gonna have to start getting on it!  I started collecting books from thrift stores and the clearance section at Half Price Books (only a dollar!)  I go thrifting a lot and every time I do, I stick my nose over in the book section and see if there are any of my favorites or ones I'd been wanting to read.  I started collecting my library and soon amassed quite an amount - they overflowed from my one bookshelf and started giant piles on the floor.  Well, one day Amber and Ben decided to re carpet the upstairs and I had to get everything off my bedroom floor.  Where did I store all of my extra books?

In the bathtub, obviously.

Well, I've moved a few times since then, and I've collected even more books (along with more bookshelves.)  Since I don't know if I'll be using one of my old bookshelves in the new apartment, (not a place for it, really) I thought I'd show everyone how I spruced it up a bit from the $10 thrift store condition I brought it home in.

Awesome, right?  Or not.  But, it was big enough for all my books and only $10.  So I figured if I ruined it, I was only out a few bucks.

First, I figured I'd add a face to the front.  I wanted it to appear more substantial and permanent than a thrift store adjustable bookshelf.

(Sorry for the blurry picture!)  I used these super cheap thin pieces of wood I found at Home Depot; I don't remember what they were meant for, but I don't think it was refurbishing a bookshelf.  I nailed them along the sides and shelves (Hint: because the shelves are adjustable and move a bit, I nailed the horizontal pieces to the shelves themselves and didn't attach them to the long vertical ones on the sides.  If I had, there would be a greater chance of them breaking off if the shelf shifted in any way.)  This just required a few bucks of wood, a cheap handsaw (though the dudes at Home Depot will totally cut anything you buy there to length for you if you want - helpful when you need to cart something home in a small car!) thin enough nails to not split the cheapo wood you're hammering into, and some careful measuring.

I picked out this gorgeous deep and rich navy/royal blue hybrid to paint the shelves, but as you'll see, I didn't do the best painting job.

I wish I could say that I painted the back of the shelves (because I totally intended to!) but I never did.  I was painting this giant bookshelf in my living room, with tarp covering the carpet, and by the time I sanded, primed and painted the whole thing, I was over it.  I stood it up to see how everything looked and thought (for a hot second) about covering the back with some pretty fabric or paper.  I then made the fatal mistake of putting some books on the shelves "just to see how it looked" and realized you could barely even see the back.  It hasn't been painted any further since this picture was taken.

But... I still think it turned out adorably, and looked so great filled with books and stuffs. (That's my word for all the tchotchkes and knicky-knack things I just seem to acquire.)

(See?!  You can barely see the janky back!)

Of course, by the time I was done with the freakin' thing, I already needed to start a pile or two of books on the floor again.  (I have a problem.)  It was kind of nice to get all of the books in one place, and see what I had and find books that I hadn't actually read yet.

I'm actually pretty sad to give the thing up.  Besides the color not fitting into the new living room, (and I dreeeeeaaaaad the idea of painting that monster again) I don't really have the wall space for it.   Of course, I don't know what I'll do with all of the books that were in it.  It might be time for some new book storage option searching.  Maybe just some simple shelves, a la Daniel from Manhattan Nest?

(Edi: just joking, those are a friend's bookshelves that Daniel based his DIY project on.
I apologize for the incorrect linking.  But they're still amaze-balls.)

I do have one other bookshelf, the ubiquitous Expedit from Ikea, but it doesn't actually hold that many books (comparatively.)

 (instagramed pic courtesy of my seester.) 
(and also, this is a pic of my old living room, nothing is this put together yet)

So, we'll see how much energy I put into finding a new bookshelf/making the old one work/making a new set of shelves...  One of those will have to happen, because I have waaaaay too many books to just stay in boxes like they are now.  I'll keep you updated!  (and/or draft you to help if I decide to do something dramatic/complicated)



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