What you are looking at is one of our fiction shelves. It's the start of "L", actually. The renovations to our living room are largely complete. The bookshelves have been lovingly redone, and we finished reshelving all the books. We kept the DVDs in boxes in the basement, possibly never to open again, and now our two units are split accordingly: the smaller unit housing the TV is set aside for "poetry", and the big book nook is for "fiction".
Yes, "Fiction". It doesn't matter if it's children's literature, YA literature, adult literature, science fiction or fantasy, if it is fiction, then it's put on the shelf by author. Because I firmly believe that all fiction is valuable regardless of gentre. And if that means that Madeleine L'Engle rubs shoulders with Derek Landry or that Margaret Laurence sits next to Hugh Laurie followed by Ursula K. LeGuin, well, that's the way we roll in the Bow household.
Well, almost. The picture books are on a separate shelf, to make it easier for Nora to take those books if she wants them. But both kids chapter books (think Beverly Cleary and Emily Windsnap) are lovingly shelved in their proper place, by author.
Two weeks ago, when Erin proposed we get cracking on replacing the carpet in our living room with vinyl flooring, I suspected she did it two weeks ahead of a planned dinner party to give us incentive to haul ass and get things done. Well, it worked, and I suspect it's exhausted all of us. And we couldn't do it without help, either. A friend of a friend came in to paint the fifteen-foot walls in our living room and the complicated arrangements of our stairwell, and he was worth every penny. Then we hired a retired bookstore-owner-come-carpenter to spruce up our Ikea Billy bookshelves with trim and crown moulding to make them look grand and built in.
Is it strange for me to say that it's the new bookshelves that make me the happiest about this renovation? Make no mistake, the floor looks great, and Erin and the kids and I sweated buckets over it, but the bookshelves look like a million bucks. They really make the room.
The downstairs renovations are only half complete. We still have to finish the landing, the stairs and the dining room, but the toughest half is over. Now we have only five more bookcases to move (not nine), and a room with eight-foot ceilings to paint. Should be a snap.
But we'll do it... later.
Here's some of the pictures of the fruits of our labours (and our friends' labours). First, the poetry (and TV) bookcase: