Storage solutions


Alan Powers Living with Books Mitchell Beazley 1999 

Museum Selfie Day — when you post a picture of yourself on social media in front of a museum exhibit — has become hugely popular since it started in 2014. (Twitter account @MuseumSelfieDay has announced it will be on January 18th next year.)

Anticipating the success of Museum Selfie Day the New York Public Library promptly declared that the Wednesday following would be Library Shelfie Day (the 3rd annual event was on 27th January this year). The NYPL blog described how, after the inaugural event, “the stats were flooring: approximately 1,500 Instagram posts and 1,800 tweets from roughly 244 libraries/orgs/anything non-personal accounts.” Following the success of America’s National Library Shelfie Day, Britain’s National Libraries Day (this year held on Saturday 6th February) also celebrated with the #libraryshelfie tag on social media.

Naturally I’ve missed all this fun the last few years, being a latecomer to most parties. So here, on a date of no particular significance, is my shelfie, as I’ve been promising for some time now.

Painting up existing shelves in our new home has been very low down on my list of priorities, but following the recent refurbishment of the guest bedroom I’ve taken the opportunity to do a bit more bookweeding as well as to try and get hastily unpacked books in some semblance of order. I hope guests appreciate the improvements to the view now offered at the foot of their beds.

For comparison, here’s a now historic pic of the books in a previous home, crammed into the loft:


The dismal scene after packing for the move:

Then, before the final apotheosis nearly 18 months later, the willy-nilly dumping of books where they will go:


Okay, I’ve lulled you into thinking this was a review of Alan Powers’ Living with Books when in fact I’ve hit you with a gratuitous selection of photos of my personal library. A few words then about this coffee-table book, for appearance’s sake.

This is filled with gorgeous pictures of other bibliophile’s storage solutions. The contents list supplies you with what you need to know: images of books in home libraries, home offices, corridors & odd spaces, kitchens, bedrooms and, yes, bathrooms. There’s even, between the enticing photos, a hint of text filling up some of the white spaces … but we aren’t much interested in that, not really, nor in the simple DIY suggestions for constructing variations on bookshelving.

I spent a pleasant half hour with a ten-year-old grandson as we leafed through the book and chatted to each other about what we saw and what we liked; that’s probably the best approach to take with it as, essentially, it’s just a picture book for grown-ups. And nearly grown-ups who like reading.

Author alphabet: P [non-fiction]

10 thoughts on “Storage solutions

  1. I did love that attic in your previous house – chocca with books – gorgeous.
    Got to love a whole lotta books, whatever the storage solution. Nice post, Chris 🙂


    1. Thanks, Lynn! The old loft storage did need a bit of sorting, which the imminent move thankfully set in motion — painful though it was. Here’s hoping that a few fellow bloggers will reciprocate by posting their own #shelfies!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it! My shelves are much diminished after my cull when I moved – in general a good move as I have kept most of the books that are important to me. But, alas, in the (slight) mayhem of the move, a few books were inadvertently dumped 😦


  3. In my family there were five kids and a lot of stuff, but whenever we moved house it was my father’s books that took as long as everything else put together- packing them up (it never occurred to him that this might have to be done) transporting them and unpacking them. Then he would complain that we were ‘fiddling with his things”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, that sounds a bit like me, Gert — I’d probably be with your Dad, railing against people ‘fiddling’ while prevaricating over selecting and packing. Message heard!


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