Next week we start some major renovations on our house, and in order to be able to do this we have to move everything out of the first floor. We’ve lived here for just over 10 years, and one of the first things I bought when we moved in were some big (but cheap) bookcases. Over the last 10 years they have got more and and more full – first one row of books on each shelf, then another on top of that, then half a row in front, and suddenly, some shelves have six layers of books. It’s no wonder one of them collapsed a while back. I did a quick calculation the other day. Just in those bookcases alone we have over a thousand books. We have other bookcases too, and lots of bigger books scattered about the house. I bet the total will be nearer to two thousand, and all of them need to be boxed up and put away.
Today the packing boxes arrived – not too big, because if there are too many books in each box, we won’t be able to carry it up the ladder to the attic, so I’ve ordered about fifty. Twenty books in each one and that should deal with just the first bookcase. I’m hoping that I’m going to have the time to pack them in genres, or at least in age range, so that when I get to open them up again to put them into my sparking new full-height built in shelves, I get them in some sort of order. Possibly even alphabetical. It would be very nice to be able to put my hand on the right book when I want it, and not spend ages scouring the shelves and muttering “I’m sure Jane Eyre was next to A Monster Calls,” or trying to visualise the spines and remember where I might have glimpsed them.
Right now, that dream is in the future. Tomorrow I’ll be emptying the shelves, rediscovering old favourites which have been forgotten and hidden, and no doubt dipping into one or two of them. I’m really hoping that a series I loved as a child, and which I’ve not seen for years, is hiding in there. I discovered the Sue Barton nursing books in my local library and loved every one. Slowly, through saving pocket money and birthday presents, I acquired my own copies of most of the series, finding the last one when I was in my early twenties. I can’t wait to see them again, and I’ll probably have to read a few before they get packed up to keep them safe.
Which of book would you like to find in the back of a bookcase?