15 Oct 2010

Controlling books

So you all know that the people that tell you that books are inanimate objects are wrong, don't you?

Anybody who listened to even a few of their biology lessons in Primary School will recognise instinctively that inanimate objects don't breed. They don't multiply of their own volition, and they definitely don't gather into groups to attack the unwary. Those types of behaviour belong to highly developed races like man or...well, wolves even.

Anything that can form itself into seemingly haphazard, but actually highly organised, piles around the walls like books do is clearly of a significantly higher life form than that to which they try to convince us that books belong. Hah! They don't fool me!

Books are alive. Their growth is exponential, just like that of bacteria and viruses and ummm, humans. They are unbeatable too. Their will to survive and procreate is too strong for mere man to restrain for long. Sure, we can corral them for a short time in book cases and on shelves, but they will escape again. That much is sure.

There have been times in our peaceful home that we have had our books more or less under our control. Each has had a home amongst its own species. Spiritual with spiritual, travel with travel, children's with children's. Not for some time though. Those piles are evidence of books that no longer have a place to rest their heads at night. They are homeless waifs, and as anyone who has lived in a city can attest, it is those who have nowhere to go at night that get up to the most mischief. Toes are stubbed, heads are hit, fingers are jammed. These books get up to it all.

There is no permanent cure, of course. Coming to terms with that truism is the first part of the solution. Only then can you deal with masking the symptoms and making your home the safe haven you intend it to be.

IKEA is the cheapest option. We use Expedit, but Billy works as well. Our visit on Saturday yielded two - a five by five for the living room behind the door, and a two by four joins the five by five already in Jemimah's room to replace the little three shelf vintage beauty beside the bathroom. That's moved into our room behind the daybed. We've been arranging these shelves for much of this week - well apart from the two days that I was out of town wearing a business suit and looking professional and...er...building towers of spaghetti and marshmallows actually. But I digress. We're about half way through. The living room's looking pretty good, the study is improving, Jemimah's room is chaos.

I'll post the after photos shortly.

Next week.

If I leave it much longer than that, those books will be at it again. Procreating. Honestly, they're like rabbits, they are. Phew!

Inanimate. Sure.

What do they think I am?


  1. lol :)

    When you finish at your house you can come reign ours in if you like...seriously these things need birth control.


  2. Books do the same thing chez nous! Glad to hear we're not the only ones with the problem. And I am in dire need of new shelves, so thanks for the tip! Can't wait to see the "after" photos.

  3. It's true. We're moving two of our children into the same room to make a room available for The Books.

    I've taken the ruthless approach of culling the herd from time to time to weed out what is merely good in order to highlight what is truly excellent. We are so very blessed.

    I have to say that I was deeply gratified to recognize some familiar titles in your piles. Snowflake Bentley? I cry every time. It's a little embarrassing!

  4. Ahhh, Jeanne. Love it! Thanks for the laugh :D

  5. It's true, they spread like fungi, good to see Sarah has her priorities in order;) I'm all for that solution:)

    Looking forward to seeing your photos.

  6. yes. our books have a way of migrating. but it doesn't seem to correspond with seasons... it's daily. I swear I put 4,359 books away EVERY day. Of course I DON'T swear... but you know what I mean :)

    amy in peru

  7. Loving your old friends! and the pic of your dear dad ♥ At least your piles are somewhat domesticated? We have feral ones here:-).

  8. Okay, let's get this clear. There is nothing domesticated about those piles. Them there piles is savage beasts. Out of control, willful and dangerous. One of them fell on me the other day. without provocation or reason. Just uped and jumped on me y'hear? Of course I didn't photograph that one. Actually, I dismantled it bit by bit. Hah - I had the upper hand then, didn't I? Feral is the perfect word. Dangerous.

  9. lol, this was too funny!
    I need some ikea too, soon...it's getting too much for me:)

  10. LOL! You are a wild, wild woman, Jeanne!
    What happened to the one who claimed she is OCD? She would never have let her children, er..pets, er...books get so out of control!

  11. Books maketh the home, homes with no books have no soul.

    We don't have Ikea in Canberra which is really sad. I like the first selection of book cases. I need more as I have run out of space.

  12. So true, Jeanne! I wish we could get to an IKEA. We never have enough bookshelves.

  13. We sure are in sync this week! I have spent my week varnishing the shelves my hubby made for me, and reorganizing our ever-breeding books. Highly satisfying.

  14. Yes! Love IKEA bookcases! Ours are Billy, but just because those fit best in the space we have. And I think you are absolutely correct in books breeding; mine do, that's for sure!

  15. Can't wait for those photos.

    I'm still smarting over my husband's re-arrangement of the office. He wanted to make 'more space' and I lost two bookshelves! I'm still shaking my head in amazement at how this could have happened.

    On an up note, Max scored them both. He's thrilled - though he still has piles on his desk and bedside table.

  16. Yes, they do seem to breed and expand ever so quickly - it is super scary.

    Now, I had culled the herd to a very respectable number before going off on our adventure, but even then, while we've been traveling they bred in the caravan. We did have a few get killed off - the children have been ruthless with some. I guess they don't really like being overly petted and drawn in. LOL. But books are there to be enjoyed, so a sacrifice well made.

    I have a secret to share with you Jeanne - this time next week I will be able to put my books back on a bookshelf. :) 11 months in a caravan deserves a bookshelf. :) It will be good to see all the herd together again. Although I have this feeling that the paddock and fences might need expanding again.

  17. Oh you gave me such a good laugh!! Kindred spirit! I was just blessed with 3, yes 3!, free bookcases two weeks ago and my husband could not believe how quickly they were filled to the brim!!!
    I LOVE reading your blog!


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