The Next Chapter: Am I My Shelfie?

My mom finally got to see my apartment Labor Day weekend with my Aunt and I was glad to show off the place. Unfortunately, they also saw the 5 boxes and one huge storage bin full of books. I had looked for bookcases with my friend Bev but either they were too expensive or too heavy for us to carry. We found a “media unit ” in a tall box at The Christmas Tree Shop but it turned out to be a small cd storage unit. My Aunt’s solution was for me to give a box of books to my mom for one of the library book sales in New Jersey, but as any book lover will tell you, that’s a terrible idea. The thought of giving a box up gave me the willies. Instead, I suggested we go to Huck Finn’s Warehouse and pick out bookcases. I told that any books I couldn’t shelve I would give to a friend of mine to donate to a book sale. That made my Aunt happy and we went hunting for bookshelves.

If you ever stored books in boxes before, you know what a pain in the ass it is. I knew which box had my copy of Cheaper By the Dozen or Jane Austen’s Persuasion was in but I didn’t know how deep I would have to dig for it. It made looking for the next book to read even harder. Plus, I’m not the most organized person. I’m glad we took our time that day and found two big bookcases. My mother arranged it so they would have it delivered to my house. I don’t know why I didn’t think about delivery before.

I was happy when the shelves were delivered on a warm Tuesday morning. A huge guy carried each bookcase over one arm and had no problem getting up my stairs. His skinny partner would hold one end to help get them in the building. Both guys were pros at their job and they were delivered in 12 minutes or so.

I went to work that day but couldn’t wait to get home that day. When I did, I dragged the bin of books from the tiny den off of the kitchen and got to work.

Now, I’m not the most organized person, as I said before. I don’t have OCD but I made sure everything was shelved alphabetically. The first three shelves on the bookcase on the left are mainly smaller paperbacks. Each row is in alphabetical order. The fourth shelf has both small paperbacks and larger books, some in hardback. The bottom shelf on the left is where the bigger sized books like Edward Rutherford’s London and The Collected short stories of Father Brown are stored. On the right bookcase on the top two shelves are trade paperbacks. My pride and joy is my poetry anthology collection. They are mainly anthologies of mid-century American poets but it’s nice to see them all laid out to see. The bottom shelf was empty but I have filled it halfway with new purchases like The Count of Monty Cristo by Alexander Dumas or The God of Small Things by Arundhadi Roi . I took pictures of my shelves (shelfies) and posted them on my Instagram page. I enjoyed talking to my bookish friends about the books I finally shelved. The only thing I’m not sure of is where to keep my chapbooks by local poets.

When all the books were put the way I wanted, I noticed I had books that I forgot I had like Small World by David Lodge, Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone, and The Palace Thief by Ethan Canin. It’s great now to look at my shelves and know what books I have. I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders and I can enjoy looking at my books without digging through box after box.