I have a book problem. And a shelf solution.

on February 20, 2014 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 11 comments by

So I have these two bookshelves and I’ve had the same two bookshelves for about ten years. LITERALLY. I bought them when I started teaching school in the fall of 2003. In fact, remind me to tell you the story of how I had them in my 5th grade classroom and I let a kid stand on top of one…. and the shelf broke…. and I caught him as he tumbled down. And I didn’t get fired.

(Well, I just told you the story after all. No need to remind me to tell you some other time.)

I keep getting books and giving some away and getting more because I have a book problem – I’m addicted. I love them. I have a line in my budget for books. And because my job is books and my friends write a lot of books, I get books in the mail fairly often. So my bookshelves are, um, stuffed.

shelf start 2

I’m afraid my OCD is about to show, but just so you know, the left bookshelf is non-fiction in alphabetical order by author’s last name and the right shelf is fiction in alphabetical order by author’s last name EXCEPT the bottom shelf which is the gardening, teaching, and children’s book section. And they are double stacked- can you see that? Two rows on each shelf, but don’t worry- they are still alphabetically correct.

I’m a lunatic.

Intern Sarah and I decided it was high time that we deal with this double stack situation and the fact that it is a bit of a boring corner of my home.

So I hurried to Target and purchased two more very expensive bookshelves- they were $15 each. I’m really fancy like that. I put them together using an electric screwdriver even though the directions said not to because I AM A REBEL.

And I stacked them up.

shelf middle 1

Then I called Intern Sarah to come over. Because she is so very good at all the decorating things, as evidenced here. And I asked her to spread the books out and make this area of my house look adorable. One trick- she wasn’t allowed to spend any money. So she came over, scrounged around my house and basement, and collected some knicks and some knacks and did a beautiful thing.

shelf done 1

RIGHT? Isn’t is gorgeous? Here’s a closer view.

shelf done 2

And do you see that A F D on the second shelf on the right? THEY ARE CARVED OUT OF BOOKS.  I bought them in Laguna Beach a few weeks ago at a local shop, but you can get them at Antro as well.

I cannot quit staring at this corner of my house now. I love it soooo much. And it cost me a total of $30. And yes, the left is still nonfiction and the right is still fiction. And yes, they are still in alphabetical order.

So no, cute decor doesn’t cover up crazy. If you were wondering.


  1. posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 7:11 AM  |  reply

    Beautiful. I need Sarah to work on my four bookcases that are all overflowing!

  2. Emily
    posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 7:43 AM  |  reply

    Ooh! This is so cute!

  3. Mama Downs
    posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 9:22 AM  |  reply

    It looks wonderful and I see my Tea & Traditions tea tin which adds tremendously to the classy factor 🙂

  4. Pam
    posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM  |  reply

    LOVE this post : ) My bookshelves could use a bit of straightening up too. Thanks for the inspiration. Your new space looks fantastic!

  5. posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM  |  reply

    I love your new shelves, AND that your books are categorized and in alpha order! I’d love for mine to be – but with children in the home, I have to preserve some sanity…they’re at least on the shelves (mostly).

  6. Sarah B.
    posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 4:37 PM  |  reply

    Want to show us a close up of those shelves? Love books too and would love to see more of what you’re reading!!

  7. posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 4:38 PM  |  reply

    Sooo cute! Just before I got to the bit about the AFD I was already wondering they were made of. Never would have guessed books! Adorable!

    Not that I have a clue about anything handy or anything, but screw those shelves together or bracket them to the wall or something. I feel so nervous that they are going to fall!

    I’ve got major OCD tendencies. (As possibly evidence by my very real worry over your shelf safety!) Everyone makes fun of my DVD collection. We have 5 different albums based on genre and the disks inside are alphabetized. It just makes life easier!

  8. Lenyer
    posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM  |  reply

    I absolutely love it! My sister and I share a book case, and we are constantly having to move books around to make room for new ones. And my side is always alphabetized within their own genres. Having it all organized makes me happy! Great job Sarah on the decorating, it looks gorgeous!

  9. Heather
    posted on Feb 21, 2014 at 6:25 PM  |  reply

    I noticed the shelf in your latest Speak Lovelies video. Actually it was primarily the Georgia G that I noticed but it’s great to see the finished project. Looks lovely!

  10. posted on Feb 21, 2014 at 7:36 PM  |  reply

    Cute!! Try pulling all the books to the edge of the shelf and see how you like that – I did that with mine and I love it!

  11. posted on Feb 21, 2014 at 8:02 PM  |  reply

    Your books are alphabetized?!? I’m jealous.

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