Saturday, February 19, 2022


I am certain that the blood pulsing through my veins is actually printers ink.  Touching books, opening books, holding books, smelling the pages, reading books, shelving books, looking at books, talking about books, selling books.....  I can't remember a time when books weren't part of me. I read every day.  Sometimes for hours, often I read well into the night and there are times when  I read just a few pages.  But a day is incomplete for me if I have not spent even a few minutes with a book.

Our home is small.  There are 3 levels of  space that are utilized to the max.  There are several rooms, (14) rooms that don't seem to make sense and even though there are a lot of rooms they are small (tiny).  My husband is handy.  He has skills that make our little Hobbit house seem to expand as needed.  What is usually needed is more space for books.

At least every six months there is a book migration that happens inside those walls.  Books that have been read find their way from piles on tables (or the floor) to a shelf.  Books that have been patiently waiting for their turn to be opened get a place of honor on a table. No matter where they migrate there are always more books in stacks looking for a place to land.  

Bill is also a reader, not quite like me but he does read.  From our very first "date" (we met in a bar and he took me to watch the sun come up .... it came up behind us) we talked about books.  He knew that reading was part of my DNA.  When we combined households (3 weeks after that first date) we had multiple copies of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Hobbit -- although I did bring many more books than Bill, he brought tools.  Tools that through the years have added bookcases, expanded tops of bookcases to make more room for books, tools that retrofit shelving to fit a space, tools that repair or brace shelves sagging from their book holding responsibilities.....the man has mad skills when it comes to carpentry (actually he can build or repair anything) while I hold the tools and chatter about my vision for places to put things (books) he is the one that makes the magic happen.

It has become evident that our little cinderblock house MAY have begun to protest.  But as luck would have it someone posted a picture of a home for sale.  The lead photograph was of a bookcase built into a stairwell. A light went off in my head.  Our unfinished basement houses our laundry area, a freezer, utility shelves, furnace, hot water heater, our bed (surrounded by books, of course) and a Christmas decoration room. (yes you are reading that correctly a room dedicated to all things Christmas)  However on closer inspection there is a wall without books and a perfectly good stairway that with just a little vision could become the newest book nook.  This observation happened on Tuesday and with a carpenters pencil and measuring tape Bill had a plan.  

Today that wall is insulated, framed in and tongue and groove planks are in place.  A window that no longer had use as a window (the addition of a deck years ago removed any view and light through those panes of glass) is gone. The stairway is enclosed with matching tongue and groove.  Flooring and paint will be chosen, shelving will be in place and soon very soon there will be books and art adorning the wall.  The rest of the basement will appear unfinished in the eyes of most.  For me walls lined with books are all that a room really needs.  Books, a vision and a carpenter, my life is pretty damn good.

1 comment:

  1. I get it! Also a small house dweller, it is always a debate betweeen (gasp!) getting rid of books and building/finding shelving. Sometimes just milk crates. Just took a load of books to the library where hopefully someone else will enjoy them too! So glad you have a shelf-builder and a new shelf - how satisfying!