Between us, Susan and I probably have 3000 books. When we bought this house, we had less than half that number. When we bought the house, we had 24 linear feet of floor-to-ceiling bookcases built into one of the five bedrooms. Between us, we filled it.
However, in 14 years, we’ve both bought a lot of books. Before long, I had squeezed Susan out of the room. Then, I filled the built-ins completely and commissioned a couple of custom bookcases. And then all of that was filled. We were supposed to move a couple of years ago, and, in fact, had broken ground on a new house that would have had 65 linear feet of floor to ceiling bookcases. However, Susan got laid off from her job, and we suddenly couldn’t qualify for the financing any more, and we stayed here.
For the past two or three years, I’d just been allowing new books to pile up on the floor because there was nowhere to put them. When it got to be a couple of hundred books that took up pretty much the whole floor of my home office, I realized we had to do something about it. Susan started by reorganizing her books, which, in turn opened up shelf space. I brought home two bookcases that were previously in my office and started moving stuff around yesterday. I worked in all of the new non-Civil War books yesterday as I was moving things around. I was surprised to learn that I now have 3.5 shelves worth of books on the Revolutionary War.
That, however, leaves the Civil War books. I bought a ton of books when we were working on One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863, and I likewise have bought a bunch of books for my other pending projects, such as Monocacy. Without counting them, I would guess that I probably have somewhere between 150 and 200 new books to work into my existing library. That means wholesale moving around of books, which is hot, sweaty work albeit a good and cheap workout.
Last night, after finishing moving the non-Civil War books around, I told Susan that I think that there’s a reasonably good chance that there won’t be room for all of them in my home office, which means some of them will spill into another bedroom. There are bookcases in virtually every possible spot in the house, and they’re all pretty much full at this point. We have room for only two more bookcases around this place, and then I don’t have any idea what we’re going to do. It’s a major dilemma.
At least we’re not my wife’s stepmother. Her personal library, constantly growing, is about 18,000 volumes, which is a truly awesome collection; I can only imagine how much money she’s invested in building that library of hers. My father-in-law had to build a house around Marlene’s library. We’re not THAT bad, but it’s plenty bad around here…..Scridb filter