Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Home Libraries: Putting the Mission Statement into Action


Last week I wrote out my Home Library Mission Statement.

#1 was:
My home library is the intellectual and spiritual center of my home. It’s a place dedicated to storing and displaying the books I’ve read and the books I want to read.
My home will have dedicated space for books and I will respect that space and leave it free of knicknacks and other flotsam. Shelves will be kept tidy.

As you can see, I have a ways to go.

CDs, a plush Adipose and a Borg teddy bear are only some of the random stuff living on my bookshelves. There are also puzzles and a coin collection and even film cell-souvenirs from a movie screening. I don't really know where to put these things. They live on my bookshelves because I don't have any better ideas about what to do with them.

At my age I may be too old for TV-tie-in plushies. But one was a gift and one was a travel souvenir. And so on.

What to do?
I know- start with something easier.

This bank of shelves is home to my nonfiction. Here, I spent a little while moving some books around, weeding and tidying. The Christmas cards are now gone;
the ancient Tolstoy paperback (the green book on top of the TV) is gone, the CDs are put away with the rest of my CDs and the collection is weeded. This photo was taken mid-project; I had already weeded a bunch of books.





I ended up with a nice new shelf of biographies and travel; history and literary criticism; and a selection of Jewish-studies nonfiction and the stuff that didn't fit anywhere else:



I also weeded a ton of books from all three sections of shelves and made some room for new things. A good day in home library management!

18 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I used to have a bunch of plush children's lit tie-ins, and I was feeling I should "weed" and gave them all away, and it sure didn't take me long to regret it and want them all back again!

J.C. Montgomery said...

This is the part of my home library that is proving to be the hardest: space.

Not so much making it, but acquiring it. [heavy sigh]

You've done wonderful so far. Thank you for the inspiration!

Mystica said...

Its so easy to just collect odds and ends on your bookshelf. You are quite good to be so disciplined and have nice, clean looking bookshelves (only with books).

bermudaonion said...

It looks like you're making great progress!

....Petty Witter said...

And what a library you have. I kind of like the jetsam that seems to levitate its way towards bookshelves - it says almost as much about the person as the books themselves.

Michael Kindness said...

a plush Adipose? That is AWESOME!!

and btw, your shelves look waaaay better than mine, so keep up the good work!

jewwishes said...

It is so easy to put cards, plushies, and other assorted items on the shelves, in front of the books.

You are getting there...keep it up!

Zibilee said...

I think it looks like things are progressing rather nicely! It's hard to keep shelves free of knick-knacks sometimes, and I find that when I look at my shelves they are all over the place. Good for you that you are getting things in order. I admire your determination and ideas!

nomadreader said...

I love that you're so passionate and deliberate about your home library. I made the decision to give away my books a few moves ago (around the time Mr. Nomad Reader and I made our fourth state in less than three years together). I find I love the simplicity of a minimal home, and I love knowing everything is waiting for me at wonderful libraries. There are about five books I held on to, but I'm also curious if I'll get the urge to build a personal collection after we're finished with graduate school and settled down (wherever that may be). Truthfully, I was always more of a hoarder of my own books. Most of the ones on my shelves were the ones I'd never read.

reviewsbylola said...

I love seeing other blogger's libraries. I really need to follow your lead and do something about my own "library", which right now consists of stacks and stacks of books lined up across my basement floor.

Kathleen said...

Sounds like you have put actions to your intentions. It is hard to know where to put all the other stuff that ends up on our bookshelves, isn't it? I fight the same battle myself.

ahog said...

I'm glad someone else has multiple copies of Marlantes' Matterhorn.

Always nice to peek into someone else's library. Thanks for sharing.

bkclubcare said...

awesome. You've inspired me to tackle the crazy crap shelves in my craft room!

reederreads said...

It looks so good! I know what you mean about putting things on your bookshelf that shouldn't be there. Tonight's goal is to start cleaning them and making them look better as well - thanks for the inspiration! :)

wisteria said...

Last year when I painted most of my upstairs which included the living room and dining room, I acquired two new large bookshelves and converted my dining room into a quasi library & dining room. Those shelves I have kept clutter free and neat. My living room bookshelves..three more are sadly a mess. They actually look ok, no extra stuff...dust collectors, but I have no organization other than read/not-read.
I need to take lessons from you. You are making me nervous. Great job!

Serena said...

sounds like you are making slow and steady progress on the home library!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Good luck!

writergal said...

Marie--- it looks great so far and the mission statement is wonderful. if I had such lovely shelves, I would do the same thing.