Sunday 7 October 2007

Bookcases Do Furnish A Room

Ow. I have just performed the most exercise since... well, at least eight years. And it took much longer than I anticipated - which is why today's post has slipped over into Sunday. Oops!

No, I haven't run a marathon or won the rugby world cup (topical, no?) Yes, I have battled with the tester of mental and physical agili
ty which Argos label a 'bookcase'. It took about three hours. I have genuine blisters. But it got done. Some will suggest that giving up on screwing in screws, and lunging at them with a hammer instead, is a short-sighted and foolish measure. To these people may I repeat - blisters. And the bookcase hasn't fallen down yet.

So here it is - looks simple, doesn't it? At least the instructions were in English, unlike some Ikea bookcases I've purchased. And a tent I tried to put up a while ago appeared to have instructions in Polish or Dutch or something that was of minimal use to me - though doubtless swathes of Poles or Dutchmen have successfully put up enough to keep fields of campers dry. Oh, and the list is purely photographic-angle stuff, promise.

More importantly, on go the books. Only a small fraction of my books came with me to Oxford. Which brings me to the question of ordering - this can raise strong opinions from people. Harriet recently shelved some books in colour order - something which looks beautiful, but which I think is only practical in the home and should never be attemped by anyone trying to sell books; how am I to know where to look?! My friend Barbara-from-Ludlow arranges many of hers in subject/period/tone etc. in a very personal system which means everything is with companionable neighbours, as it were. What did I go for? Alphabetical, I'm afraid. The librarian in me coming through, isn't it? There are slight twists - separate shelf for Persephone Books and one for my beautiful Jane Austens. Sorry the titles and spines aren't very clear in the photo - I think it's because it's past midnight, and thus dark... and another day without a sketch, but I think the image of me putting this contraption together is quite amusing enough without further illustration.

BAFAB draw tomorrow - or, rather, later today - so very last chance to enter: here!


  1. I know those Argos bookshelves very well. They're only fractionally more sturdy than bricks and planks, but far easier to get hold of (although when you live in a top floor flat and order 8 of them the local delivery driver threatens to blacklist you). And my books are still mostly ordered by which shelf they got chucked at in a hurry after moving because we needed to find the floor again. Two years on, it's beginning to look like a system.

  2. But are the Persephones in alphabetical or numerical order?

  3. Dad and I are thinking of buying a couple of 2m bookshelves for the living room - we could get them here ready for you to assemble when next you visit!
    Before you chuck the hammer at me - remember we have a power screw-driver:)

  4. My bookcase is now separated into fiction and non-fiction, each alphabetised by author. Well, that's the first shelf - the second and third shelves are DVDs... and my bookcase took about 15 minutes to put up.

  5. Karen, Persephones are numerically ordered!

  6. I'm tempted to draw my own mental image of you putting up that bookshelf. I am quite impressed though. Impressed and surprised. What with the scart leads, you're quite the handyman. xx

  7. I only wish I could see a little bit closer. I love how you've arranged your Austens and I agree - Persephones must be numerically!

  8. Deeply impressed, and still standing (the bookshelf not you!). The Persephone Books look wonderful I am almost tempted to go and rearrange my "library". It needs sorting. I am quite convinced that somewhere I have a copy of "The Origin of the Species" but it seems to have disappeared. The only way to find it of course is to buy another!!


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