Books Are Beautiful
The library, after I arranged one row of shelves (to the right of the guitar).
How do you like your bookshelves? Do you appreciate random placement? Do you like the shelves organized by size and color? Or are you the obsessive compulsive type that needs everything organized by author, alphabet, or God forbid, ISBN?
Last February I showed you my dad's library after I had organized one row of shelves the way I liked it: blocks of color. I took cues from shelves I had helped my mentor, Evelyn Benatar, arrange for photoshoots in New York residences. Evelyn is a master at getting it just right with artful placements of objects, books and space. Check out some of her bookshelves on her website, New York Interior Design
. I also pulled inspiration from other sources by googling 'books organized by color'. I know, pretty simple search but it worked!
I collected inspirational images on my Books, Bookshelves and Bibliophiles
board on Pinterest. The two images I am sharing inspired organization of three specific shelves in the library. I love all the gorgeous shades of blue in the bookshelves pictured below; these blue books are in the library at the University of Buenos Aires and they inspired my two "blue-only" shelves. I also love the multi-leveled, single-shade shelves pictured to the right. My red-shelf originated here.
Photo credit Floriano Cathala Flickr. | |
I don't know who to give credit for on this image. I found it on http://bookshelves.tumblr.com
Organizing A Library Is Hard Work!
At first I was gung-ho! Doesn't every project start out that way? In March of 2011 after empyting two rows of shelves and running out of stacking room on the dining room table, I ran out of steam--true to my dislike for the mechanics of organizing. My special skills are procrastination and dreaming, I'm very good at those skills! So I did the very logical thing and started another project--organizing the family photos...in the library. Oh yes! The books were put back in no special order, tables were brought in and all the family pictures were brought in to be collated and scanned. Another epic organizational challenge. Both projects stalled and the library has been out-of-0rder since then. Finally I asked for professional help from my friend Clara Bruse.
Clara is a force to be reckoned with. She is OCD about many things. She can stay up all night. She never runs out of energy (or words). I could NOT have finished this project without her! She came over on a Friday night and we started working in the library at around 10PM. Although she wanted specifics on how we were going to organize, all I could say is that I wanted to make it look pretty but still organized by topic so Dad could find his books.
My organizational guru suggested that we start pulling books and stacking them by topic on the tables that I had cleared of the pictures earlier. Once the stacks were made and identified I could clearly see what topics we had and we could start deciding where to place them from there. Most of my dad's treasured books are beautiful, old, hardback novels by authors like Harold Bell Wright, Frank Packard and Peter B. Kyne. I knew I wanted those organized by author so he could find them easily. I also knew that since they are the most attractive books in the library, they should be what you see first upon entering the library.
The Wall of Old Fiction, organized by author and color.
The other wall was a bit more of a challenge. Clara looked up ISBN numbers and how the books would be classified according to the Library of Congress, I kid-you-not! However, I just wanted a loose categorization so that I could still get groups of books together that looked good. We finally figured out that there were some main categories we could separate: Christian Reference (my dad is a pastor and has a large number of these), History, Politics, Reference, Literature (this included Poetry, Classics, Quotes), and New Fiction. Clara even made a map of this wall of shelves and asked me to present it to my dad along with a cover page and her rough draft. I drew the line at a power point presentation complete with pictures of me posed in the library. Once again, I kid-you-not!
The Wall of Newer Books, organized by topic and color.
The final wall was originally comprised of some gorgeous, leather- bound encyclopedias, assorted coffee-table books, photo albums and objects that have some sentimental value to my parents. I cleared out the tchotchkes, dispersed some of the sentimental objects throughout the rest of the library and reorganized the shelves.
The Wall of Coffee Table Books and Sentimentality organized by color.
I am really happy with the finished project. I would still like to accessorize it with some new furniture and artwork but at least you can walk in and enjoy the books!
The Finished Library: Extra Details
Just in case you haven't seen enough, here is a video of Mom and Dad seeing the library for the first time. The library part should start at 1 minute 37 seconds in. (It's also a lot of Max being cute.)
So what do you think? Do you like the finished library? Can you guess what time we finished the project?