This bookshelf. Two things about it:
1. Books sorted by color are for sellouts – And I am a sellout. My sister teases me for color coordinating my books, and I fully deserve it. I like to think I have a decent dose of integrity. But in this case, I am 100% sure I will look back on this with the shame bad decisions documented on the internet deserve. I’m not sure why I tried this or then decided to keep it this way when those are my honest feelings and I am embarrassed to put pictures up of it. I might as well start saying “that’s my jam.” (Barf. I won’t.) I can offer no excuse other than it looks less cluttered than organizing them by subject. At least my books are all good colors. So there’s that.
2. Getting rid of books is hard but good – Our family used to have a lot of books. This entire bookshelf was filled. And I thought I would never part with them because book are precious and prove you are cultured and you may need to reference them in the future and owning the written word is the freedom of speech manifested and blah, blah, blah.
But once I had kids, I started intentionally minimizing our stuff. One of my favorite parenting books ever, Simplicity Parenting, was the catalyst. It talks a lot about the “extraordinary power of less” in your quality of life and I’m a believer. (The greatest irony is that I’ve never owned that book, only checked it out so many times from the library, based on the author’s advice. I should float him some $$.) I’m sure there are some book people who would choose their books over anything else. I’m not one of them. Really, do I need my anthropology text book from college? No. Do I need every novel I’ve ever read? No. Do my kids need the complete catalog of Dr. Seuss? No.
Over the course of recent moves I’ve whittled down our book collection. What remains is a solid collection that is either truly enjoyed by us or truly practical. A handful of our favorite architecture, design, photography*, economics (not mine!), reference and fiction books along with a couple of sentimental items is all that survived the cut.
*may I recommend The New West by Robert Adams, one of the most beautiful things ever created
Some books were parted out to other rooms of the house. Car manuals, woodworking guides and technical art books were relocated to the garage, where they are referenced. Music books and guitar repair manuals are stashed with my husband’s guitar equipment. Health related books (homeopathic remedies, etc.) were moved to our medicine cabinet area. Most children’s books are in their room. Now, the bookshelf books have room to breath and hang out with pottery.
You can see more of this room, the den, in this post.
I’d love to hear what you think of color coordinating books…tacky or timeless? (I’m so sure it’s tacky, yet here I am.)