Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Are They Beautiful or Breeders?

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Most of you know we moved into a new house recently. I've been busy unpacking, decorating, arranging and rearranging. Sadly, I still haven't figured out how to convince my husband that books aren't clutter - that it isn't possible to have too many of them.






If I had my way, we might decorate a little like this...








Or this...






But while I tend to favor the philosophy of Henry Ward Beecher while decorating the new house, my husband prefers to side with Agatha Christie:

It was clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down. (1963)
~ Agatha Christie ~

I have no knowledge of books breeding or multiplying or taking control of our house. Really. I had no idea there were books under every bed and hidden in drawers and cabinets at the old house. Really. But now that we have a new, bigger house, I'm sure it won't be a problem. Really.

How about you...have the books taken possession of your house? Or do you have a stronger hand to control them?

35 comments:

Vicki Rocho said...

The books are threatening to take over. My shelves are all full. I either need a new one (and where the heck am I going to put another bookshelf?) Or I need to get rid of some old ones.

Sigh.

Love the pics!

Aubrie said...

Those are great! I don't know what I'm going to do when my shelves are full!

Jennifer Shirk said...

It's gotten better since I bought an e-reader. :)
I have six book cases throughout my house and they are all filled!

DL Hammons said...

Without a proper library to display them, most of our books are still tucked away in nooks and crannys. :(

Candyland said...

Lucky for us, our house has a built in bookcase. But if/when we move, I'm sure they'll be EVERYWHERE.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I think mine are starting to breed. I've thought about getting rid of some but so far, I just can't do it. And by the way, I love that chair!

Mason Canyon said...

I'm with you. I thought books were suppose to be everywhere. At least they are at my house. I can't seem to part with any of them.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

PJ Hoover said...

I love the furniture!
I am constantly reorganizing my books, esp. with all the conventions recently.

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Well, at least I'm not the only one! I try to keep it in check by sending a few back into the hands of new readers.(paperback swap)

Shannon, I have an award for you over at my blog: http://montanamarynotmartha.blogspot.com/

I think you may already have one but you can never have too much "Sunshine"! Have a great day. Leah

Stephanie Thornton said...

I have a room of books- it seems a good compromise to keep them contained. I can't help myself- books are addicting!

Falen said...

i have a pretty firm hand on my books.
The secret is to give them large bookshelves with plenty room to grow

Stephanie McGee said...

My mom would definitely say they're breeders. Me? I think they're just gorgeous and wish I could have them all out of boxes and on display. I'm currently contemplating ways I can sneak them all with my when I move in a month for school. But there are a lot of them.

Kenda said...

Of course books are taking over my house! My husband is as big a reader as I am and we have bookshelves--and stacks--in lots of places. There's always another trip to the library or Borders, and then there are the books we swap with friends and family... I gave up trying to organize them a long time ago :-)

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

I love that chair, and then I thought about that chair for a moment and wondered how many paper cuts were possible with a thing like that? But I still love it. Um, my books are fairly well contained in various places around my home. I just like to think they are organized probably when they really aren't. So far they haven't ruled the home...yet. Good luck with the unpacking and have a fantastic day (psst I'm having a contest go check it out) :D

Valerie Geary said...

I'm pretty good about corralling mine in bookshelves... cracking the whip and such... I also try to have them neutered before they enter our household. ;) However... I seem to be getting more and more FREE books lately, which... makes it harder to keep things from getting out of control. But... I'd rather die in a pile of books than anything else, I think.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

They're taking over here. We've got a couple of free-standing book shelves, as well as some on-the-wall ones, but even beyond that there are books aligning my bedroom window shelf and they are taking over. Since I started doing interviews with authors by radio, I've been getting free review copies sent to my house, increasing the book breeding problem. I am not in control at this point. Perhaps someday. I can imagine how moving into a new place would highlight the "issue." I hope you rediscover some of your favorites in the process. There is something cleansing about starting over in a new home. All best in the task ahead!

Mary Aalgaard said...

I am a complete push-over with the books. You should have seen me in the used book store on the coast. Arms full, still looking for more. And, I can see what Christie was describing, because the books clearly owned the shop there. (I'll share the pics & story later this week!)

Patti said...

Mine are hidden in a cupboard, so my husband doesn't realize just how many I have. Love the book table.

salarsenッ said...

Yup. Books from the rafters, books from the streamers, books, books, books to store. I am not a fan of the stacking technique. Books should be showcased, IMHO. My kids have bookshelves in their rooms. I have a few in my office and in the family room. It's raining books in my house but I think they're puddled quite nicely. ":-)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ha! They take possession of my life! I can't keep buying bookcases, really, so now there are stacks on the nightstands, stacks on the floor, books in boxes. I can't say no to a new book. And I hate to part with any, although I gave a lot to the library. I still mourn their loss even though more people will love them in their new home and that's a good thing.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Unfortunately I had to abandone most of my books in Australia when I moved to GReece :o( I miss the sight of them - badly!

If I had them though, I'd probably let them take over. If I could I'd cover my office with them from floor to ceiling!

laurel said...

Once hubby took THREE carloads of his professional library to his office on campus, we got some breathing space. We have books in every single room of the house--including the laundry room!

We did a few shelf culls over the years--duplicates of stuff for example, and so-so SciFi I had little interest in re-reading. I still tend to use the library rather than buy because the thought of book piles to the ceiling makes me hyperventilate.

Tere Kirkland said...

I recently donated a bunch and just last month took several to the used book store. It's the fiction books I need to keep organized and under control. I keep my academic books on one bookshelf, cookbooks, and novels on another, but I also have a tbr bookshelf that is practically overflowing. Organization is the key, but it does seem like they multiply.

I'm getting an e-reader soon, so hopefully that will keep my novels under control.

Bane of Anubis said...

We're moving in the next couple of weeks (oh joy), and I'm seriously trying to get my wife to unpackrat herself... but the books can stay (even her college econ ones that she'll never ever use again)

Kari said...

Those pictures are totally awesome!!
And no, books aren't taking over my house, lol, just my little corner of it (my bedroom). They are definitely taking over in there.

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

lol Yep mine is overtaken! There is not a flat surface in my home that does not contain some sort of book... oh well breeding is okay...you just have to deal with the entire bloodline! ;o)

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Amy Sullivan said...

Books haven't taken over our house yet...but I have convinced my husband to make a snazzy little table out of some of my favorites! Oh, I dream of a tiny room to call my very own library!

Mr. O said...

Hey! Now I can see what you have really been doing during your vacation with your sister. My only concern is that Valerie's death fantasy may become a reality for one us sooner rather than later.

-- The Husband

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I thought I was the only one hiding books under beds and in the closets. :)

Alexia561 said...

Love that table! Books took possession of my house a long, long time ago. I think you might be on to something with the breeding theory, as sometimes I find books I can't remember buying! *L*

Janna Qualman said...

Books are everywhere here--which I love--but my mom's house is worse. We tease her she could open a used book shop.

I love that picture of the table! How unique and conversational.

Faith Pray said...

I loathe moving for this very reason.
My husband is not a book person. He just doesn't get it. Books are heavy, they take up space and haven't I already read them?
In our last two moves, I have secreted boxes of books and writing "fodder" (actually very similar in appearance to piles of loose papers) to my parents' garage a few weeks early - and then reintroduced to the new home in stages.
Then no one complains about how many books I really have.
I love the book furniture.

Kaylie said...

The books are taking over. I think they're conspiring with the weeds and the laundry, 'cause they're all out to get me.

Kristi said...

I'm in love with that chair, seriously! The books are definitely taking over at my house...we try to banish them to the office but they end up sneaking in and piling up most frequently on top of the dresser and nightstands in our bedroom. I'm guessing the current count to be at around 11 or 12 that have escaped and wandered. They're so unruly, yet I love them. :-)

Great post!

AchingHope said...

Haha! I love that chair.

This reminds me of my sis. Her room is a mini-library, just exploding with books everywhere. I tend to have a stronger hand, but they do tend to multiply when I have my back turned, the sneaky things. ;)

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