You might have heard of this school of organization that involves taking every item you own in one category, placing them all in the middle of the room, and asking each one if it still serves you. I haven't actually read the book that started this trend (in point of fact, I ran out of the bookstore screaming in terror after just reading the introduction), but it has crept into my brain, wriggling away in there, tempting me to put it to work on our books. Finally on Sunday it overpowered me and I started schlepping books from all over the house to the middle of the living room floor. Here's how it looked halfway through:
And here's how it looked when I got all of the books from the living room and the stairwell book cases and the bedroom piles and end tables onto the staging area (I did not include any of the books from the kids' room, any of my writing books, which live on two shelves in my room, any of my cookbooks, or any of the books that C has down in the basement).
At this point I realized I had made a terrible, terrible mistake. Not only did I still have to sort through them all, deciding which to keep and which to let go and then convince C to go through the let-go books to see if there were any there he wanted to keep, but I would then have to sort the keep books into categories, dust and reshelve them, and ferry all of the rejects to the library. By this point I was already exhausted (since most of our books live in our stairway, there was a lot of climbing up and down just to get this far) and sick of books and dust.
But I forged ahead, got everything sorted out and tidied away. I took two boxes and four bags of books to the library (in two separate trips, since they only take three at a time) and I have two more bags to take to the thrift store (of things the library won't take, like text books). Somehow, despite getting rid of that many books, I still barely had room to reshelve all of the books we're keeping (though there's no longer a giant pile of books at the top of the stairs, and some of the shelves have a little wiggle room in them, for future book additions). I also have a renewed commitment to get most of my books from the library (I kept thinking to myself, "Imagine how much worse this would be if I didn't check out so many books from the library!").
I didn't take any "after" pictures, because by the time I was done it was even darker than it had been all gloomy day, and I figured they just looked like shelves of books, but I've been finding myself stopping midway up the stairs to admire the nice, orderly, cobweb-free rows of books, so maybe I'll take a few shots this weekend to share next week.
Now I'm hoping I've put this organization bug to rest and it will leave me be for a while.