Weekend project: bookshelves!

One of the challenges a significant reading habit provides is where to keep all your books. While nearly all my fiction and a portion of my non-fiction comes from (and goes back to) the public library, when it comes to theology I still end up buying a fair number of books. And since book sales are no respecter of reading plans, my book inventory grows regularly as book inventories are wont to do.

For the past several years my to-read pile has grown next to my bed. It started on the shelf under my bedside stand, then became two piles on that shelf, then added a pile in front of the bedside stand, and then a second pile next to that one. This approach became not just a tripping hazard but also a purchasing hazard (I have bought at least a couple duplicates) and a reading hazard, since it’s very easy to forget what you have available to read when it’s buried in a pile.

This weekend provided time to finally do something about it. Becky helped turn my initial concept into something actually workable for our bedroom, and this afternoon I was able to put up two shelves and populate them with books.

A row of hooks under the lower shelf provide convenient spots for a robe and pajamas, and with the books right in my line of sight every day I will have regular opportunities to be reminded of books I own and want to read. (And to be reminded of how many unread books I have and that I should really think twice before buying another book.)

The shelves are simple from a design standpoint. Shelf brackets from Home Depot purportedly hold 150+ lbs per pair. They are well anchored into the wall – one side directly into the studs, the other side using heavy-duty drywall anchors into a double layer of drywall. As an engineer I’m fairly certain I over-designed them and they’ll hold up just fine; as a cautious engineer I’ll still be mildly nervous for a week or two until I get comfortable that they are, indeed, holding up.

Now I have some reading to do.

(Yes, I know I have Infinite Jest on the shelf. And that it’s a book everybody buys and nobody actually reads. I read about 50 pages of it once. Maybe I’ll get back to it. It’s a sunk cost at this point.)

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