0.084 Miles Of Books


Well, we won’t be putting Strand Books out of business anytime soon, but I’m still really pleased with myself for having found a place to finally (FINALLY!) be able to store all our books on shelves.

click to see full size

Our last apartment just didn’t have the room for shelves like this, so we ended up stacking the books up on this other bureau thing we have. (On more than one occasion, I wanted a book at the bottom of a stack and ended up having the top of the stack crash down on my head.)

However! This new apartment (crudely rendered by me on the left) has the strangest floorplan I think I’ve ever seen in a NYC apartment, which was a big part of its appeal when we looked at it.

After measuring the weird hallway several times and playing with IKEA’s Billy bookcase planner for a couple hours, I realized we could fit three 31″-wide bookcases plus a 15″-wide one on the end and have it fill the entire wall within a couple inches.

So, my husband and I spent almost an entire Saturday assembling these bookcases, then unpacking at least a dozen boxes of books and records into them and then, finally (and honestly, the most fun part for two nerds like us) arranging the books by subject and or author.

from the other side
looking from the other end

We left the middle section of each bookshelf empty to give us a place to put our library books, some framed photos, or to make some strange little tableaux.

The effect is, honestly, even better than I’d hoped.

What had been just an awkward hallway turned into something that feels more like an actual room and gives us some desperately needed storage space without cramming it into the fairly small living room.

And! If we run out of shelf space at some point in the future, the ceiling is high enough that we could pop some height extensions on the top of each bookshelf if we wanted.

This bit of success has me feeling like maybe —MAYBE — I can overcome my design-impairment after all.

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5 thoughts on “0.084 Miles Of Books

  1. Excellent! I loves me some long walls of books. Odd layout of your space, indeed, but this is a great solution!

  2. Getting enough bookshelves, alphabetizing the books, and sorting them by subject has one of the highest not too hard to do/most satisfying results ratios!

    That hallway was made for bookshelves!

    1. Oh my goodness, Valerie. My husband and I got all the books on the shelves, then I was like, hmm, I should just group all these Vonneguts together… [TWO HOURS LATER]

      Oh! And I found another entire box full of books yesterday and I was horrified to think I would have to destroy my hard work to get them all in.

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