Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Little Bookcase Gussied Up

In a previous post I shared with you our latest DIY project -- an old chest of drawers reincarnated into a bookcase.  Thirty years ago we were using the chest of drawers, painted white, as extra storage in the hallway.  I thought we needed a small lamp to go on it, something unusual and something we could DIY so I sent my husband out to look for something.  He came back with an item quite similar to this --

Since our house was primarily Early American at the time, it went just fine so he drilled a hole in the top, wired it, filled it full of gravel and voila! lamp!

It has gone through a couple of incarnations over the years but I decided to pull it out, repaint it and put it back in it's rightful home on top of the chest of drawers/bookcase.

Here was the process and the finished product.

I had previously painted the coffee pot with green/gold/white creating sort of a patina look

First coat of Folk Art Raw Umber

Adding copper highlights after three coats of the raw umber

New lampshade and sitting on top of a vintage hanky

And here is the finished product

I haven't finished merchandising the top yet -- don't know what to put on it -- I have options -- or maybe nothing.  I don't like clutter so maybe nothing. 

Anyway, I am now in the process of sorting through my books and trying to organize them is like trying to herd cats for me.   The new, smaller bookcase is dedicated to books I have read.  The shelves are deep enough for me to have two rows on each shelf.  The shelf you see here has books stacked in the back of the ones you see so there is a lot of storage here.  The large bookcase is housing the books that I need to read.  Ok, so far, so good. Now comes the difficult part.  How do you choose which books to become a permanent part of your personal library?  It stands to reason that you will keep any books that were gifted to you and any that you might have that are signed copies.  The next category would be, I suppose, those that you really liked -- that touched you in some way.  But, then, what about the books that don't fit into any of those categories?  What about the piles of books bought off sale tables, some years ago, that have never been picked up?

For instance, I bought a copy of "Marjorie Morningstar" off ebay a number of years ago.  I had seen the movie when I was a young teen and read the book back then and always liked it.  So, I went out on ebay and found a copy and bid on it, ultimately winning the auction.  The book wasn't in great shape and smelled a bit funky but on the shelf it went, never to be picked up again.  Do I really need to keep that?  I can't decide.  It still smells funky.  I have childhood books that I won't part with but what about other childrens books I have bought, randomly, online or in used bookstores.  Did I really want them or was I just in a mood to collect.  I am just not sure.  Then there is the question of hardbacks vs paperbacks -- are paperbacks collectible?  Is there any point?  I wish I knew.

So, how do you deal with books?  How do you decide what goes into a personal library that you want to keep?  I guess I will just keep shifting them around until I get tired of it and chuck all of them.  Well, not ALL of them.