Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Library Begins to Take Shape

Another weekend's work has begun on the library at Chateau Papillon, and it's really starting to take shape with the near-completion of the first set of shelves.  Despite another slap in the face by Mother Nature--this when I'm using FSC-certified lumber, no less--with her single-digit temperatures, I managed to wheel out the table saw and cut several more sets of shelves and began unpacking some books.

Though there's woodwork still to be done--puttying and sanding the nail and screw holes for the standards as well as the shelves (which are stabilized by a thin strip glued and nailed to their front edges) for one, then attaching decorative molding to the fronts of the standards and along the ceiling, and of course painting or staining the shelf units, too.  But I really wanted to get a sense of how they'd look and work with books on them, so after Beth and I got the last standard in place for the wall (the one to the far left), I worked on setting the shelves in place and unpacking.

I'm actually getting a bit worried we won't have enough shelving in the library for our books!  So far, I've unpacked nearly seven cartons of books, leaving well over twenty more cartons to go.  Worse, many of those remaining are hardcovers and irregularly-sized books, which won't store as neatly or densely as what I've gotten in place so far.  Count-wise, I probably have somewhere close to 400 mass-market paperbacks on the shelves, maybe 40 hardbacks, and somewhere south of 100 trade- and oddly-sized paperbacks.  That's not even a third of the books in our total collection (as it exists--remember, we need room to grow)--and these first three shelving units represent over 1/3 of the total space we'd intended to devote to shelves in the library as a whole.

I've still got room for perhaps two more cartons of books in the first three shelf units; I've got to cut several sheets of 3/4" plywood for heavier-duty hardcover shelves, though; the 1/2" shelves, even with a strip along the front for stability, just aren't up to full-time duty for that much weight.  That, and I need to go to the hardware store in search of more shelf pegs; for the hardcovers, I've come to prefer L-shaped metal pegs over the inline ones I've used for the most part so far.  That should free up enough wood for four more shelves in these units, and I expect to get the next two standards up tomorrow as well.  They'll give us a narrow unit to the right of the windows, as well as define a corner space which will need some tricky shelf-cutting to fill.

We've got enough wood on hand to run the shelves along the rest of the next wall and perhaps do one set of shelves on the third wall (I hope!), and I've got two large shelf units in my office on which I plan to keep my birding books and my various writing, photography, and desktop publishing references--and perhaps, if I have room, my mythology references as well.  Still, even assuming we use some of the older shelves we'd hoped to discard in various rooms of the house, it's going to be a tight squeeze to get all the books in.  Dare I go through and find a carton or two's worth of books I don't need, and give them to Goodwill?  Eek!

1 comment:

John Nolley II said...

Just a quick update that doesn't warrant an entire post: on Sunday, Beth and I ripped the 3/4" plywood into shelves, and I installed several where they'd be supporting heavier loads (hardcovers, etc.). We also cut two case moulding strips for the fronts; those look great! The biggest problem now is that I've unpacked 650+ books... and have now basically filled the first set of shelves.