home life – bookshelves

Thanks for all of your warm fuzzy feedback on my first home life post last week! I’m thrilled to share more before and after pictures of my new apartment with you. Today it’s all about the bookshelves.

I’ve always dreamed of having very specific bookshelves. They would be built-ins. They would be floor-to-ceiling. They would be glossy white. Some of you are familiar with my daily practice of creative visualization. That’s where you imagine the life you want, with laser vision and clear goals, then take steps every day to turn your dream into reality. Part of my own creative visualization lifestyle involves treasure mapping. I sketch how I want certain parts of my life to look. I also do a lot of scrapbooking where I create artwork to reflect different areas of my life. It’s cool to look back on my scrapbook pages from several years ago and see that I cut out pictures of big, bright windows from magazines to represent what I wanted my dream home to look like. Because now I have a wall of five big windows with southern exposure (aka window wall). That dream totally became reality.

So did the floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves dream. When I saw this area of my new place back when I was considering buying it, I knew it would be perfect for the bookshelves:

Bookshelves before

I referred to a sketch of the bookshelves I made a few years before. There were three columns of books with cabinets underneath for my author copies, foreign editions, and book postcards. I worked with a designer who also did my closets to bring that sketch to life. The bookshelves were one of the last things to be built in the apartment because, up until two weeks before I moved in, the area where they were going looked like this:

Bookshelves demolition

Bags and bags of demolition debris and equipment and materials. Those boxes had the bathroom tiles. This is what the floors looked like after the original material was pulled off. There was drama about the new hardwood floors being put down late (which I will share in a separate post), so installation of the bookshelves had to be pushed back. Two days before I moved in, construction of the bookshelves began:

Bookshelves construction

If you are a fellow lover of real books, I don’t have to tell you how excited I was to unpack my books on the shelves I’d been wishing for my whole life. My passion for real books could never be replaced by a screen. Yes, I realize how easy it is to carry thousands of books in your bag. I get how handy an eReader is for traveling. But I am old-school. I love nostalgia. There’s nothing like picking up a vintage book, feeling the paper, sniffing the pages, appreciating the design elements. And there’s nothing like having all my books together like this:

Bookshelves after

Another after picture, showing the full floor-to-ceiling magnificence:

Bookshelves after

Let this be inspiration for you, friendly neighbor. Whatever you imagine for your future life, whatever you are most passionate about, you have the power to turn those dreams into reality. If I could do it, you totally can.

Next up in the home life series: kitchen awesomeness!

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34 thoughts on “home life – bookshelves

  1. You just gave me an idea! I’m going to move with my fiance and he is wondering where I’m going to put my books 😀 you saved me with this idea! I don’t have as much as you, only about 300 or something like that, but I’m trying to grow my number of books! And I loved the way you explained why you love hard copy books, I’m also that kind of person and I honestly don’t want a kindle! Thank you for the idea!!!

  2. Love how the left and right units mirror each other. I usually hate books on the horizontal, but you’ve converted me! ;o)

  3. I want to come and stay at your house and bathe in your shower and stare at your bookshelves. Then read every book on them! They’re BEAUTIFUL.

    Adam and I KIND of have that. Not floor to ceiling, but he rigged a couple to the back of the couch, so my backdrop is bookshelves. We have a total of ten bookcases in our apartment holding books, and one bookcase that is holding all of our DVDs. Our place looks like a library/comic book shop. I just wish we had more space… someday! 🙂

    Your positive blog entries are SO inspiring to me. I used to be such a negative nellie, so pessimistic and always expecting the worst. Now, I dream about amazing things and being happy. And even though things may not turn out exactly like my dreams, things are still wonderful. 🙂

    • Your comment is so beautiful. Isn’t life so much more wonderful when we appreciate every day, dream about amazing things, and create happiness for ourselves and the people around us? You inspire me right back, Ronni ❤

      P.S. Your bookshelves backdrop sounds adorable. Your Adam is very sweet.

    • I know, right? A lot of these books were my best friends back in high school. Then there are the classics like my tattered copy of The Outsiders I slept with under my pillow, The Little Prince in five languages, my original Shel Silversteins and Eric Carles from when I was little…I love that everyone is still here with me, all these years later. Very comforting ❤

  4. Oh! I can’t wait to see all the other rooms!!
    Your “white” bathroom and “white” bookshelves look great! White furniture is really something else!!

  5. As a booklover I too have imagined floor to ceiling shelves, but mine would go from one end of the wall to the other. It’s shocking how your cabinets, even the handles on them, are exactly as I imagined mine.
    We booklovers tend to have our own organization system when it comes to books. What’s yours? P.S. Is that the very hungry catepillar on the left? Awesome!

    • Good Very Hungry Caterpillar eye! I collect all things Eric Carle. He is the ultimate.

      I organize my books by genre. The four middle shelves are teen novels with mine on one shelf. Textbooks are on the bottom left and right. The VHC shelf is all children’s books. And the top middle shelf has all of my original Stephen King paperbacks from the 80s, totally creased and falling apart from reading them so many times in high school. Good friends, those.

  6. After showing all the rooms, it would be nice if you could take us on a Virtual Tour in your apartment. How about that?

  7. I completely understand the real book need. Sure, kindles and e readers are more convenient, but nothing compares to the feel of real pages and that old book smell. I know I’m gonna need some awesome bookshelves like yours when I’ve got my own place.

  8. So beautiful! It would be so awesome to have such nice bookshelves. I wish the pictures were close ups of your books. I’m a nosy person and am curious about the books that you own. 😛

    • Well if you feel like searching the archives, I posted a photo of the bookshelves in my old place a while ago. There’s a somewhat detailed listing of the books on each shelf. I’m curious about other people’s books, too 😉

  9. I’m so happy for you! Seriously, that book shelves are gorgeous! I know one day I’ll have some book shelves like yours. Congrats for your new apartment, you deserve that and more!

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