Monday, November 16, 2015

A Decade Later

We purchased these two (very poorly photographed) IKEA bookshelves in 2005 when we bought our first home.  My father-in-law assembled them for us and in our old house, they flanked the French doors leading to our deck.  Once we had kids, we put cloth storage cubbies on the bottom two shelves of each unit to store all the plastic and plush items that entered our lives.  We never did anchor the shelves to the wall so there was always an element of danger present with these shelves.

We brought the shelves along to our new house and put them in the corner of our living room, a temporary solution until we could manage the built-in bookshelves of my dreams.  We no longer needed to store toys in them, and I have enjoyed choosing which books would merit first floor display space and deciding how to organize them (for the record, I have all sorts of random groupings -- books by and inspired by Jane Austen, food writing, everything by Weiner next to my two copies of Franzen books, memoirs, books by British men).

Four years later, it's happening.  The built-ins are being installed starting tomorrow.  Books from throughout the house will soon be united in one phenomenal wall of shelving.  Pinch me.

After surviving a move and being maxed to capacity with volumes, these shelves have seen better days.  It would take next to nothing to knock them down.  My five year-old could do it with little effort. 

I can't say I will miss the shelves themselves, but I can remember with fondness the thirty year-olds who bought them and gave them pride of place in their first home.  I can remember sitting in the couch in that home, nursing babies with a view of books both read and unread.  I can remember being bone tired and bending over to toss wooden puzzles, magna-tiles, and Fisher Price Little People into the bins I stored in these shelves.  I can remember how nicely I thought the grey/green color of the shelves coordinated with a rug we purchased with wedding gift cards but no longer own.

A dozen years of marriage.  A decade with the shelves.  The pages just keep turning. 


  1. I love this. We are at the decade point in our home, and I'm at the point of wanting to switch out some of the items we too bought lovingly as we started our life and family together. I understand the nostalgia inspired by such change. I'm delighted for you to be gaining built ins!!

    1. A decade in your home! An even bigger milestone! In some ways, it feels like we just bought those shelves, but so much has changed since then.

  2. Sweet, sad and satisfying! Can't wait to see the new "library!"