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Houston, we had a problem … – Lioness at Large

Houston, we had a problem …

… and it was called books.  Stacks of unsorted books, to be precise.  Three years’ worth of stacks of unsorted books, to be even more precise.

Now, even back in 2015, after the last major overhaul of my bookshelves, those were already looking like this:

… in other words, no room to spare in the lodging house.  None.  Whatsoever.

Obviously (and as evidenced above), that state of affairs did not stop me in the least from buying more books, nor from happily receiving books as gifts.  Yet, for a long while I didn’t know how and where to conjure the extra space needed to house all those new arrivals.

Then earlier this year MbD posted about her own ingenious solution, inspired by this post on do-it-yourself book risers … and I began fiddling with ideas how I could make this work for my home without having to engage in any crafts(wo)manship that would have been decidedly above my abilities.

Well, after some research, interrupted by a sustained period of unwelcome RL interference, go figure at last … IKEA to the rescue.  Turns out their shelf inserts all have the same depth as their bookcases, so those were not the answer, but they also sell a nice wooden spice rack about half as deep as most my bookcases, which I found would (standing upside down) work very well as a riser covering a fair part of the length of each shelf of my cases.  So, I loaded a shopping cart full of enough crates of those things to spice up an entire army kitchen’s output if I had actually intended to use them as spice racks and, once back home, started putting them together.  A few hours and slight weals on several of my fingers later, I was left with more hex keys than I will ever need again in my life … and a tidy stack of book risers, ready to be inserted wherever needed (i.e., pretty much on every single shelf).


And, boy, did this ever do the trick!

In one case, I even have an entire shelf to spare at the moment … which is probably a good thing, however, as the Nordic lit on the shelf right next to it is already elbowing for more space.

Only the Bard will have to be granted a bookcase of his own sooner rather than later — he’s crowding out his fellow Renaissance playwrights as it is, even with the extra space … not to mention the rest of the BritLit shelves right below.

But my horror and fantasy books are no longer jostling for space with each other, nor with the (British) historical fiction in the bookcase below.

And I’m particularly happy I found room for virtually all of my mystery collection, which bulged into a downright indecent size once and for all last year with my discovery of all those recently-unearthed Golden Age mysteries — not to mention my ever-growing collection of books by Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, Val McDermid, and Peter May (and my P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, Colin Dexter, Elizabeth George, and Martha Grimes collections).

Now the Golden Age mysteries have taken over the first 2 of the 3 individual bookcases forming the lower part of my crime fiction wall, with seperate shelves in the first case for the pioneering masters (including all things Sherlock Holmes), Dame Agatha, Dorothy L. Sayers and the other queens of crime (Marsh, Wentworth, Tey, Heyer, and Mitchell), and the other members of the Detection Club and their contemporaries in the second bookcase (even with some place to spare there, too).

I’m still going to need at least one extra bookcase to take care of some “leftovers” (and, well, to store some other stuff, too) — and I also still have to invent some space somewhere for an extra British history (nonfiction) shelf … and for an audiobook CD rack or three.  But considering what, for the longest time, I thought I was looking at, all this is an absolute pittance.

So, thank you again MbD for sharing your solution … my adaptation of it has worked an absolute treat!


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