This coming Friday, several members of Marcus' family will be arriving to spend Thanksgiving week with us. Because of this, I'll be giving up my office space, converting it to a sleeping space for at least 1 of my in-laws.
This was worrying, primarily because my office had begun to look like it was straight out of an episode of Hoarders.
The main problem was books: I have a lot of books. A lot. Books were spilling out of my 20-something-year-old IKEA bookshelves. They were stacked on every flat surface, including the floor. And the worst part is that I can't bear to part with them -- so what if it's unlikely I'm ever going to crack the spine of the "GMAT for Dummies" book I purchased in my late 20s? I know that the minute I give that away, the need to get my MBA is going to surge through me. (Note: I'm never, ever going to want to go back to school to get my MBA). And so I've been drowning in books -- and the time to get more shelves had arrived.
At first, we thought about having custom bookshelves built on one of our walls -- so we called a contractor (the one who handled our kitchen-redo) to price what it would cost. Surely, we thought, throwing up some shelves on a wall wouldn't be that much, right?
Wrong. When we saw the estimate, I had to strike Marcus strongly on the back to keep him from choking. And so, we resorted to plan B ...
... IKEA again.
Yesterday we ran out and bought some bookcases (these, in case you're wondering), and threw in a couple of new work surfaces (mine were seriously beat up), and for the last 24 hours, I moved every book out of my office, Marcus built the bookcases and desks, we rearranged the room, and then I moved everything back in. There are still one or two pictures to be hung, and the rug needs a serious vacuum; however, for the most part, this is the result.
Yes, the books are arranged by colour. If you think that's anal, you should've known me when I was single, and I arranged them by genre/author's last name. I would still be doing that, except that Marcus and Alex would never put them back in the right place, so I arranged them this way, so that way they can just match the book spines.
Okay, fine, yes: I'm anal about my books.
I asked Rufus to pose for me in his bed before I shot the picture above. He declined.
Now, instead of books piling up, camera gear can start piling up. In my world, this is progress.
This is the view from the hallway.
It's not stylish or fashionable, but it's cozy, and full of art by my favourite artists (including Marcus and Alex), and it makes me happy. I can't wait to work in it. In fact, I'm so excited, I think we should have a giveaway!
the great chookooloonks office-redo giveaway!
Even though I admit that I hate getting rid of books, clearing out my office made me realize that I have several duplicates of books, or books that PR folks have sent me that I've never read, or items that I'd purchased more than one of with the intent of giving them away, and never did. So since the holidays are almost upon us, I thought I'd help one commenter get a jumpstart on his/her holiday shopping: I'm giving away everything in the photo, above! And by everything, I mean:
• One Hilary Druxman sterling silver Girl Power Bracelet (you can see what it looks like in Kal's post here -- I bought two of them a couple of years ago, and never take one of them off -- this second one has never been worn)
• A ONE Campaign white beaded bracelet, made in South Africa (again, never worn)
• A brand new copy of Ritual & Rhythm: A Guide to Creative Self-Care, by Caren McLellan Gazley
• A brand new copy of Beauty Everywhere: A Portable Gallery by Jolie Guillebeau
• A signed copy of Global Soccer Mom by Shayne Moore
• A brand new copy of Minimalist Parenting, by Asha Dornfest & Christine Koh
• A brand new copy of Unmarketing by Scott Stratten
• All the Ways I Love You recordable storybook from Hallmark (a PR company sent this to me a couple of years ago, and I never opened it)
• A signed copy of The Beauty of Different, inscribed to whomever you'd like.
That's a lot of coolness in one care package. If you'd like a chance to win it all, simply leave a comment with the name of your favourite book (or a book you've recently enjoyed, or are enjoying now), and I'll pick one person at random to win the whole shebang. One comment per person, please. I'll announce the winner on Monday, November 18, 2013.
update, Monday, November 18:
According to Random.org, the winner of the stack of books is Susanne, who said, "My bookshelf is in the living room and yes, it is sorted by colour..Favourite books are Haruki Murakami's IQ84 and any Henning Mankell, especially his stories about Africa." Congratulations, Susanne! Please check you email for a note from me requesting your snail-mail address.
And thanks so much to all of you for sharing your favourite books with me -- I've already made a list of the ones I'm going to buy (but in ebook form, this time!)
The photographs above were taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) -- a shot a day for the month of November. You should join me: it's a lesson in stopping and looking, improving your photography skills, and appreciating the beauty and light around you.
Click here to see who's participating (and sign up your own blog, if you'd like!). And if you tag your photos with #NaPhoPoMo on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Google+, your image will automatically be seen here. I hope you join in the fun - and I can't wait to see what you capture.