Friday, July 19, 2019

A mountain of books

Right now we have two bookshelves in our living room.

These are, literally, the only books we have on display at the moment, and they represent maybe -- maybe -- 10 percent of our total collection. The remaining 90 percent are packed away in the barn for the time being -- a veritable mountain of books.

This is because we're emptying our house of all personal possessions except what we need on a day-to-day basis, and what we need to display a handsome and spacious structure to prospective buyers. But wow, do I miss our books.

Because we don't yet know where we're moving, nor of course how our future home will be configured, we made the decision to get rid of all the bookshelves Don made over the years to accommodate our library. After all, these shelves were built according to the particular configuration of our house, meaning they probably wouldn't fit as well in our future house. Besides, we didn't want to move them.

Nor did we want to burn or trash these shelving units. Instead, I loaded the shelves into a trailer...

...and made a little sign:

Then I drove the shelving units to our nearest dumpster and dropped them off. We have no garbage service in rural areas of our county. Instead, the county places dumpsters in strategic locations. Whenever someone has an item in good shape they wish to pass on to someone else, they drop it nearby the dumpsters for anyone to take.

So that's what I did with our shelving units. I put them near the dumpsters and taped the sign on them.

They were gone within an hour. I hope they bless another family's book collection!


  1. You have more books than we do, but not many - and your house is 2x the size of ours. We have a few books outside but most are inside. Needless to say my house is NOT presentable.

    Good luck with your sale and finding a new property! Natokadn

  2. When we moved to a much smaller place, we gave away a number of bookshelves and also had to surrender many, many books to a our local library's book sale. I still miss both shelves and (most of all) many of our books even though over three years have passed since the move.

  3. I do not envy my heirs in terms of my collection. In certain categories, I have more information than any local library and probably some college libraries.

  4. Smart to get most of your books out of the house. Not only do they make a home cluttered, sorry to say they also tend to smell stale and a stale smelling house is harder to sell. Have your breadmaker going during showings! Either regular sandwich bread or something with cinnamon. Old time house selling trick that really works!

  5. Oh, I'm glad to see people have a use for bookshelves. Always a good thing.

  6. I used to buy all my books because where I usually lived there were not many choices and I had this idea I would read the interesting ones again. Seldom have I read ones over, there are simply to many good ones with more info out there. I moved to many times to pack everything around, often the weight of books amounting to 2-3 thousand pounds. Have been a fan of the school library and public libraries all my life and now only buy books not available in the public library. If you ask nicely, quite often your local library can access books not available in their system but may be available in other public library systems. This, in my opinion, is the single most relevant use of gov of any type. Once the ability to read is learned, there is not any avenue of knowledge that is not available to each and every one of us. All we need is the desire to learn something.

  7. Seeing your books boxed up makes it ALL seem so real. And familiar. ((HUGS)) I'm looking forward to snapshots of your new place -- which will be fantastic!!

  8. Post Alley CrackpotJuly 23, 2019 at 2:51 PM

    Books packed with packing paper in cardboard boxes do not travel well or even age well.

    This would have been a good time to triage what you really wanted to keep so you could wrap those books with multiple layers of plastic wrap.

    When I'm forced to use cardboard boxes to move my library, I use much smaller boxes as well.

    A 12x9x9" book box completely loaded with hardback books can weigh as much as 40 lb, and I rarely use book boxes larger than 18x12x9".

    That means I can stack them five boxes high before I'm hitting the edge crush and general weight limits of the box stack, but that also means that the box stack is less than four feet tall.

    So I would hope for a quick sale because moisture, heavy boxes, and a lack of plastic wrap all add up to really bad news for your books ...

    1. Post Alley Crackpot. I'm sure you mean well with your advice. Maybe you are new here.

      Don and Patrice have a lot on their plate right now. The edge crush limits and weight specs on their cardboard boxes probably went unnoticed. But trust me, Don and Patrice didn't just fall off the turnip truck. This whole website is testimony of their accomplishments. Fear Not. Everything is going to be OK.
      Montana Guy

  9. Book folks might be interested SurvivalBlog's current feature article, 'Including Old Books in Your Preps' by Marica Bernstein. Part 3 of 4 is posted today. Scroll down for Parts 1 and 2.