I’d like one order of whole wheat pancakes with fresh blueberries, please; a side of limp bacon; a vat of your best watered down hyper sauce, and a sippy cup of OJ–juice, not Simpson. Also, can I get some crayons and one of those paper placemats? I tend to get bored.
Sorry. I’m so hungry, I would actually eat that right now.
Here’s the truth about your mixed blessing: You are going to spend a fortune on doo-dads and a boat load of cash on those rectangle thingys that have tons of letters, words and sentences in them, just to fill that bookcase up. Your e-reader isn’t going to get the job done.
I just counted the number of shelves in the built-ins in my family room. They cover the entire length of one wall, surround a window, hold my electronics, display family photos and my children’s sculptures, and a vast array of reading material.
In all that, I only have 24 shelves. I have a pretty decent collection of books, but there is no way I could fill all that casework with it. I wouldn’t want to. Where else would I display my daughter’s made-in-the-second-grade orange porcupine horse masterpiece?
Take everything off your shelves, then rearrange the books you want to keep. Sell the rest on E-A-Zon. Stack some of the keepers on their sides. Elevate the things you love and bring you joy to a place where you can see them. During this process, continually take a step back and reassess. Is the visual weight balanced, or does the arrangement look so chaotic that it engages your lizard brain? If you don’t want to run away, you are getting it right. Once you feel content in the space, it is finished. Hallelujah!
I don’t get too attached to many things, but if I had to choose my favorites the list would include family photos, love letters from my children, and things that belonged to those I’ve loved and lost. I am very attached to the people in my life. I just haven’t figured out how to get them to sit still together on a shelf for very long.
I have a small collection of Limoges boxes that I’ve picked up on my travels. They are reflective of the area I bought them in and live together quite nicely in a Georgian secretary, where I also keep many of the first edition books I cherish. They compliment each other because I use some of the books as bases to elevate the boxes. Varying the heights of your objets d’arts makes them infinitely more interesting.
I like to practice a little self-deception when it comes to collections. I will display some, store others, and then switch them out now and then. When I open the storage boxes, some of my things feel like new pieces and others, like old friends. I get Christmas Birthday Anniversary excited, but I’m a dork.
Edit, then edit, then edit some more. When you think you’re done, edit one last time. Now, it’s perfect!
More than anything, what I really want you do is enjoy your collection. If it’s china, dine on it; crystal, drink out of it; children’s art, frame it. You get the idea. It doesn’t matter if you collect sterling silver or Star Wars action figures. Live with what you love and life will love you right back!