Monday, September 10, 2012

Adding Fuel To The Fire

Eighty two days ago, I decided to stack books in my family room fireplace

Last night, I actually did it.

During those eighty two days in between, I forgot completely about this project. My mind moved on to other things, until suddenly yesterday, my memory kicked in and I immediately completed the job.

Wait. That's a big fat lie.

The truth is that during the intervening two months and 19 days. I thought about this project a billion times. Or so. I imagined countless scenarios, asked everyone and their brother about their opinions of my ideas, and conducted several experimental mini-arrangements. 

And as a result of that chaotic, nonlinear and fairly kooky process, this is what I came up with:

I gathered up a big fat pile of odds and ends of books that were, due to a constant state of overcrowding in my bookcases, stashed in inconvenient places around the house.

{I'd thought about buying a bunch of used books for this project, but honestly, why buy more when I already have books up to my ears?}

Sorting them out by color, I played around with different arrangements until I landed upon this four-column approach, that fits comfortably into the opening of the fireplace, and gives me a little room to reach in between the piles to move things around.

{Although I love the way some people layer and stack their books in intricate and incredibly clever ways, I want to be able to actually take one out and read it every now and then, without having the entire arrangement fall to a shambles at the touch of my hand.}

On a practical note, I fitted a 2 x 8 piece of pine into the opening. This nice stable base not only mimics the shelves in the bookcases that flank the fireplace, but may also keep the books dry, if the chimney were ever to leak.

{Though it could only leak just a little bit before the bottom books were swimming.}

Yes, the stacks are a little discombobulated and wobbly. That's how I like them. The cats are currently providing quality control by leaping in and out of the fireplace, over the tops of these stacks, to see it they will topple and fall.

{So far, so good.}

Wait! I just had an idea!! What if I put a string of twinkle lights in the fireplace, behind the stacks of books? I can't think of a single thing that isn't made better by twinkle lights. I'm going to go try it right now!

{It may have taken me eighty-two days to get this far, but I'm burning up with ideas now. Can't wait to see what happens next.}


  1. i really love to arrange books according to color (my hubby thinks this is ridiculous)... i love to stack books as well.

    what a pity that i don't have a fireplace...;)

    i really like yours!

  2. Thank you! My fireplace makes me happy too. I am lucky to have it.

    And I'd have to agree that your husband has a point, from a literal point of view. But what does it hurt to play with our books as building blocks? We can read them AND use them as art, and that is what I call a win/win. :)


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