I do not have a before picture to show you, but let's just say it looked something like this...
And here is the after...
These bookshelves have been around through four moves and three paint jobs. I couple of the shelves have footprints in the paint from where my then toddler son ran across them while they were drying on the floor during one of the repaints. Needless to say these bookshelves and I have been through a lot together, and I love that now the shelves are cleared and organized. It really shows my books off to their best advantages. I also now have the room to add a few extra decorative items to the shelves.
First thing I did was pare down the books to only the ones I truly could not part with. This was so hard to do! It was a bit like having to say good bye to old, dear friends. I kept stopping to read them.
I looked something like this....
The Bookworm by Carl Spitzweg
Finally, I had two boxes full of books, and I carted them off to donate to the local Friends of the Library Book Sale.
I decided to organize the books roughly by subject. This has really helped me be able to quickly find what I am looking for.
I placed some of the books at different angles to add interest to the shelves.
My mother gave me this pillow, and it is one of my favorite things. The glass vase was hand blown at a glass factory near my hometown.
The organized bookshelves were such an improvement to my living room, that I went to work on the bookshelf in my children's room.
We mainly group the books here by subject, author or reading level.
Now that our bookshelves look so great, I declared a ban in our house...no more buying books. We almost exclusively get all of our books from the public library now. I would love to see the data of which family checks out the most books at our library. I think we would win.
Check out the link up at Serenity Now, Calling It Home, I Heart Organizing, Tatertots and Jello, Not Just a Housewife, The Pink Pagoda, Remodelaholic, A Bowl Full of Lemons