Three houses ago, Doug built us some bookshelves.
Actually, it was when we three were moving into the house in Madison, and all the books of our modest paperback collection were boxed up and we were tearing out the carpet in the living room, so we weren't exactly *in* that house yet. Doug, however, wanted some peace and quiet, and so he engineered a bookcase out of plywood and 1x1s that was based around the strength of the I-beam structure. He and I cut the wood, glued the pieces together, stained it, then brought it into the spare room and assembled it to hide the wallpaper with roses and duckies on it – near 8 feet high, and just as wide, it left us a lot of room for library expansion.
We loaded it up with our books, and then were easily distracted by sitting still and reading, and Doug could happily watch TV in peace.
Since then, Doug got married, moved out, had a kid, and bought his own house that he is remodeling (oddly, in that order), and we moved west, taking the shelves with us, in pieces for reassembly. Having the books out means its home.
After our acting minions hefted the now quite extensively library over to the new house, stacked the way-to-many-boxes in the media room and left us to unpack, we found we had a 'but first' problem. We needed to do this, but first that had to be done, and to get that done, we needed to have space available, and before we could do that we needed to clean this, but first we have to get this done so we had room, and so on in an endless cycle. Maddening.
So *first*, we took two freestanding black bookcases and temporarily set them in the living room and loaded them up with hardcover sci fi. Then we cleaned out the wine celler – a nook thusly labeled but full of 47 mostly empty paint cans and other left detritus. Then we piled up all the nonfiction hardcovers into this celler, plus all the “to be sorted” boxes, plus anything else in the way. Then we tore up a 3 foot strip of cat-smelling carpeting and laid down one stripe of new floor tile.
Then we assembled Doug's shelves.
While it's not the 74″ tall hobbit hole, the ceiling isn't high enough for the shelf unit, so Scott trimmed 4 inches off the top, removing the usefulness of the top shelf. We ripped the plywood, assembled the backing and stood it upright on top of the new tile, then screwed it to the wall and placed all the shelves with the help of a mallet.
The next night, the paperbacks came out of the boxes. Alas, not all of them fit on this one shelf unit any more, but its full of books, and I can browse most of the authors.
And that's something like 30 more boxes empty and out of the way, and we can move around the garage We had help from Kelly, Andrew, and Mark on these tasks, plus a whole lot of schlepping and configuring on our own. But now we have space for the next steps.
Assuming we aren't completely distracted by having books out to read.