It's official: I share the house with six thousand books (and, of course, two cats). Strictly speaking, I was already sharing the house with six thousand books (and, of course, two cats), since LibraryThing develops some rather odd tics when faced with sets. But now the electronic math has finally caught up with reality.
Alas, I have also exhausted my supply of downstairs walls. (As I live in a Cape Cod, upstairs walls are in somewhat short supply. Or, rather, the upstairs walls are both short and in short supply.) My parents have already suggested building stacks--not to mention another room--but I think that there may be other, more creative, alternatives:
- The floor-beneath-the-floor. Build a second floor about eight inches above the first, appropriately seal, vent, and insulate the gap in order to regulate humidity and temperature levels, and then use the resulting space to store little-used books. Obviously, it will be necessary to install trapdoors at regular intervals.
- Hanging bookcases. Never mind walls--just bolt additional bookcases to the ceiling.
- Floating, inflatable bookcases. Bookcase balloons, as it were: make the shelves out of silk, inflate them appropriately (helium, for example), and let them drift about the house.
- Convert the kitchen. It's not as though I'm an ardent cook, so do I really need a stove? Remove all the appliances and add more bookcases. Or put the books in the stove (which, incidentally, one of Dad the Emeritus Historian of Graeco-Roman Egypt's professors actually did...).
- Underground cache. I have a quarter-acre lot, which leaves me plenty of room to excavate.
- Book barn. Speaking of the quarter-acre lot: why not just build a nice, insulated barn out there? After all, the village is filled with old barns.
- Automotive bookcases. Perhaps it's time to replace my car with a used Bookmobile.
- Closet cases. Build bookcases into the existing closets.
- Bookcase doors. Replace all the doors with swinging bookcases.
- Lifts. Put all the furniture on stands and store books underneath.
- Library cards. As my holdings would rotate out on a regular basis, multiple books could share the same space.