Perhaps labor is too strong a term for what I did over the weekend — and even if it is the right word, it was in part a labor of love.
Tired of the bookcases in my hideaway at home overflowing, I bought a new 3′ by 7′ bookshelf this weekend. Although it’s not a built-in like the existing and somewhat larger set of four, it adds enough space for my current books and means room to spare. Of course, adding a bookshelf requires relocating those already on the shelves and those looking for a spot. After getting about halfway through, I decided to change the arrangement I’d decided on initially. Never being the quickest study, it was only after moving a significant number of books that I realized the second scheme wasn’t going to work and I had to revert to the first.
In addition, the youngest daughter’s redecorating and rearranging of her room this summer freed up a three-shelf bookcase. Thus, this weekend it took the place of the two-shelf one next to the bed that held the “TBR” books. That extra shelf means some books previously forced off the bookcase without having been read have returned.
As I told my wife, though, there is a problem associated with having space available on bookshelves. Just as it is said that nature abhors a vacuum, empty bookshelf space always cries out to be filled.
I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage, with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post which any human power can give.
Thomas Jefferson, February 7, 1788, letter