Let the Shelving Begin

As I work through the process of hauling box after box down from the attic, I am coming to a realization: Holy Cow, I have a lot of books.

I’ve had this vision of a perfectly organized library, and it started that way. I’ve got my sets in order, I’ve divided sections by subject area, and I’ve even put all my fake first editions* in chronological order by publication date.

But I gotta be honest: I’m starting to poop out. I’m about ready to just throw them up there in any old place. I need to call it quits for the evening.

The Boy decided he wanted to be a part of the process. I was stretched out on the couch, ready to call it an afternoon when I heard … thump … thump … thump… I got up to see what was going on, and there he was, dragging another box down the stairs. When the boxes got too big to drag, he’d just bring up a smaller, empty box and fill it up. He’s smart like that.

I thought I could distract him with books I loved from my childhood, but The Boy just kept bringing more boxes and insisting on helping me shelve. Finally I had the successful idea of luring him away with pizza.

Damn it. I hear the thumping again. This is in real time, folks. The pizza must have given him new energy. Lucky for me, 8 o’clock is bedtime.

We got countertops today and flooring yesterday. I’m only some touch-up paint and window treatments (and putting away books) away from being done. I feel extraordinarily blessed to be so close to realizing a dream. It’s just so cool.

Pics from my phone as we work:

Everything’s all topsy-turvy as we figure out where its new home will be.

The goal here is to end up having everything standing upright and looking pretty, as well as making sense (to me, anyway).

As soon as I get it all moved in, I’ll take some photos with a real camera and do a “before and after” comparison. Should be fun!

Gotta go send the kids to bed.

Real-time comment from The Boy, 8:21 p.m. CST: “Mom, you’d better get some rest tonight. You know why?”

Me: “Why?”

TB: “Because I’m going to be ready to work tomorrow. So you’d better be ready too.”

I’m out.


*By fake first editions, I mean books reprinted by the First Edition Library, a now-defunct arm of the Easton Press. (Their blurb: “Each First Edition Library volume is identical to the original edition, down to the first critics’ comments printed on the jacket flap. The design of every volume is unique to its own era: the dust jacket artwork, hardcover bindings, typefaces, endpapers, title pages, even the minor errors that collectors look for.”) I like fake first editions better than real first editions because a) they’re cheaper,  b) I don’t feel guilty about reading them, and c) they’re pretty.

Categories: The Library

8 replies

  1. it is not a dream!

  2. I see your Easton Press classics up at the top (leather bound). I saw the fake first editions on Easton Press’s website. Do you have to subscribe to that series too? I like the idea of those. You’re right too: books are meant to be read, not just displayed.

    • Unfortunately, Easton has stopped printing the First Edition Library so your only recourse is eBay or another used bookseller. I like the FEL books more than the fancier leather-bound ones because, ironically, even though they’re reproductions, they feel more authentic. The leather-bound ones are fun to read, too, although they’re heavy.

      • Are you certain that Easton has stopped selling these? Their webpage is still up and their price is better than what a lot are selling for on ebay. I do know that many on ebay are the pre-Easton with the slipcases:


        BTW, I saw a Gone With the Wind hardcover at Borders and it looks just like the first edition dust cover. I wonder how similar it is to a fake first edition.

      • I’ll have to check it out. When I was still an Easton member and getting the FEL books, they sent me a notice that they were discontinuing the series. Maybe they’re selling all their leftovers at this point? I’d love it if they started the printing back up.

        I picked up my own GWTW hardcover at Half-Price Books about a year ago for $13 if I remember correctly. I think Scribner did a first edition reprint of that book, and it looks like the same cover as the FEL version that I’ve seen on line. They had a big stack of them on a table, so I guess they didn’t sell all that well. But I bought one!

  3. I’ll keep my eye out on ebay. Yeah, the leather bounds are fun to read at home, but–for instance–we just went to see Alice in Wonderland (great, btw), and needed to arrive early to get a decent seat at the IMAX theater. So we decided to bring books. I thought twice about bringing my leather bound Ivanhoe, so we stopped by the library to pick up another copy of Ivanhoe that I could take to the movies.

  4. And here’s the answer from Easton Press. According the page, you don’t have to subscribe to buy these:

    Our First Edition Library has been discontinued. We are now offering a new version with only the following titles:









    There may be 2 additional books in this collection, but the titles are not available yet.

    Customer Service

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