This week I hit crisis point. Not financially or emotionally, you understand. I’m solvent and in general life is good. No, it was more important than that. I ran out of all bookshelf space.
To give you the background to this, I had performed an emergency reallocation of space in the autumn of last year, intended to extract maximum efficiency out of the existing resources by making my existing shelf space work harder. Vertical spacing between some shelves was reduced and open space for ornaments was eliminated, and a small number of books I had been given and had never really wanted were discarded. One new shelf was introduced. This resolved the problem at that time but it was understood by all concerned (by which I mean me and the books) that it was only an interim measure and that sooner or later more drastic works would be needed.
This week I came back from holiday and wanted to put my new holiday reading books, now all finished, onto the shelves. There was no space. Every shelf had not just books arranged on it end to end, but also more books stacked up on top, lying horizontally and squashed in up to the level of the next shelf. Shelves of maps had books on top. The radio had books on top. There weren’t even little gaps that I could temporarily stuff the new books into. I had neglected the problem for too long and now I was forced to declare an emergency situation and allocate funding to avert complete literary disaster.
Thus I found myself in Ikea, buying new bookcases to replace the small and inadequate shelving asset in the bedroom. In fact, as my reallocation of my wider book storage estate progressed, I found myself back there the next day, procuring further additional shelves and other storage solutions. I am pleased to say that I am now in a position where all books are properly stored and there is space to accommodate future literary purchases for at least another year, with spare room available for books of all sizes.
What’s more, the old bedroom shelves have been shelved but are available to return to service in future if another emergency arises, ensuring that I will not find myself in this crisis situation again. At last, I can relax.