The Book Decor Workout

Kitchen with book decor

Last weekend I stumbled upon a new workout. It’s all the rage with the A-listers in Hollywood. (Not really.)

Here’s what you need to get sweatin’…

  • Tall ceilings with a daring, unreachable shelf.
  • Sturdy ladder that will keep you from eating shit.
  • Insanely heavy boxes of books (lots of them!)
  • Grippy shoes or bare feet, because socks on the kitchen counter are a safety no-no.
  • Stretchy pants that won’t split in the private area.
  • Balance, endurance, and a touch of insanity.

So, anyway.

We finally got around to some more unpacking after a two-week stalemate. Although our new Portland apartment and our old Milwaukee apartment are comparable in square footage, they are night and day in all other aspects.

Our 1930s gem we used to live in came with cute built-ins to solve all of our book storage woes. I showed them off last summer in the Show Us Your Shelves challenge that was going around the bloggerhood.

This sleek building we now inhabit is a different creature entirely.

Every bit of space counts when you’re living in modestly sized digs. Lining entire walls with bookshelves can destroy your chances of having anywhere to sit, eat, sleep, etc.. And while my books are the loves of my life, a little practical furniture goes a long way.

Luckily for us, we happen to have 12-foot ceilings and a solid shelf soaring into our kitchen heavens. Problem solved!

Side of the fridge…

books with guitar

Top of the fridge… (For funsies, I stacked a Hitler biography right above “Poems That Touch the Heart”.)

books above fridge

The very random corner nook with absolutely no rhyme or reason to the book placement…

corner bookshelf

The Yoga friends breathing deeply to remain calm hanging in their dangerous neighborhood…

yoga books

The Ken Follett region with my dad’s old guitar… (Fun fact, Ken plays the bass guitar in a blues band.)

ken follett books with guitar

And finally the glue holding this whole operation together, the champion coffee table books masquerading as a bookend…

coffee table bookend

It’s been a few days and even with my shoddy architectural design, we have not had any catastrophic domino effect. My comfy chair happens to be right below that cabinet cliff.

Just keep your fingers crossed for me.

When I woke up the next morning and, with the exception of my back and legs, had long forgotten the Book Decor Workout, I had a foolishly happy moment when I walked into the kitchen.

There were all of my friends. Perched high, their lives in peril but smiling back at me nonetheless.

Any of you book lovers can feel me on this. Until those book friends were freed from their boxy confines, I still wasn’t at home here.

It’s funny how many times we’ve moved and always looked accusingly at the books. The choice to give some up arises, and then we veto it and keep them all. Even the ones that were gifted and we still haven’t read. Even the ones that aren’t our faves.

Because the books make our home. Sure they’re heavy bastards, but they’re simply lovely.

Later that day I unpacked one of the last remaining boxes and guess what I freaking found? Ten more damn books.

Time to grab the ladder and get my book fitness on!

Have you ever tackled a home decor project that turned into a surprise butt-busting workout?

On a completely different note, I was absolutely tickled this weekend when my sweet friend Jessica from Notes of Nomads included one of my recent posts in her “5 Best Blog Posts of the Month” roundup. If you haven’t check it out yet, please be sure to take a looksy!


31 thoughts on “The Book Decor Workout

    1. I feel pretty confident, since this is a new building that was done well. However, just like the possibility of a book domino effect, we’ll just keep our fingers crossed on the cabinet muscle as well.

  1. I lost about 20 pounds when we renovated our school’s library a year and a half ago. Moved about 9,000 books around several times in the span of a couple of months.

    Love the cat on the books. Love the books in the kitchen. Better ban the bacon, though, if you ever eat it. I think I’d rather have my books smell like curry.

    1. Alright, Jilanne…you totally win! 9,000 books, wow!

      Since I love bacon and curry, I doubt anyone will ever want to borrow any of my books now that they’re living in the kitchen. : )

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