A few of my readers have been emailing me, begging me to post "after" shots of my famly library, after the book sort, reshuffle, and tidying up. When I finished the project, I didn't have a digital camera to take photos with, but now I have one, so here you go.
Here is a view from the foyer looking in to the library. My older son is the person reading the book.
After the tidying up, I was given a pair of overstuffed chairs, which I put in the center of the library. An ottoman we already own is serving as the coffee table/foot rest. I don't have an end table to spare so I am using an inherited small coffee table as an end table to house a lamp, as this room does not have overhead lighting. The reading lamp in the library was from freecycle.
The mantle houses various arts and craft projects that my children created. The tops of the shelves house varous science projects and models that the children have built as original works or from kits.
So now the entire floor is no longer empty. When it was empty, we laid on the floor and read books together. Now we can sit. Hooray! It is a little tricky, though, for both kids to sit on my lap, at over 110 lbs. their combined weight is a bit much!
I used to have a big chair in the corner of the room. I removed it when I put the two 'new to me' chairs in the room. This leaves a space in the corner just big enough for a new bookcase. I do need a bookcase there, to house encyclopedias which are presently sitting on the floor or are in cardboard boxes acting as bookcases. After my husband gets a job I'll buy a matching bookcase from Wal Mart. I paid just $40 each for these, on sale at Wal Mart, about 7 years ago. They are melamine. We are not having serious trouble with warping. Minor warping is happening on the shelf with the oversized art books which are printed on heavy glossy paper, so are very heavy. I don't double stack the books. My friends complain of warping, most double stack their books which doubles the weight. For the record my husband hates these shelves; he'd prefer built-in's made of real wood and wood paneling. Well, that is not in our budget right now! What I need right now is places to house books. Period.
Here are my encyclopedias and sets of books which have no home. I will use the new bookshelf to house encyclopedia's and sets. I received two sets of World Book encyclopedia's from a Freecycler. The first set is from 1971. I then got a 1989 set and planned to get rid of the 1971 set. However, the 1989 set is dumbed down, but contains color photos and more graphics. So for now, I am keeping both. Actually each has it's pro's and con's and just comparing entries is a fun thing for me to do in and of itself. I received a science encylopedia from the free table at a homeschoolers used book sale.
Here is the right side of the room. From left to right, these shelves house:
1. Teaching reading, writing, grammar, spelling, penmanship (2 shelves). Five in a Row manuals, FIAR picture books and other picture books which I feel will make great unit studies.
2. All science (5 shelves).
3. All science (5 shelves).
4. Bibles, Bible history, religion (3 shelves). Science (1.5 shelves). Misc. history/science blends (history of farming, history of mining, etc.)
5. World history, in chronological order. There is a little left of Ancient Egypt then what I plan to use this year to teach history through to 1650. There are also various books about the 1700s (4 shelves) These are all elementary school level books. Some US Geography and regional information, history/geography, (1 shelf).
This is my desk and where "The Thinking Mother" blog entries are written I am sure that seeing this thrills you! The books on the floor are waiting to be logged into my book inventory database, so this is a little clutter that has formed. The books in the shelves around my desk are 'homeschooling how to' books and other books on education and education reform. There are miscellaneous books that I reference often double stacking on the shelves also. Yes, I know my desk is messy.
This is the left corner of the room. These shelves house teaching art and teaching music, and music history (2 shelves). There are two shelves of fine art books. The bottom shelf is books for my older son to read for practice reading. The next shelf houses two shelves of poetry book and three shleves of math books, math curriculum, and fun math manipulatives. The basket on the floor contains books for practice reading for my five-year old son.
This bookcase houses reference books, i.e. dictionaries (1 shelf), activity and craft books to do with children (two shelves) and two shelves of book sets such as "My Bookhouse". This is the new empty spot which is begging for a new bookcase.
Other General Information:
This rug is left over from our old house, and it is berber. Its purpose is to protect the wood floor. It serves a utilitarian purpose and we don't have it for its' aesthetic qualities!
For the record, I hate the wall color, which was here when we purchased the house. It is a weird greenish color whose name I do not know! The window treatments also were left by the previous owner, they are a pinkish/peach color. The former owner used this room as a formal living room.
This room really has poor light in the evening. The room has a southern exposure so it is bathed in sunlight all day long. The sun also bleaches the spines of my books--a problem which someday will be resolved by the installation of pleated shades.
Plans for the future:
Just this week my husband brought up the subject of what do with this room after he gets a job. We would like to intall built in bookshelves made out of wood, from floor to celing and make this a true library. The little wall space that is left will be wood paneling. I will have a different computer deak made out of real wood. (Mine is from pressboard and although it was not inexpensive it really is poorly made and is not entirely functional as the drawers began falling apart when it was only three months old.) Anyway, we would also like to have a beautiful oriental rug in the room. The room will also need to be rewired to put electrical outlets in the floor so that we can have more table lamps. We could also rewire the ceiling to allow for over head lighting. I don't know when that project will occur as after a job is found, there are higher priorities for where our money will be spent, such as paying back debt and rebuilding our savings account.