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Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
Paper Doll's 2nd Annual "Be A Fool (for Organizing Your Books)" Extravaganza

Over the past month, we've been chatting about pretty serious topics, organizing papers related to medical emergencies, visits to the doctor and personal health records.  That's heavy stuff.  With springtime in the air, it's the perfect opportunity to take a break and consider organizing with a little frivolity.  Are you with me?

Paper Doll loves books.  In the past, we've discussed serious ways of organizing your books, less than functional ways of keeping those books in order, and how to organize and keep track of what's in your personal library.  And we'll have a special feature coming up soon on newer options for organizing your personal reading collections.

But sometimes, we just need to look at things from a different perspective. For example, if you're short on book storage, you might wonder why you never thought of keeping your books on both sides of the shelves:


(Interested in making your own inverted bookshelf?  Instructables has step-by-step instructions for designing your own version, just in time for springing a good-natured April Fool's Day surprise on your loved ones.)

Oh, an if anyone gives you a hard time about how you're not keeping your books organized enough to satisfy them, or, conversely, if you're trying to teach an object lesson to your kids about what happens when we don't organize a little bit every day, just point them in the direction of this photo called House of Books, courtesy of Joanna A. at JPG Magazine:

(You'll prove to the former than things could be much, much worse.  The only trouble showing this to the latter is that kids might actually want a book-covered room!)

Speaking of having too many books around the house, there's always the artistic option of The House of Books Has No Windows (via The Letter):

Last Autumn, The Gallery of Modern Art in Oxford, England displayed this art installation, the result of a collaboration between Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.  It's been reported that the house was constructed from 5000 books.  While it's surely sturdier than a proverbial (or literal, I suppose) house of cards, please remember that the goal of organizing is to be functional, and I suspect if more than a few titles were retrieved from over the doorway, it all might come tumbling down.  And then who would feel like an April fool?

In this day of unpredictable real estate prices, perhaps a better option than a book house might be a build-it-yourself bedroom bookcase fort, Tokyo's Point Architects' Uroku House:

(via Geekologie).

Of course, sometimes you merely need a little more space, and you think "Wow, I wish my bookshelf could slide apart as easily as Grandma could add extra leaves to that fancy dining room table!"  Well, you wouldn't be living in a Fool's Paradise if you tried to act that out using this expandable bookshelf (via Apartment Therapy) from German designers Farsen-Schoellhammer (Click so you can see the nifty little slide show):

If you've failed to take Paper Doll's past advice about decluttering your book collections to heart, you may have an ever-increasing supply of books but only five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes (at least, according to Rent) in which to read them.  Corral your almost infinite book collections with the Infinity Bookcase from

Dutch conceptual artist Job Koelewijn. (Koelewijn really must love books--in 2005, he created a surreal gas station out of book covers.)

If you start feeling a little dizzy from zooming through infinity on this book organizing foolishness, maybe you'll want to find something soothing that pairs Ernest Hemingway's A Clean, Well-Lighted Place with Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, like these Cave bookshelves from designer Sakura Adachi:

The Caves not only come in adult and child sizes, but for you Paper Doll readers who love to share a bedtime story with a furry friend, there are even pet Caves: 

Before someone says that Paper Doll has let this post go to the dogs, let me just wish you the serenity and extra time that true, functional organization brings, so that you can enjoy some reading time this April.  Be a fool for knowledge, and if possible, share the gift of reading with someone else.

posted on: 3/31/2009 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
category: Paper

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Discuss This Post

by Dawn @GirlfriendCeleb on 3/31/2009 3:39:02 PM:

Love the cave! A room lined with books is just what I want, but I was thinking on shelves, not hanging open from the walls.

by Julie Bestry (Paper Doll) on 3/31/2009 7:32:36 PM:

Good point, Dawn, but with more and more people being mobile, selling houses or residing in apartments, a free-standing piece adds an extra layer of flexibility. And I'm not even a pet person, but I did adore the pet Cave. :-)

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Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles

by Julie Bestry

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Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN, is a Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker and author. Julie helps overwhelmed individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems.

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