So I went through my books over this past week (they desperately needed to be repacked in their boxes after having been shuffled through all winter long looking for favorites to bring back to my college apartment). I stacked them all on the floor of the living room and catalogued them before putting them all back. I think I threw out a few discs in my back but it was worth it now I don't have to unload a whole box to find what I'm looking for. My parents were appalled at the sight.
I covered a six foot by four foot area with stacks of books almost three feet tall, and that doesn't count picture books and the ones scattered around the house. See, I have this sneaky system: if I don't keep all my boxes of books in the same place, my compulsive-anti-pack-rat mother doesn't realize how many there are, precluding her from feeling the itch the throw some out. She realizes now. The look on her face was classic horror. And my dad said that he'd just start checking books out from me rather than the public library. I think he looks forward to the day I'm gone for good, because between my antique furniture and my books waiting for a less transient home he'll be getting half of his workshop back someday.
Henry Ward Beecher says that, "Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house." When my Dad gets his workshop back a house will come into existence where every room has bookshelves and every flat surface has a stack of books on it. They will line the walls and the halls and the top of the piano. My children will use them to hold down the corners of their blanket forts and be the floors and walls of their doll houses as they reenact the stories in them. I can't wait for that house.