Dreams Come True

All my life, I’ve wanted built-in bookshelves. It’s something I’ve dreamed of since seeing Beauty and the Beast. Except I don’t need the rolling ladder, because I’m already tall enough.

My dad is a talented carpenter. You can point to anything in my parents’ house and many things in my house asking, “Where did you get that?” and the answer is, “My dad made it.”

As I transitioned to a life working from home, I commissioned him to make a standing desk. He not only made a standing desk, but he made it so the top level was removable. I can sit or stand and work at my laptop or write by hand. I couldn’t have imagined something so good, but he threw it together with scrap wood, promising to make something better whenever I needed.

He built bookshelves for two rooms of his own house and I’ve admired them frequently. But I’ve previously lived a somewhat transient lifestyle. I moved apartments every year, moved away for grad school, then traveled for months at a time while keeping my things in a storage unit. My furniture is hand-me-downs. To date, I’ve only bought two tables, a bed (all 3 I still have), and one couch (RIP). Even though I’ve lived in my own home for years, built-in bookshelves seemed like a commitment I wasn’t ready to make.

But the pandemic changed everything. It helped me see what I valued in my life. I made a major career change. I focused on myself and my writing. And I knew that I was finally ready to commit to built-in bookshelves.

Cue wood being impossible to find and insanely expensive if you were lucky enough to spot it. (I could write an essay about me being ready to commit when it wasn’t possible, but I won’t. You’re welcome.)

However, my dad is amazing, and he kept looking. Finally, he found some wood and starting building my bookshelves. I helped as much as I could, which was mostly holding things in place, staining the wood, and aligning the shelf mounts to hold as many books as possible.

All of this to say… look at my bookshelves! And THANK YOU, DAD!

BEFORE:

WITHOUT:

DURING:

FINISHED:

WITH WORK LIGHTS INSTALLED:

Published by Allison

Allison Renner is a writer, librarian, and photographer. She has a passion for telling stories through different media.

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