January 10, 2008

With or Without

I recall hearing that you should remove the dust covers from your books. I love this idea. In theory. For inexplicable reasons, it makes me anxious. I'm not thinking of throwing them away, just boxing them up. I think it will give me a cleaner look, which I like. But keeping them on may feel cozier, which I like. Do you realize that in the nearly 1 1/2 years that I've been blogging, that we've just touched the surface of my quirks? Feel free to run as fast as you can in the other direction. So, please vote. With or without?

In other news, I'm completely exhausted. Picking up the pieces from the long break is more work than I planned on. In the interest of reaching this years goal of being My Best Me, I have got to learn to better manage my time. I think the first step in doing this is having 1 errand day. I have run errands 3 days this week and it makes it so hard to find time for everything else I have to do. I'm also trying to decide if I should try to clean the whole house in one day or do a little each day. It's just so hard to fit in errands, cleaning, volunteering, finances, phone calls and exercising. Finding time for the fun stuff seems nearly impossible. Please tell me how you get it all done.

49 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about the slipcovers on the books, makes me anxious to remove them too. They are more col;orful, my biggest gripe is that they slip slide around and get a bit tattered. If you aren't going to throw them away, why not slip them off and see how you like it?
    As for the daily errand grind, that just seems to be the price of living, maybe I need better time management too, but errands pop up unplanned and unexpected and it's pretty hard to manage putting some of them off for one certain day:>)

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  2. I prefer the covers on the books. i think they look better. My son removes them as quickly as he can and it makes me crazy

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  3. I'd leave the covers on because I'm completely anal about that stuff. Like I can't take my CDs out the CD case to keep the CDs in a sleeve-style thing and throw out the cases -- no way!
    And I'm dying to see the advice you get about time management because I'm always trying to figure out the best routine too!

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  4. We definitely only run errands once a week, maybe even sometimes only once every 2 weeks. I try and combine them as much as possible to make it 3 stops or less, even if it means paying a little bit for something at x store to avoid having to go to y store. Of course, with the cost of gas, I think the difference is probably negligible these days.


    I say leave the dust jackets on, but I think most books are an unattractive green underneath.

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  5. Hmmm...can't help you on that decision, but I know what you mean about being anxious over crazy small stuff like that. Have you tried the Apartment Therapy outbox? It's helped me part with stuff that I don't really need or want, but feel anxious about getting rid of straight away. And errands...if you figure it out, let me know! Alicia

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  6. I vote keep the slipcovers. I think they themselves are quite pretty on the shelf. As to getting it all done - the best tip I ever got was "think in 15 minute increments." What can you accomplish in 15 minutes? Works really well for housecleaning if you do it systematically. It's also encouraging. After all, it's only 15 minutes - even of the most dreaded chore!

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  7. I love covers on my books. Not only does it protect the book, but it adds to the color and character. Did you ever see that one Pottery Barn layout where they covered all the books on the shelf in white paper? First of all, I haven't covered a book since I was in school. Second, how in the heck do you find your books? Third, it just looked doofy to me! I mean, if a real person did that I'd have to tell them to get a life! LOL

    As for errands, I live about 15 miles north of the city so I really try to consolidate my errands into one day per week as much as possible. Saves so much time.

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  8. I'm voting without. I know it seems unacceptable to take the jackets off, but I just did that with some old, old books and they look much better on the shelf. As far as getting anything done, this is a perfect post because I feel the same way! There is just not enough time in the day to get it all done and I'm RETIRED!

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  9. I vote for removing the covers!lol...And for time management I do one thorough clean of one room and then a quick pick up in the "living spaces" I find that my house stays clean and I'm not bogged down with doing it all in one day. Then I make myself have "me" time everyday. That way I have something to look forward to as a reward for all the other work I have done that day! HTH!

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  10. definitely without. more organic looking. :)

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  11. I always take off the book jackets when I'm reading them, but find now that many of the books are plain and don't have the same lovely pictures on them as the paper jackets do. On my bookshelfs they all have the jackets on :-}

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  12. I always take them off not because of how they look but they never seem to stay on although I guess a person could tape it the way the library does. Thanks for letting us see your books, I should write down the titles. I see I have a couple of the same books you do. Have a great night.

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  13. Off with the bookcovers! I know what you mean because it does seem a little wasteful but it's usually so much prettier without. I have no advice about the errand thing...I do try to do it all in one day but it's those darn kids that come home with the weirdest requirements for school/sports/etc.

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  14. If you find the answer to that question, will you fill me in? And this blogging thing is killing me...I feel guilty if I don't respond to the comments I get (which I sooo appreciate), but if I do, my life as I know it gets completely ignored! I end up blogging late at night and then I'm exhausted for the next day!!

    I, too, need a schedule...and fast!!

    Linda
    xoxo

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  15. I'm with Kellie, I leave covers on books and I can't remove CD cases either. I'm into preservation... As for getting more accomplished...I'm no help whatsoever. I'm retired and still can't get anything done!

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  16. You sound like a busy, busy chick! Since the kids are away at college I can get away with cleaning the house thoroughly one day a week, but with kids at home, that's hard to do. And the books, I used to not take off the covers, but now I kinda like them off, gives them a more authentic look. :)

    Teresa
    xo

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  17. I like the book covers off. It appears more library looking to me and also more clean.

    Pretend you live 30 miles from town and you'll force yourself to make the trip once per week. I actually do live that far away and driving in really shoots a day in the foot. I do chores in the morning and things I want to do in the afternoon. Keeps me from feeling deprived.

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  18. So pretty. Your blog is lovely.

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  19. I have mixed feelings about the dust covers. I think they look prettier with the covers on but I do hate the way they slip about and start to get a bit scruffy at the edges. I often take them off to actually read the book as it's a lot easier to enjoy without worrying about ripping the cover. One book that I love equally with or without the cover is Jane Brocket's 'Gentle Art of Domesticity'. It has the most gorgeous bright cover but the hard cover is a beautiful pale blue with white decoration. I keep taking the cover off an on that one. As for getting everything done, I do find it struggle. I may not have a husband or kids just yet, but I do have a pretty hectic full time job as well as running my flat and trying to start up my own little creative business. Not to mention the hour commute morning and evening. It's hard to fit everything in, but my focus words for 2008 are organisation and positivity. I'm hoping that trying to be more organised is going to give me more time for the fun stuff this year.

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  20. Wow Jen - have we really been blogging that long already? The time has flown by hasn't it.. I'm so glad we've shared in Blogland together too!
    When I remove the jackets off of my books (and many times I do) I keep the jackets safe and sound in a box that way I can put them back on if I need to do. Solves any "guilt".
    xo,
    Kim

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  21. i work in 15 minute increments....
    evryday the batheooms get a wipe and a swish, i through one load of laundry a day. i clean one room a week and vacuum and wash the floors on seperate days.........weekends are just for fun and NO work, i bake when the mood arises and i menu plan.VERY important with a busy family life and 4 kids running in differant diretions and only one car...sounds like i am organized doesn't it, but i am trully not this came through practise practice practice......i don't like falling behind because i like working 15 minutes at a time.......i am not fond of house work but i dislike a messy house more!!!! good luck in the balance......i always try to start my day with excersise and time alone with God....day works much batter!!!!

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  22. Hi! I hope you don't mind me stopping by. I am not quite sure how I discovered you delightful blog, but I am glad that I did!
    I like to take the covers off of the books so that they look neater, but I am really terrible and throw them away.
    As for getting it together daily, I have one day that I run all my errands. Cleaning the house is a daily task, but not overwhelming. I do things like keeping clorox wipes, and windex wipes in the bathrooms for a quick wipe each morning after the kids have left for school. I have specific days I do the big things like changing sheets and cleaning the bathroom. I do at least three loads of laundry each day, immediately folding and putting them away. It is just making a schedule and sticking to it.
    Good luck on you quest for a better you!
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Jen

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  23. I like some of the book covers. They have a better look than just the plain book. I guess it depends on the book. Just give it a trial, and see how you like it.
    I have a certain day for certain things. I do errands on the same day. It's better than going out several days a week.
    Have a great weekend!
    Rosemary

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  24. i agree with rosemary...some covers i discard..some i keep..i always look and see what the book looks like without...for instance i took the cover off of one the other day and it had a tiffany blue spine and brown lettering..how divine..i also love books with red spines...but sometimes the covers are pretty too so you just have to judge each one by its cover;;;) lol!

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  25. I like to put my books in the bookcase with the covers on. But when I'm just reading them I put the bookcover in a drawer.

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  26. Jen,
    Stop on by and enter my giveaway>

    Janet

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  27. Wow, I'm surprised to be in the "covers off the book" minority. I love the duller leather/cloth bindings and covers. It makes me feel like I have one of those old established grownup libraries I lust after. However, I do keep the covers. I just bring the books to the edge of the shelf so they are lined up evenly in front. I know that sounds a bit obsessive but it leaves a little space behind to put the covers and preserve them.

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  28. ack...it's hard. I would feel guilty taking them off. Kind of like writing in a book. (thanks, Mom, for the guilt complex!)

    I love visiting your blog...so much food for thought! I think we can all do better as far as time management goes...this is a good year to start!:)
    xo Lidy

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  29. The slipcovers are a dilemma. I appreciate them for what they do and yet the simplicity of the bare book is appealing as well. I have seen an alternative on Room Design with Sarah Richardson. She slip-covered all the books in the same plain white dust jacket and created labels or neatly hand-wrote the titles on the spine. The result was beautiful, but the project was time consuming.
    As for time-management. I seem to do better if I reserve one day for errands, one day for phone calls, etc. but do a bit of housework and exercise each day.
    Suzann

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  30. I have a hard time taking them off too. I'm working on schedules and organization. With two babies on the way I'll really need it! Such pretty pictures (as always!) Oh, and I'll work on a tutorial for you and post about it. We have a Hybrid tutorial that I'll be posting this weekend so stay tuned!

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  31. I like the slip covers left on--first they are much easier to dust!! And I love the colorful display---they were made to attract interest and they do ;-)

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  32. I enjoy your blog so much and get inspired every time I visit~
    I have a question about your prior entry~ What issue of Cottage Living is the third picture from? I LOVE it so much and NEED to track that issue down, can't believe I missed that one!!
    I also vote covers on~

    Marsha

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  33. I have the same debate with myself. I am thinking about making coordinating book covers for mine.

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  34. I say if the book's paper cover is the same as the actual cover of the book, take it off. If the books is plain or the actual cover is not as pretty take it off.

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  35. I have been reading your blog for a bit, and I love it! I have a book shopping tip: There is a woman from Denmark who imports Danish leather books at very cheap prices. They are beautiful! It only takes a handful to make all the other books on a shelf look more lovely. Here is her website: http://www.bookdecor.com/. I have bought quite a few from her, and she is so sweet and helpful, wanting to choose just the right books for your home. I stack them everywhere, and think they are one of my favorite accessories! (They are in Danish, so if that bothers you...) As far as getting things done...I have a large family, and I don't ever expect to be on top of things. I just try to choose well. Fondly, Erin

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  36. I vote to keep the covers on the books. As far as cleaning, I prefer to do a little each day.
    Hugs,
    Nan

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  37. I vote for keeping the covers on and using the time you saved removing them to devise a weekly schedule. I, too, am often caught pondering a design dilemma, but I work hard to nip them in the bud so that I feel less overwhelmed by the daily tasks. I try to focus on the beauty of a clean house, rather than that old [insert piece of furniture] that I've been meaning to [move, organize, refinish]. It really makes all the difference.

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  38. Jen, I like bookcovers.

    And I think cleaning a little bit each day is so much easier to tackle than a marathon day trying to get it all done. Maybe when the kids are older and you have more time, but every time I try to clean all day, I always get interrupted, quit, and then feel like I've accomplished nothing!

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  39. I vote to keep the covers on! I like the look and you will just end up throwing the covers out eventually if you take them off. They will sit in a box and never come until the next yard sale.

    Or... you could use them for AA projects. That's my 2 cents.

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  40. I am so totally a "without" kinda girl. I throw them away with the bag the book came home in.

    I just realized one of my little quirks. Apparently, when I see pictures of someone's bookshelves, I have to read all the titles to see how many of them I have, too.

    Two. :)

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  41. ok, I'm cracking up reading the other comments. I immediately get rid of jewel cases that come with cd's and the packaging that comes with movies and computer software.

    I didn't realize I had a thing about this, but I guess I do!

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  42. Both I think. The old books on my book shelves have the covers removed but the new books....the ones about decorating and junking and gardening have such fun covers I couldn't bare to remove them. I probably didn't help you much. :) As for errands....I live out in the country so when I go into town for errands everything is done in one day. It's tiring but at least it gets done in one day.

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  43. decisions, decisions huh? ..lol I think you'll figure it all out.:0)
    have a great week.

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  44. I love the look without, but I feel like somehow I'm protecting the contents of the book if I keep them on.

    I also feel like I would be parting with a piece of the book that the author/publisher/whomever wanted with the book and without the slipcover the book would somehow not be as complete. Now how's that for quirky-lol.

    I vote "with".

    Have a great week!

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  45. Lack of sleep! Just kidding. I try to consolidate my errands so I'm not leaving the house every day--that just eats up too much time. But everyone has a different way of doing it. Speaking of covers, I took mine all off. It's still quite cozy, but it cleans up the look and keeps it from being such a jumble. I put them in a box, like you, so that I have them for when I need them. But I love how the books look without them. I've been meaning to do it for years and I'm glad I finally did!

    Meanwhile, I'm giving you the "You Make My Day" award--I hope you'll pick it up from my blog!
    ~Angela :-)

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  46. I'm the same way with book jackets. Just can't take them off.

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  47. I hear ya babe! I am feeling the exact same way. When do I get to do the fun stuff?

    I am now going to read all of your comments in hopes of learning the secret!!

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  48. For the good of the books - I always keep the jackets on. If you are just using a book as decor..as I once saw someone who had color coded their books - instead of dividing them by subjects...I guess it does not matter what you do with them. I treasure so many of my books though - as I inherited many from my Grandfather..I would never think of them in that light.

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  49. Jen, I love your shelves and the books and magazines look so great. I almost felt like I was looking at my own shelves in the living room. We have some of the same books and of course the magazines. I also have a similar basket :o) I like to keep the covers on because then I'd have to find a place for the covers because I couldn't throw them away. I do think they can look nice without the covers too though. Sometimes the colors of the books are very pretty. Boy, I just love, love, love your shelves Jen! Your home always looks so great!

    allie
    www.mycozyhome.typepad.com

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.