This post is a tribute to a favourite inside feature.
Once in a while I like to have a good long look at my bookshelves – or my library, as I like to call it. I look at it for quite a while, sizing up how the books are placed. Sometimes I’ll shuffle them around a bit, take one out and flick through it, maybe even get excited about discovering a book I had thought once lost.
Mostly I like to admire it. This probably seems like strange behaviour to some of you, but this is just one of my little quirks, (of which there are many…), those of you who know me well, know what I’m talking about.
When I am scouring the internet for images for my posts, I often come across images that are just so pleasing that I simply have to save them for a rainy day. Often I end up using them in a post, but some just sit there in a folder waiting for that rainy day.
And so, after editing my pictures folder, I discovered that I had collected quite a few images of home libraries. Goody, goody I thought – there’s a great post already in the making!
In my home in the mountains, I made a home library and reading retreat out of a small nook in our main living area. A spot that was difficult to find a use for was suddenly the most popular place in the house.
Floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall, above a door, there are many places a library can be built to make room for your collection of much-loved reads.
I scoured the Net for inspiration and boy did I find some! There are a tonne of blogs and designers and websites out there dedicated to the home library, bookshelves, book displays and bookcases.
Arranging your books and objèt d’art can be fun and an excellent rainy day past-time. I like to keep Shakespeare and Jane Austen together, books relating to fashion and design are shelved together. I also have a section for books about movies and film-making, as well as an entire shelf dedicated to J.R.R.Tolkien and one for my collection of beloved Jilly Cooper.
My first bookcase was an old falling-apart piece of junk I “inherited” from a flat-mate. I use the word “inherited” loosely because basically she left it behind after she moved out. It was unpainted, and it wobbled and swayed from side to side. It’s shelves were uneven and it was literally falling apart at the joints. But as I had nowhere else to keep my books, it was better than nothing. I went to the hardware store and I bought sandpaper and glue. I sanded it back, glued it together and voila! What a difference. ‘Course, I think I ended up giving it to the Salvation Army when my hubby and I decided it was time to purchase grown up and married furniture, I didn’t even think twice about discarding what was once the only piece of furniture I owned besides my bed!
Think of them as decoration, not just as books. A few of my friends don’t even own a bookcase because once they have read a book, they discard it by giving it away. I have never understood this because to me, a book I have read always becomes a memory for me and discarding a book would be like losing part of my memory. That and the fact that I often re-read favourite books.
I also believe that books make a home. And they don’t have to be cerebral and artsy-fartsy books either. Don’t go putting on a show with books that you’ve neither read nor understand because when you have guests around, chances are someone will ask you about one of your titles and if you haven’t the faintest idea what they are referring to, then what’s the point? Books can be conversation starters, even makers of great friendships.
Your library at home doesn’t have to be a huge affair, nor does it have to be built-in, custom-made, designer influenced or a permanent structure. We are currently renting our home and that has in no way restricted my home library vision. We have a fabulous white MDF square structure from Ikea that serves as a room divider and bookshelf in one. It is a great piece of furniture because it serves more than one purpose. It houses many books, as well as photo albums, a stereo, speakers, photo frames, trinkets and divides our living room so that I can have my home office where I can keep an eye on my girls while writing.
Your options are only as small as your imagination.
Ciao for now,