Tending to your dreamy home library


This image from the book titled Snow. Pictures by Kady MacDonald Denton.

I just read the sweetest quote on home libraries in the October 2014 issue of House and Home magazine.  “Every time you get a paycheque, buy a book.  Before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful library and that library will inspire you for the rest of your life.”  John Schofield Manuel.

Well, I want that kind of library for my house.  I don’t even think a library has to be a whole room.  I think a library could be a bookcase and a chair.  At least that is what I’m aspiring to.  I recently inherited two wood bookcases.  They look beautiful filled with my books.  My only problem is that I’m trying to fit what used to fill three white Ikea bookcases into these two wood ones.  And that means, some books need to g-g-g-g0.


I like the fire and the purple chairs.  Photographer Michael Graydon,

I like the fire and the purple chairs. Photographer Michael Graydon, from the excellent blog, The Captive Reader, under Library Lust.

The best libraries have the look of ultimate comfort and peace.  Maybe a crackling fire, a sleepy dog at your feet, a blanket, a little table for your tea/coffee/whiskey.  A comfortable chair and a docking station for your kindle along with a computer for taking notes would do too, if the idea was about taking time for yourself.  The thing about a full bookcase to me is that it feels like a harmonious chord of happiness flows right out of it.  I gaze at the books that have given me joy, and they gaze right back at me.  There they are, those friends that take you to special places.  To sit next to your books in a comfortable chair is one of those things you do for yourself, like massages and pedicures and buying flowers.



IMG_4594One of my bookcases isn’t singing me such a pretty tune though.  A mish-mash, hodgepodge of books and magazines that don’t all have the same value to me are filling up the shelves.  And there are more books waiting to be placed inside them.  I’ve got a box of books on the floor, and stacks of magazines spilling out of their containers and books that aren’t sure where to go, like my old History of Art textbook.

So for all this I’m trying to keep in mind the advice of Marla Cilley, aka the Flylady.  She says that she doesn’t want to keep things that are Marla from the past or Marla from the future, because that keeps her from being Marla right now.  A few years ago I got rid of years of Martha Stewart magazines.  But I did save about 30 autumn and winter issues.


IMG_4595The problem with ideas of things I could do (that are found in magazines) is that I get caught in their web, and spend the time stuck, when I could have been reading a wonderful book, or out in the yard.  I think the problem with this one discordant bookcase is the same.  There are many non-fiction books that promise a better life, but when I look at them, I don’t feel so happy.  It appears I’ll need to evaluate each one for how it makes me feel so I’ll have room for the really great ones.  After I take a few trips to Goodwill, I’ll be so much closer to my dreamy ideal library.  Then once the weather turns cooler, I can take the time to renew my self and check in on some old friends (Detective Charles Lennox from the Fleet Street Murders is one I have in mind) from the comfort of my armchair.


About writeinseattle

Two Seattle writers examining the writer's life.
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2 Responses to Tending to your dreamy home library

  1. Wmm says:

    This is great advice. I do have a library, and books everywhere else, but it can get out of control at times and certainly, some of the books don’t serve me well. Just like our closets, it makes sense to clear the clutter! I’m starting tomorrow!

  2. Like the closets, maybe it should be get a new one, send a tired one to a new home. Good luck!

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