Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Finally, a Place to Smoke Cigars and Sip Brandy

A funny thing happened on the way to Lent. On day 2 of "40 Bags in 40 Days," I was organizing the bookshelves in my bedroom. These are the only real bookshelves in our house, partly because we have twin toddlers who pull everything off from any surface they can reach and partly because most of our books are still sitting in boxes out in the garage from when we moved to this house three years ago.

I was culling and dusting and re-positioning items, when I realized that I barely have enough books to fill two shelves. The rest hold DVDs, framed pictures, and objects d'art. I sat back on the floor and thought about that awhile.

I've always loved to read. Prior to kids, my husband and I had large shelving units in our home, overflowing with books. We were usually the exception among our family and friends. Most homes I've visited do not display books; this has always secretly surprised me, especially when I know the occupants are college-educated and were required to read all sorts of books to get through school. Did they just throw them away? Are they hidden in a secret room?

I've come to realize that bookshelves look cluttered, and most people don't like the mess. Many people who do read for pleasure use the public library and don't buy their books. And, of course, in the past few years the Internet has eliminated the need to keep reference materials such as encyclopedias or a dictionary/thesaurus or a collection of famous quotations on hand. Even knowing all I do about clutter and frugality and wasted space, as I sat there on my bedroom floor looking at my measly collection of books, I realized that I LOVE BOOKS. And I've missed seeing some of my favorites. I've been wanting to re-read Cold Sassy Tree, but haven't bothered yet to check it out from the library or buy it, because I know it's stored somewhere out in the garage. So I made a decision right then and there. I'm going to go find some bookshelves and make myself a library.

We've got this really wide hallway that has been sitting empty. It connects the "old" part of the house with the new addition (built prior to our buying this home). I've never quite known what to do with this space, but I think it makes a perfect library. The fact that I found these bookshelves on clearance confirmed that I was making the right decision! I went through all my boxes of books and got rid of a lot, so there's plenty of room to add new ones, and—once the twins are a little older and not so destructive—I will incorporate a few of my favorite things, like my carousel music box and my grandmother's vase and the kids' pottery.

The library decor is far from finished. I have a beautiful Tiffany-style lamp, still in its box, that's been waiting a good year or more for the right spot. I also will hang more art on the walls to go along with the picture you see there, which was painted by my dad. Until we replace the carpet with hardwood flooring, I will lay down a pretty rug. I know, I know, you're not supposed to put rugs on carpeting, but this is MY library and I'll do as I please. Even if everyone else thinks it's messy and a waste of money.

Dinner last night: macaroni and cheese


Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

I think a library would look lovely. Unfortunately, I'm way to cheap to buy books. I borrow from the library or friends. This leaves only my very favorites on a few little shelves. Perhaps we'll build it up when the little one is reading on her own.

Quadmama said...

Good luck with your library. I'm so jealous. To do our big room split we had to sacrifice our den, and all my books are now boxed in the basement... not that I've had time to read lately!!

Unknown said...

Bravo! My husband's aunt (a MAJOR bibliophile) lined all the wide hallways in her beautiful old house with bookshelves, and it's so warm and inviting. No one can move through the house without stopping to pull an interesting book off the shelf and ask, "Oh, didn't you love this?"

Unknown said...

I put rugs on carpets all the time. Go for it. It looks wonderful already. I have all my books in my office on two bookshelves because my daughter still hasn't passed that point of destroying everything. And I always view a clearance sticker as a little sign from God that it's ok for me to buy it. That's what I tell my husband anyway. God wanted me to buy it, or it wouldn't have been on clearance.

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

I LOVE it!! Did you make a pot of coffee for me?? I'll be right over ...wink!

Heather~sheaaa6 said...

LOVE it!! =] I too am a book person and I agree this is a great idea, can't wait to see the finished product! =]