A Reading Room
Since I was a kid, I had a reading room. It may have been my Dad’s rocking chair in the corner of the kitchen, but to me, it was my ‘room’. I had the incredible knack of blocking out any noise around me. Our country farmhouse had an eat-in kitchen and a ‘parlor’ both of which did not lend a lot of quiet. However we did have a sunporch, where I spent many hours playing especially on rainy days. It was out there my sister and I would play ‘school’, both of us fascinated with the teacher of the day. A place to read in those days could be just about anywhere there was ample light. It must be those memories implanted in my brain that convinced me to incorporate a sunporch on our home. Out there I can escape with book in hand with only the sounds of soft waves lapping on the shore and an occasional seagull.
A convent (oh I am aging myself now) in my hometown had a library where I would spend my recesses or lunch hours turning the pages of the dusty tomes. The nuns sensed my love for reading and literature and would pack up boxes of books that had been around long enough, and send them to my house. I was in heaven when those boxes arrived! The books were serious reads – no YA series like Sweet Valley High or the like. It wasn’t until later years at the ripe old age of twelve I was introduced to Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. How I wish I had saved some of them. Moving around like I have over the years it would have become cumbersome, although I did manage to save some children’s classics.
Kids today are not into chapter books like these as much. I have fond memories of being tucked beside my Mom, while she sat and read to me and my sister.
As a child, I dreamed of having a space all to myself with shelves and shelves of books. Dreaming is good. Today I have many ‘rooms’ that I can hide in to read (or to write) and I also have shelves and shelves of books. So many in fact, I had to purge as they were starting to multiply like gremlins in the night. I donated boxes and boxes of hardcover books to the local bank who were selling them in their lobby with the proceeds being donated to a local charity. It made me feel good to know they were being used for a good cause and that someone was getting a fine read…. for under a dollar.
Decorating With Books
Until I started this post I didn’t take much pass of where I had stashed my books.
Taking a cursory glance though, it looks like they are everywhere. Books have become major players in decorating our home. I have summer reads (Erin Hildebrand) that are light and easy and are set in my favorite dream place of Nantucket. So while sitting on the beach or on my boat, I can escape to Nantucket and experience it through the eyes (and words) of the author.
My coffee table sports different books at different times of the year depending on the season and the ‘look’ I am trying to achieve. They invite me to sit awhile and put my feet up and I can look through them with pure leisure.
One of my favorites is a book about Tuscany, another of my ‘dream’ places. Book shelves in our ‘great’ room hold something for everyone. Weekend guests have often plucked one from my shelves and were happy to slip into a peaceful slumber with book in hand.
My bookshelves are traditional in size, shape and layout. It was a posting on Facebook showcasing bizarre and crazy bookshelves that dared me to rethink my book shelf design. With twenty foot ceilings though, it is likely they will stay as is.
So grab a book, and curl up in your favorite chair and dare…to dream.