One of the few exciting things to come out of the January floods was the recent realisation that we could turn our guest room into a library. We'll still want to be able to accommodate family and friends mind you, but freed from the constraints of existing furniture, we'll be able to do that with a sofa bed, and let's face it - every good library needs a sofa to snuggle into anyhow, so that's an advantage, not a problem.
We already have lots of bookshelves, of course. You can see some of them here. Up top is the study shelf. It houses literature and poetry and cookery books. You can see another photo of that one here. It's pretty big, but it is also very full. But wait - there's more! There are two 5x5 Expedits in Jemimah's room. One is for picture books. the other is for children's literature. That one is below. And one 5x5 Expidit in the Sitting Room. It's full of books on the Decorative Arts - textiles and gardens and interior decoration and Japanese aesthetics and crochet. That's the pic above. And a 2x12 in the study. It's for reference books and for books on books and art books. And a smaller one in our bedroom. Christian books and my 'to be read' pile. There are cookery books in the kitchen, of course, and there's a built in bookshelf in the loo. As you do...don't you? Short stories and magazines there mostly.
Still there are piles. Piles and piles and piles of books. Much loved but without a home to call their own. And without a home they're hard to find. And I don't like being unable to lay my hand on just the book I'm looking for just when I want it.
When you take into account the fact that each year of AO adds an extra metre or so of books just on its own, the homeless problem is just going to get worse and worse (or is that better and better?) Hence the idea of the library.
I'd love my book room to look like this:
Then again, Brazenhead is really the antithesis of the wabi sabi style we adhere to in our Peaceful Home, and would probably drive my family half mad. I'm more likely to end up with a neat room, I think. Lately I've been pouring over my copy of At Home with Books. Subtitled How booklovers live with and care for their libraries, this lovely book - one of my favourites - was first published in 1995, and contains photographs of some of the most beautiful private libraries on the planet. This is my definition of an inspirational book.
I have plenty of time to dream and to plan. We have many many tasks to complete before my book room will come to fruition. Walls to straighten and replaster and paint. Carpet to lay. Doors to replace. Still, dreaming of my book room is giving me lots and lots of pleasure. Imagine - a library of my very own.
I am not naive enough that I do not recognise the imminent demise of the printed book. Mine is likely to be the last generation that venerates paper books like I do, I realise that. Still, for me the printed book will always reign supreme. I love my iPad and Kindle, but for me the pleasure I get from pouring over the pages of At Home with Books can not yet be replicated by either of my e-book readers. The videos of Brazenhead come close though.
What about you? How do you store your books? My fellow biblioholic friend, Erin, has one of the most beautiful libraries I've ever seen. I've been pouring over her blog as well. Here's the link if you too want to covet. Do you have a library that I need to peruse? If so, please do share the link. I'd so love to have a gander. Do you think printed books will survive? Have they already been usurped in your home? Come and talk to me - chatting about books is one of my very favourite pastimes. I really, really do want to hear what you have to say.