26 Nov 2014

My beautiful reading room

I realised yesterday that I have never blogged about our reading room. I posted about our plans to create one back in 2011, but I've never shown you the dream come to fruition. And that's naughty, isn't it, because if you're anything like me, you love looking at libraries, yes?  I thought so!

The reading room rose from the metaphorical ashes of our guest room. The furniture in this room was all lost in the 2011 floods, and we suddenly realised that the room would get much more use as a library than as a guest room. A lovely comfy green sofa bed still allows us to sleep guests in comfort, so if you're ever in the area, there's still a bed for you, but now the space does double duty as a home for a significant part of our substantial collection of books.

I also realised yesterday that the room is hard to photograph. The lighting is low, to protect the book spines from the bleaching affects of the sun, so the photos are not the best, but I still thought you might like to see what is definitely my favourite of the rooms in our peaceful home.

So. Want a guided tour?

This is the entrance. School maps are stored in the bin on the floor. A pile of ever-changing favourite books is displayed on the pedestal.

Closest to us is maths, science and nature. Picture books at the bottom. Christmas books and travel guides and outgrown but precious board books are stored in the covered boxes on the bottom shelf..

Another view of the entrance, while we're here!

Humanities - history, geography, art, music science. The overflow of literature is kept here as well.  We love to display a few interesting bits and pieces amongst the rows of books.  Some of my favourite things are on these shelves, including the tapestry flower that Jemimah made in AO1.

The sitting area. I'm sorry the blanket is crooked. I didn't notice when I took the photo, because the squares don't show up so well in reality as they do with the flash, but it is really annoying my OCD nature, so I apologise if it is rubbing you up the wrong way as well. The chest holds bedding.

Here's a close-up of the room's usual occupants. I love Raggedy Ann and Andy - do you?  You'll find the books on the shelf to their right...your left.

On the other side of the room, you'll find Australian children's literature closest to us in this next pic, old collections in the display section in the centre, and hardback world kids' literature. Cut off at the left end is our poetry section.

This is the other end of the room.  On the wall hangs part of my Asian textile collection, in this case a  phaa sin, a women's tube skirt from Tai Daeng village in San Nuea in Northern Laos.  Other textiles hang around as well.  It pleases me to have so many of my favourite things in this room.  This is my view from my seat on the sofa.

The wine box on the floor holds books in readiness for AO8.  They're arriving in bits and pieces each day, now.  It's like Christmas, opening the mail each day.  On the floor, a pair of Hmong wedding slippers.  At least, I think they're Hmong.  I'll have to check that!

The literature wall, front on.

And finally, some close ups, because even though it is nice to see books shelves, it is much more fun if you can read the titles, right? These are some Australian treasures.

Miss Mason's favourite Waverleys.

And it mightn't be the prettiest shelf, but these are my favourite books of all. My Mason collection.

The books on the pedestal.

And a much loved verse scroll made by a tiny tot Jemimah to welcome you in.

And that's it. My beloved reading room. I hope you've enjoyed having a look around it with me.

The room is not quite finished. Next year we hope to relay the carpet - this piece of carpet is just sitting on the floor, even though it does the job pretty well. I'm not looking forward to packing up this room, but I am looking forward to having it completed. I'll be sure to post more pics when it is done.

Anything you'd like to see close-ups of?


  1. What an amazing space you have created, to enter into reading in a relaxed and ready manner. I love it, and I love the inspiration I receive from this. Thank you. I cannot believe you're up to AO8. How time goes by so quickly. :) Love the scripture too.

  2. Oh my!!! I just love it! I can't tell you how much I love pictures of books. This is such a cozy space...thank you for sharing!

  3. It's loverly! :) I love the Mason books!

  4. How lovely and inviting! And too funny that your little widget at the top right is warning about coveting... lol

    Thanks for the tour!

  5. It's beautiful! It seems we've seen bits and piece of it over time so it's lovely to see the whole room.

  6. Drool, drool, drool!!! LOVE it!!!!! Oh yes I do:):) Love the close up shots too:) I wanna come vist. How do you even leave the room, it's so inviting!

  7. Ohhhhhhhhh! OOOOOOOOHHHHHHH! Words cannot express how magnificent your room appears from my end. Just.....oooooooohhhhhhhhhh. Sigh. I want to sit down, curl up in a corner of the couch, and snuggle up with a book. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.....

  8. What a lovely reading room! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  9. I discovered your blog not long ago when I began using AO for my family. What a wealth of information you have here! You have helped me so much in implementing AO for my children. Also, my children and I have become fascinated with all things Australian because of your blog. Thank you!

    I LOVE seeing your reading room. My family now has a goal of acquiring a reading room of our own in the near future. We never would have thought of it if we had not seen this blog post. What is so great is that my oldest son, who is usually so lukewarm about such things, is really excited and inspired. Yay!

    I do have one request. Would you be willing to post a picture of your Jemimah's tapestry flower? I can't see it well enough in the pics to get a good sense of what it is. I'm always on the lookout for new handicrafts for my kids, and just the name "tapestry flower" sounds so intriguing.

    ~ Yvette

  10. Yvette, I posted a close up on Facebook for you.


  11. Drooling....someday I hope to be in a settled enough place to build up a library like this.

  12. What a sweet inviting room!!! Are those scrolls maps? If so, I love that idea!

    Our next house project will be built-in bookshelves.

  13. Oh my, that is so wonderful! As you said, I just adore looking at libraries! Don't you just love H.F. Brinsmead - I read a great biography recently about her. Amazing story. And the Billabong books - I have all of them too. I am one of those weirdos who, when we needed to buy a new house, hubby would have to drag me away from looking at their bookshelves!

  14. It was a beautiful tour. You thought of everything that could be included, the only thing left it's to visit this in person.


  15. Just. Plain. Love. It. Love it, love it, love it!


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