Friday, September 26, 2008

Home Library Party

I learned to love books at an early age. My dad took this photo of me looking at a Child Craft book when I was only about two. Being the third child I was one of the "students" when my oldest sister was the "teacher". I tried to be a good student; memorizing books before I could actually read them. My whole family likes to tell how I could recite The Night Before Christmas when I was about three years old. I distinctly remember the beautiful poems and stories in those Child Craft books and I can still recite several of those too. When my oldest sister had children the Child Craft books moved to her house, then when I had children they came to my house, and now they are at my niece's house. I hope they continue to be passed along to whomever has young children.

I remember as a young child going to the library with my mother (who was also an avid reader). We kids would go to the children's section and each check out a few books. It was like a whole new world in there. Books provided a perfect way to see the world, have an adventure, or learn something new. I preferred books with maps, beautiful illustrations, and adventurous stories.

I should come as no surprise that I have lots of books. But of course, they're not all my books. The Lord of the Manor and both our children also love books. When they were little we read to them every night. I think we enjoyed it as much as they did. We don't read to them at night anymore, but I often find them reading when I call "lights out".

My children love bookstores too, and we often visit them in our travels. In 2003 we happened to be in London on June 21st when the latest Harry Potter book came out. We took the Tube to Waterstones to get our books and our kids spent the next two weeks with their noses stuck in them.

Let's have a look at our library now. You enter through these pocket doors. In the winter we shut the doors and run the little fireplace to keep it warm.


Here is our library. It was one of the first rooms we finished when we remodeled the house in 2001. The Lord of the Manor built all the bookcases and the sea chest that we use as a sofa table. All the furnishings are old; the leather furniture and rug were purchased in 1990, and the wing back chairs in 1975.

Here is the little wet bar just to the right of the door.

Then there is a comfy chair and ottoman in this corner. And some old books from the Lord of the Manor's family. And the stereo equipment and drawers full of CDs, DVDs, and videos.


Past the fireplace on the left are lots of sailing books from the 1980s when we lived aboard a 35' sailboat that we cruised to Mexico. Some of them still smell of mildew. We also keep the sextant and hand bearing compass there.
On the left wall is the window looking out onto the back garden. I put the window mistreatment back up for the winter. It's merely a piece of silk about 20" wide and 12' long with a bead fringe on the ends. I simply drape and wrap it around the pole and decorate it with whatever is handy. Currently my "S P O O K Y" letters and a crow are there.


The last wall has the largest bookcase with over 500 books. No wonder it took soooo long to clean that wall! It holds lots of gardening, art, architecture, adventure, racing, flying, cooking, science, animal, and bird books.


As I sat exhausted from all the cleaning last Sunday evening I started counting the books. After counting 670 in this room, 71 in the living room, 37 in the kitchen, and estimating 50 in each kid's room, I realized that, yes, we do really love books.

19 comments:

JeannieTheDreamer said...

Good morning Laura! It is beautiful. Just seeing everybody's libraries inspires me to read all the more, and to get my son to read more.

Yours is truly a beautiful and important room in your home. And you counted your books! :)

Content in a Cottage said...

Thank you for letting us see your library. It is beautiful...you have such good taste!

You can never have too many books. There is nothing I like better than floor to ceiling bookcases with no empty spaces.

Gypsy aka Tam said...

Oh WOW - What a beautiful, warm and comfortable space. I just love it. You and you husband did such a wonderful job.
Have a wonderful day,
Tam

Kacey said...

What a lovely library. It just beckons you come in and sit down. It's really beautiful.

Nola @ AlamoNorth said...

Good morning,
What a posh library you have, and I am jealous of the sheer number of books you have! Your husband is very talented, he created a great space. It makes me want to curl up in front of the fire and read for a bit.

Beverly said...

Laura, your library is such a warm and lovely room. We have so many books at our house. Occasionally I try to give a few away, but I sometimes regret it. I guess I get attached to my books.

JeannieTheDreamer said...

Laura, what color is your bookcase?

PG said...

Lovely library! So cosy and neat - something to aspire to. I wouldn't dare count my books, I think it runs into the thousands...

Janet said...

What an absolutely perfect room. I, too, have many, many books and feel that books make a home feel loved and lived in.

Janet

Anonymous said...

what a charming place! i love it all. i wish you and all your family many happy hours with the fire (0r not) and cocoa or tea, apples or cookies, or whatever works for the mood, and delicious books to read. it's perfect! jkj

Walled Garden said...

A grand but warmly attractive room! You have done so well to make it look inviting and house your collection. I wish I had my books in such good order, but there are many thousands, and as a book dealer they are continually taken in and out of boxes and shelves to travel to fairs and auctions. One day I hope to separate MINE from the rest.
Cheers Gillian

spot said...

Hi Laura

where is the effie fortune print? We have blogged a lovely painting by her of St Ives in 1923. V envious of your library. We will have to move to a larger kennel.

Big Mama said...

Lovely library, beautiful bookcases, fabulous wall color, wonderfully decorated! Fantastic, thanks for showing it to us all!

becky up the hill said...

Your library is a true place of beauty and rest, good job it looks very English. Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to your next installment of 'Acorn Cottage'!
p.s. We have an excess of squirrels in our oak trees, do you need any ;o)

dana said...

What a great library you have! Love all of the touches you have given it---how neat that you lived on a boat for awhile! Your Halloween touches are perfect for that room. I bought the Spooky font from the spot you shared, but now I can't get them to open on my computer. I am a computer dufus (I think I need to install something else), so before I start clicking away, my friend's briliant 18 yr old son is coming over to help me. :)
I LOVE your kitchen pictures, too. Wow, you are a world traveler! How terrific.
Dana

halcyon said...

Oh, I am moving IN!!!
That's a dream library! Libraries are one of my favorite things. In fact I have two libray post on my blog. Check them out. One is about my dream library, and you have almost all the elements. That Chesterfield sofa.....swoon!!!

Linda said...

Wow, your place is really beautiful. Wish I could decorate like that!

Dawn said...

What I wouldn't give to have a picture of me like that! How adorable. Your room is beautiful and welcoming. Thanks for sharing.

C&C said...

Wow, your library is BEAUTIFUL! It is so cozy, it is just perfect!