What Does Your Library Look Like?

Wharton library
Edith Wharton’s library

If it isn’t incredibly obvious, blog posts have been appearing less frequently for the last month. This is because, in part, I am owed interviews and commentaries by people who no doubt have been as busy, snowed under, and ill as I currently am. The illness I blame on proximity to students and children; the busyness is regular end-of-term wrap up, compounded by the renovation of, and move into, a new house for December 1st. Which is where the library comes in: in our new home (circa 1933) did I get the home library I’ve always wanted, complete with fireplace, a big cozy chair, and a thick blanket?

For years I have coveted a library—drawings of model houses I did in grade 3 include libraries complete with a rolling ladder. I even have a folder stuffed with images: Mark Twain’s Hartford House features a library with a glass-walled conservatory attached. Edith Wharton’s house, The Mount, has the most amazing light-filled library space. I could go on, but you get the idea.

 Twain house
Twain House library, conservatory

In the end, I didn’t get a conservatory or a fire-place; like many of us, I got a compromise. The original 1930s kitchen was so small it wouldn’t fit a fridge and a stove, but a 1960s family room addition was bigger. However, we didn’t need a kitchen that large, and so the kitchen-library hybrid was born and built.


For now I have to share it with the Lego, so the comfy chair will have to wait (though an out-of sight window seat provides some options for reading). Again, the compromise. And there are still bookshelves elsewhere in the house, not to mention the mountain of books at the office and still in boxes. But it made me wonder about the creative solutions others have to book storage. If you are game, please send me a picture of your library solution (in a virus-free form, please, with some gloss), to possibly be included in a future post.



6 responses to “What Does Your Library Look Like?

  1. Do you have linen closets? I use my linen closet for books (and put the linen in garbage bags on the floor–after all books are more important than pillow cases).

  2. Who needs bookcases or closets? Just put your books anywhere. A mind can lose saneness with too much order. There is nothing more fun than hunting for a book and then finding one that you were not looking for that peaks your interest in the process.

  3. Another good place for easy access is the dining room table. Books cover 3/4s of my dining room table, so I can read and eat at the same time. I keep all the good books on the table, so needless to say, all my UWaterloo English Dept. authors are there!

  4. Pingback: Five minute writing: GO! – Smart Stunning Searching

  5. Another great post from jharris124, nice joinery by the way

    • You would have loved the Mennonite carpenters. Also, who knew electricians were so picky about code? K/W is an entirely new experience. Safe travels to you.

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