"The contents of someone's bookcase are part
of his history, like an ancestral portrait."
Now that is a library I could settle into. I like the photo so well I put it on my desktop, adding virtual warmth to my study every time I turn on my computer. I love the lamps and candles that create a sense of conviviality and welcome. The room is grander and more elegant than I am used to—me being more of a country cottage girl than a stately lady of the manor. Despite its grandness, I am drawn to this library. And I sigh over its warm beauty.
Firstly, I love the spaciousness. This room has a generosity of heart. There is space for many books and a few kindred companions. It could house my little library several times over. I think of the titles I've given away through the years that I could have kept if I'd had such a room; once in a while I still miss them. You will note that there aren't any book piles on the floor—there's no need for anyone to vacuum around the stacks.
Secondly, I love all the gracious seating arrangements: the couch for lounging upon and the wing-back chair with foot stool for nestling next to the fireplace. Chairs to gather round for congenial conversation. Even though we cannot be certain from this photo, I assume by the way the light shines from the right side, there are windows along that wall. I'd have easy chairs by the window for staring out into the world. And, if this were my library, I'd have a baby grand piano in one corner by the window. Where I'd practice some Chopin and a little Bach. And maybe a little pop and jazz, although I never did quite get the hang of jazz, as much as I tried. I grew up on classical piano lessons and that rhythm thrums in my bones.
Thirdly, I love all the warm, dark wood and the polished parquet floors. The room beckons with its cheery red upholstery and muted carpets. I'm sure family and friends could enjoy congenial gatherings here for afternoon tea and visits and, of course, companionable solitude as each finds a book to amuse during a rainy or snowy afternoon.
Lastly, I am drawn with longing heart to that wonderfully expansive table set to the one side. I have always longed for such a table. Not the dining room table, mind you, which must be cleared off when company comes, and a person just doesn't want all the mess and piles in that space. But a roomy table in my library/study... oh yes. It's where this modern girl would set up a corner for my work space. And where I'd freely spread out all my notes and research materials while toiling away on a project.
I would love to browse in this room. To sit at the table and pore over an art book. Or flip through an old favourite and revisit a few paragraphs. Ever since I was young and besotted with books, one of the things I loved when we visited other peoples' homes was to browse their bookshelves. My heart would do that little leap for joy as I imagined what I might find browsing other people's selections.
"When you stand inside somebody's library, you get a powerful
sense of who they are, and not just who they are now but who
they've been. . . . It's a wonderful thing to have in a house. It's
something I worry is endangered by the rise of the e-book.
When you turn off an e-book, there's no map. All that's left
behind is a chunk of gray plastic.
Leah Price, Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books (source)
On a different note entirely, I'm taking a couple of weeks away from my blog. There are some needful projects here at home I want to focus on as we start preparing for the holiday season. I'll be back the first or second of December as Christmas gets into full swing.
Soon it's time to bring out the seasonal reading favourites. Are you making your choices? My friend, Lauren, reminded me that Miranda Mills has begun her Cozy Christmas Reading Vlog for 2022. You can find her lovely YouTube channel HERE.
Let me close with warmest wishes to all my American friends for a Happy Thanksgiving this coming week. And to everyone, I wish you joy and good health. Stay warm, stay safe.
With loving thoughts,
(Top) Photo Credit:
Image by David Mark from Pixabay