Sunday, November 20, 2022

Musings: A Dreamy Library



"The contents of someone's bookcase are part
of his history, like an ancestral portrait."
ANATOLE BROYARD


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.
LEV GROSSMAN
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,
Brenda

(Top) Photo Credit:
Image by David Mark from Pixabay




29 comments:

  1. Dear Brenda,
    This is such a lovely post. I can fully see why you saved the library image and made it your screen saver. It's full of everything I would want in a library of my very own, too. I would add another table for a puzzle.
    Enjoy your time away and I hope you accomplish much. Looking forward to your next post.

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    1. Oh yes, another table for a puzzle. Good thinking, Lorrie! xo

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  2. It is a very lovely room Brenda (with a lot of polishing to keep up!) You can never have toomany tables, I think, because somehow every surface becomes covered with books, newspapers, sewing materials, letters.........

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    1. Haha, Barbara, to notice all the polishing that would be required. Yes, indeed! Who would have time to read. In our imaginary world, thankfully, there is no dust. :)

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  3. It really does look warm and inviting. I'd like to trade in a few of the chairs for more plush, comfortable ones. Oh, yes, that table is swoon worthy. Thank you for the good wishes and I hope your time away is most productive and pleasant.

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    1. Thanks, Vee, for the good wishes. I assume the library was built in an earlier era - no doubt the straight chairs were for people more formally attired. In our modern era, more cushy and comfortable would be a preferred choice. :)

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  4. Yes, I would definitely have comfy seats placed to look out the windows at what I'm sure is a grand and spacious view with stables just off to the side. :) There is so much warmth in this room, and I'm sure I could spend hours in it. Although, I'm quite happy with my much smaller library, and all the books that tell me who I am and who I've been.

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    1. Joy, your beautiful new library is such a wonderful space for all your books. It's already such a happy place for you and your family, especially the grands when they visit. Dreams comin' true! xo

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  5. Oh my, that is indeed a dreamy library! It feels the heighth of luxury to have in one's own home a spacious and comfortable room dedicated to books and reading, and a goal most worthy of striving for:)

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    1. For so many book lovers in the world, upon reflection, I am a little surprised that space for books is never on the spec list of required needs. My writing buddy had to definitely hold onto her dream for a room just for her -- which included all her books -- when she and her husband planned and built their dream home.

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  6. Such a beautiful, grand library! I love the arched bookcases and the amazing ceiling. I think I could spend some happy hours here. It would be a lovely place to spend a cold, winter day with a warm fire, curled up on the sofa with tea and maybe a little treat. xx K

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    1. Oh yes, the arched cases and the beautiful ceiling really are spectacular. Happy hours could, indeed, be spent here. Thanks for your note, K!

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  7. Oh yes, I agree that a person's collection of books tells a story about them! Fascinating! That library image draws me in as well . . .

    Enjoy your blogging break. May it be productive and restorative.

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    1. Cheryl, I would love to browse your own bookshelves - I just know they would be a veritable feast. Thanks! xo

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  8. Oh Brenda!!!! You have done it again!!!!! I LOVE that library, full of SO many things I have always loved!!!! I always have loved the libraries in beautiful, old homes such as The Biltmore! I also love the libraries in older, Ivy League schools with the beautiful woodwork.
    Your word “browse” made me think of going to my grandmother’s home where I loved to browse through the old bookcases with glass . Inside were old collections, some of which I have now but sadly are not where I can see them. I went into a more contemporary home years ago and loved the fact that one wall was a wall of shelves.
    My grandmother’s house also had large, wingback chairs which I loved.
    Today I struggle with sharing my home with another who also loves to read yet this home doesn’t seem to have an empty space for another bookcase and I had to laugh at your comment of “vacuuming around a stack of books!☺️ I keep buying baskets!!
    Thankyou for this LOVELY photo!!!!! ~ Take care your next 2 weeks!!! You have given us a cozy photo to enter and enjoy being in until we hear from you again!!!!💗📚

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    1. I'm so glad for the workmanship of earlier craftsmen and craftswomen, turning homes and libraries into feasts for the eyes as well as the soul. Wingback chairs, they are so cozy to snuggle into. We have two that we most often use during the winter season as we sit by the fireplace. I'm assuming this is your comment, Ann -- thank you for the lovely note. xo

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  9. Brenda☺️ I just went to Miranda Mills you tube site!! Thank you SO much for sharing this!!!! It so fits into your beautiful depiction of the library and our discussion of books. I have always had a “Christmas collection of books; early on a box full of children’s stories but also a collection of my own.”
    Just Miranda’s intro of a misty morning walk complete with lambs was beautiful!!
    I always appreciate that you always have so many beautiful nuggets to share!!!!!! Thank you!!!! ~ Ann

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    1. Happy to hear you enjoyed Miranda's Christmas book vlog. I agree, the intro of the misty English morning with lambs was a real treat! Thank you, dear Ann! xo

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  10. I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to libraries like this! What a gift it would be to have one!

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    1. Deanna, what fun to have a whole board dedicated to beautiful libraries. A great dreamin' spot.

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  11. I agree with everything you've said...and I would just love pulling books off the shelf and reading a few passages. I have a library in my home instead of a formal dining room and I love it! Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Diane, How lovely to have transformed your formal dining room into your own library room. Wonderful! xo

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  12. After my little brother passed from a bicycle accident I had 2 dreams of him sitting in a library like this reading books. The message to me was that he was waiting for us there and a reminder of how much he loved literature.

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    1. Oh Joni, how comforting a message at such a horrid time for you and your family. ( ( ( 💝 ) ) )

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  13. My first part-time job was at my local library, so I have a soft spot for libraries. I also love the library with the ladder in Beauty and the Beast.

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    1. P.S. Enjoy your blogging break!

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    2. Margie, what a lovely first part-time job you had. And yes, that library in Beauty and the Beast is quite delightful with its lifetime of books to read.

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  14. You too? The first thing I thought when seeing it was how beautiful it was and yet has a coziness that is lacking in so many large estate libraries but the second thing I thought was the sheer luxury of not having to constantly weed out less favorite books to make room for new ones. And I do get mad at myself for having included so many books in a moving sale six or seven years ago. All of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's books, all but two of Alexandra Stoddard's--what was I thinking?
    That library does need a baby grand in the corner! I studied piano for eight years when I was growing up with a sweet old lady who was a church pianist and her taste ran to classical so mine has too, with opera added about five years ago. Not that I don't play Van Morrison's music turned up loud when I'm cleaning house and Bluegrass.

    Brenda, bookshelves are the first place I head too when I visit in others' homes! And Grossman's quotation is exactly what I wish I could say to those of my family who have turned to e-books, etc. But I don't. At least they're loving listening to them and that's a start and maybe I started it all by reading to them so much when they were children. And one son has been a bookworm since a child and one adult grandson's passion is collecting first editions.

    I wish you a refreshing and productive time away from blogging for a short period, Brenda. Enjoy!
    Dewena

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  15. This post is made of coziness and charm. I just want to jump into that picture and stay a long while. This post automatically made me think of Jo from Little Women, running off to the library when her great aunt would fall asleep in her chair. (I would do the same!)

    I also like looking at people’s bookshelves, and you’re right, it does tell a story about them. I wonder what my books say about me….

    -Merry K.

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To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....