Friday Fun: Libraries are good for the soul

… and home libraries even more so (although I like the sense of the unexpected that you get with public or university libraries… although I do frequently forget what books I have on certain shelves).

I was unable to discover a reliable source for this one, so it makes me think it’s a fantasy painting: certainly fits with my fantasy of everything a home library should have – shelves, greenery, natural light and a cat…
An antique desk, books with leather covers and a library ladder never go out of style. From
Not quite as stuffy in its classical style, with a daring blend of colours but perhaps too dark. From Laurel Bern Interiors.
OK, this one looks more corporate and bland, but the gallery line for art and the comfy seating are winners in my book. From Pinterest
Well, who doesn’t want a turret and a bookish staircase leading all the way up to Rapunzel’s office or reading room? From
So the colour of the bookcases might be slightly sickly, but with a room this size and the beautiful paintings, I think we can forgive this momentary lapse of reason. The Library of the 18th Duchess of Alba, Palacio de Liria, Madrid.

Getting Your Priorities Right: Moving a Library

The most important part of the moving process (other than the emotional impact on the children and the cat) was the library. How do you weed out the books you simply must take back to the UK? You may think it’s easy. After all, it’s a case of moving from less to more…

Shelves in France - just two.
Shelves in France – just two.

Shelves in England: three and a half. Still Billy, of course.
Shelves in England: three and a half. Still Billy, of course.

But that does not take into account the books I had double-shelved or set in careful piles on the floor and the filing cabinet. ‘You do have a lot of books…’ sighed the removal men (and I don’t think it was wistfulness I detected in their voices).

I did donate some to the local libraries in France, but I ended up with many more than I had originally come with to France. As any book loverwill understand. So somehow, all of the contents of these boxes…


…have to find a home in the new house. Yes, the study might be bigger here…


… but did I mention that I have twice as many books in the loft, waiting to be rehoused together with their more travelled cousins?

After a week or two of utter panic (not finding the legs for the desk, not opening the right boxes, laptop dying and then the e-reader/tablet dying, I finally managed to get things somewhat presentable (though not arranged yet according to subject, language and other esoteric criteria).


Time to be reunited with some old friends from the loft.


Sadly, my copies of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ and ‘Vile Bodies’ seem to have suffered from some warping in their box in the loft. But I have Jean Rhys’ unfinished autobiography ‘Smile Please’ to read for Jean Rhys Reading Week and Barbara Pym’s diaries and letters, as well as Dostoyevsky and other Russians (short story writers) to keep me company. Plus a few of my favourite children’s books, which I brought back with me from Romania: Arthur Ransome, Paul Berna and Eleanor Farjeon’s collection of stories ‘The Little Bookroom’.

There is more digging to be done, as well as more writing and reading, but for now, this was just a post to let you know my books and I are alive and well.



Friday Fun: Libraries

From the smallest to the most generous spaces… there’s always room for a few more books!

Corridor Library, Dezeen Magazine.
Corridor Library, Dezeen Magazine.

Home library, Elle Decor.
Home library, Elle Decor.

(If you want to wrap up all your books in white covers for a streamlined look…)

Karl Lagerfeld's Paris library, Decoista.
Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris library, Decoista.

Book Mountain Library, Spijkenisse, The Netherlands.  Photo: Jeroen Musch.
Book Mountain Library, Spijkenisse, The Netherlands. Photo: Jeroen Musch.

Cosy reading nooks and home libraries

It’s a dull, cloudy day and I know I should be going up above the clouds to see the sun and some skiing action. But it is so much more tempting to curl up with a book, especially if you happen to be in one of the places below…

Or, if you are after something a little more ambitious, here is Christian Louboutin’s holiday home and its tempting library.

And finally, the outlandish, futuristic and exciting Walker Library in Connecticut. Star Wars with books!





Fun Sunday: Gorgeous Home Libraries

I’m not quite sure I ever understood Silent Sunday, so I won’t claim to be part of that, but here are some more pictures of inspiring home libraries, all of from that wonderful website Decoist.  I do like white shelves!



I might worry about sun damage to the books in this one, though.

Home Burrowing Time

After a few weeks of business travel and hard work, it is time to burrow and enjoy some home comforts.

But because other people’s houses are so much more spectacular than mine, here are some homes that make me dream…

The Beach House for Those Who Don’t Want to Go to the Gym

The ‘Can’t Believe It’s Not Public’ Home Library

Oresman Library
Oresman Library

The ‘Bet I Could Create in that Environment’ Mountain Cabin

Mountain Concepts Files
Mountain Concepts Files

But a modest microhut will do just as well…

And on that dreamy note, I’m off for a week of holiday to reconnect with my family somewhere far away from the Internet. Have fun, be good, and look forward to seeing you again in a week’s time!