Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bookshelves Make a Home

As some of you may be aware, we’ve undergone quite a massive reno to our home the last year. I haven’t posted pictures of the reno because I’m a bit private about certain things and one of them is the space I live in. While many of you who read this blog are friends and family and I would have no problem showing you pictures of my kitchen or my bedroom, for the general public it kind of freaks me out. But I have no problem writing about the reno and one of the things I haven’t really discussed is my addiction to incorporating bookshelves into the new space.

Making sure we have a few bookshelves in various rooms is probably not surprising given the fact that I’m a writer and I love books. But part of this reno was done so that we could de-clutter and use our space efficiently. I’m trying to downsize the number of books I have and I got a Kobo Vox at Christmas for the sole purpose of downloading e-books so that I wouldn’t have to keep lugging books from shelves to make room for even more books. So what's with my obsession with bookshelves?

Well, I’ve always loved the way bookshelves warm up a room. I love searching through the titles to see what people have read. It tells me a little bit about who that person is. One of the arguments my husband and I are having is whether to incorporate many of the hardcover books he inherited from his dad. While they are quite impressive I have not read nor do I intend to read the collected works of Winston Churchill. If I or my husband haven’t read it (or glanced through it if it’s a coffee table type book) then I have no interest in seeing it on the shelf.

I love bookshelves that are cluttered and crammed, or colour coded, or neatly stacked with occasional nic-naks and photos interspersed among the books. I love any kind of shelf that has books in it!

So while I won’t post pics of my personal bookshelves I can give you an idea of the type of shelves I’ve got by showing you reasonable facisimiles.

I’ve got bookshelves in the kitchen (with cookbooks displayed, natch).

I’ve got a built in bookcase in the den which will have neatly stacked books (hardcovers) interspersed with art work and photos.

I’ve got a bookcase in the second floor landing nook that has all the YA books my author friends have written arranged in colour coded perfection by Daughter One.

I’ve got an entire wall of built-in bookcases surrounding my window seat in our bedroom that will, I’m sure, eventually be crammed full of every paperback and odd and end book that has come into our home (interspersed with photos and collectibles we’ve inherited from family).

Art, comfort, warmth. That’s what bookshelves in homes mean to me. How about you?


  1. Ohhh, I love that you have a bookshelf just devoted to friends' books! What a great honor and a beautiful reminder of all your talented friends!

    I'll stop now, because I think I'm getting bookshelf envy... ;)

    1. Hi Anne! Yes, I think that bookshelf nook is one of my very favourite places in the house. Can't wait to get my comfy chair purchased so I can sit and read and be inspired by all the fabulous authors I've met here!

  2. You know that saying about a home without books being like a body without a soul? I wonder what the E-book revolution will make of that.
    Love your shelves.

  3. I used to have so many built-in bookshelves in my former house. One floor-to-ceiling wall, plus two half-walls. In the guest beadroom, another wall of bookshelves, interrupted only by a window in the centre.

    When you have a house you let the books and other things accumulate because you have room for them. While I don't regret for a moment having all those built-in bookshelves, it was a *lot* of work giving away all the books we didn't have room for when we moved to our condo.

    We now have two wooden portable bookshelves in the living room, one glass and chrome bookshelf in our office, and more storage in a closet that became a hidden bookshelf.

    I still buy print books and don't yet have an e-reader, but I can see the day coming when I'll break down and get one, just because of the storage problem.

    1. "beadroom" = "bedroom in which you do some reading" ;-)

    2. Hi Barb! Yes, of course it's the 'beadroom'. What else would it be called? :) And I am trying to control the physical book purchases but, inevitably the shelves will fill and it will be time to purge again. Funnily enough, even though my husband isn't a huge reader he keeps talking about adding more shelves. Who am I to dissuade him, eh?

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