Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'll show you mine ...

.... the latest in an occasional series about libraries.

A good old fashioned bookroom is something one sees rarely nowadays - there are books all over the place as decorative accents - supporting lamps, assisting as flotation devices for scented candles and pinned down by cache-pot, but a room of books? Who has one?

To digress a little, today I listened to two bloggers - I didn't get involved in the conversation -discuss marketing potential and the commercial benefits they are enjoying from them. This got me thinking about my blog - this ramble through my enthusiasms, delusions and obsessions - on which I allow no advertising, overt or covert, and ended up wondering if this makes me perhaps a bit old-fashioned ... as old fashioned as a collector of books these days.

So, to relieve my unsettled mind, I post photos from 1994 of an extraordinary and impressively blue gothick library. I have a library in the senses of a bookroom and a large and growing collection of books. None of them is used as decoration, as props in themselves or for other objects, and none is so decrepit it is refused succor.

Who else has bookrooms? I've shown you mine, now show me yours.

Photographs by James Mortimer from article written by Elspeth Thompson for The World of Interiors, March 1994.


  1. WHAT a beautiful room! I don't have the square footage for a book room, but that's completely irrelevant - since my main living space is always a book room, with intrusions by furniture for other uses (eating or sitting). I collect books, and the size is extensive... I love that you have your own book room!
    Have you used LibraryThing?
    -Sanity Fair

  2. These pictures are breath-taking. Growing up, we had a real full fledged Library - wall to wall books, desk, William and Mary setee, oil portrait with eyes that follow, armchairs, dogwood begging softly for attention at the window. I used to love to shut myself in after school. Now that I am an apartment dweller with 2 children, there is not enough room, but no electronic version will ever replace my books or stop me from acquiring more! I carefully rotate my faithful friends from shelves to storage with bookshelves in each room. I do hope others will send in some lovely pictures though!

  3. Fair Sanity, I have not used LibraryThing but will have a look this evening. My bookroom was the second bedroom now shelved on two walls, though a third is looming - that would mean taking down paneling and rebuilding. Still, needs must!

    le style el la matiere, thank you. I had the same reaction 16 years ago, when I was still homesick and they caused an even greater ache. It sounds as if you have made all your rooms bookrooms. I hope I get some photos too. I shall post more of mine when I get them rephotrographed.

  4. Blue, Yes , I do & you were right to bring your unsettled mind to your old fashioned readers. I have posted about mine on occasion, when I moved 4 years ago-I arranged them according to subject and from there a to z. they are in need of a tidying, however as one who always revered the organization in a Library it is one thing I have kept up since the move. This Gothic one is lovely. pgt

  5. I could crawl inside my monitor and live happily ever after in that Gothic beauty. How delightful to read how the gracefully erudite le style got her book/art groove on. I have books in every room (except bathrooms which is not to say many a book hasn't taken a soak now and then). Like all of your readers (I assume), books are friends, they are totems, they are holders of memory, they hold us and take us to other worlds. I arrange my books by rooms. In my office are my gardening and reference books. In my living room are my decorating books and classics I like to read passages from time to time. In my little library, a folly really, are my cookbooks. In my media room are works of fiction. My husband has his collection in his room, mostly poetry, history, some of science. I will admit to using books as props out of necessity. I will never ever arrange my books by color.

  6. Simply seeing this room is like an engagement gift from heaven. The blue cabinets and worn velvet cushions. It couldn't be more perfect. When I bought my apartment two years ago, the first thing I did was to hire a contractor to 1) remove the stucco popcorn ceiling and 2) build floor to ceiling bookcases in the living room and bedroom. Here's a little glimpse of mine:

    Perhaps someday I will post more.

    Oh, and please stay old fashioned.

  7. I swoon for Gothick. Swoon.

    And still believe in books. Great post

  8. To echo my daughter, please, oh please stay old fashioned...we all know new is not necessarily better! I doubt there will ever be a Kindle in the exquisite blue gothick library...there one can dream and turn pages.

    Books are everywhere in our house and more in the carriage house! The cottage sleeping porch is stuffed with them. These old friends have been crated up countless times and followed us around the world and always more boxes after each move. Yes, definitely a future blog post, a sincere thank you for yours!

  9. Dear All, thank you for your comments - home before dark, Janet, smilla4blogs, Dilettante - find myself, and have known this a long time, a member of a community of readers which is a very comfortable place to be. Thank you.

  10. This is the first time I've read your blog, and I've already learned something I would never have even suspected.....

    There are folks on this planet who really&actually spend time meticulously arranging their books by the jackets' colors?

    I know from personal experience that there are FAR less time-consuming and less laborious ways to reveal yourself as shallow and/or plain-stupid.

    Bemusedly yours,

    David Terry