One of the first things I notice when I visit a home for the first time, is ‘where do they put their books,’ for despite my
mild, noticeable, chronic addiction to the screen, I am still one of those who loves a house filled with books.
In this house there are book shelves downstairs in the smaller salon where we watch TV, and books in bedrooms too. They need a regular tidying and dusting, and sometimes it is time to sort and redistribute or even give away, but I know that without them our home would feel a little strange.
You can tell a lot about someone from the way their books are arranged and my packed shelves were not conveying the message. Storing books is not always easy, and bookshelves can quickly look untidy. A while ago I toyed with the idea of covering the volumes with a uniform colour (you can see that idea here) , but quickly realised it was not for me…. alternative solutions had to be found.
Today our books are sorted by subject matter but not alphabetically The space is not only reserved for books, but also lightened up with ‘bits’ that change with the seasons, The result is a happy mix of books and paintings and small objects … a vase, a statue … at the moment there is even a tiny birds nest that fell from a tree at the end of summer.
Larger books are piled on low tables for easy access and as pure decoration. They are read more regularly if they are within easy reach. Bedside tables have a small selection of ‘current reading’, with volumes regularly crossing the bed from ‘his’ to ‘her’ pile.
So tell me, in today’s busy world, and clean cut, dust free homes, how do you like to store your books? Do they still have a place in your daily living, do you sort them, do you collect … or have you gone down the minimalist route and cleaned out your shelves?