Saturday, March 26, 2016

everywhere there's books

 First of all, I want to thank everyone who left such gracious comments on my last blog post and said they were sending thoughts and prayers our way. Very much appreciated. There's been a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, so we're all feeling better.

Those who have been following my blog for awhile know that I'm an avid reader and love books. I have books in every room in the house except for the bathrooms! And if those rooms were bigger, there'd probably be books in there, too. ;-)

I thought I'd take you on a little book tour in my home, starting with the kitchen. All the books in this room are cookbooks, but this isn't the entire collection. There's more cookbooks in my office/Phil's old room.

Cookbooks in the china cabinet...

A few more cookbooks on the kitchen cart...

And another small stack on top of the refrigerator.

Moving into the living room, I have stacks of books on tables...

and in the bottom part of the secretary desk.

Stacks of books give the perfect height for displays. This one is on top of the buffet.

Poetry books are on the ladder bookshelf. Mary Oliver is my #1 favorite poet. If you're not familiar with her work, she's an American poet whose poems are primarily grounded in the natural world. Her words draw me in with their imaginative simpleness and beauty.

Billy Collins is another favorite poet, as is Robert Bly...but I don't have any of his books (yet).

My favorite classic poet...Robert Frost. (Side note: bird figurine is Goebel, Germany.) Hmm...seems I have a thing for American poets! I remember when Phil was about six years old, he would lie on the couch with his feet in my lap and I'd read Robert Frost poetry to him. My mom used to read Frost to him, too. We were surprised such a young child would like this poetry, but I think he found the rhythm of the words soothing and peaceful. 

I have a small collection of vintage books, also on the ladder bookshelf. 

My current reading stack on the coffee table. Isn't that pottery pinch pot beautiful, by the way? It was made by a friend of mine and gifted to me recently.

 Walking down the hallway into the bedrooms, there's a vintage cabinet at the end of the hallway and it's stacked with...surprise! Books.

Bookcase in my office/Phil's old room...

 The rest of my cookbooks, and yes, I do use them...

A few more cookbooks on a side table...

I love the charm of miniature books, especially the old ones.

Some of Brian's books are in Tim's room for now - in an IKEA cube...

and in the TV cabinet. We have books in our bedroom, too but I didn't photograph them as our bedroom is still a work-in-progess.

Heading downstairs into the basement family room, this is where my main "library" is. Three bookcases line one of the walls.

A smaller bookcase holds my writing books and some overflow novels, Phil's Stephen King books, and more of Brian's books.

We recently added another small bookcase on the other side of the basement to hold Phil and Tim's favorite childhood books. As usual, I take over any available flat surface, so more of my books are on top of the bookcase.

Books are even stacked in a basket and suitcase underneath the console table.

Believe it or not, one of the projects I worked on these past couple of weeks was going through a lot of my books and weeding them out. I have nine bags of books going to Half-Price Books and another couple of bags going to a thrift store. 

Happy reading!
 I am just finishing up Pat Conroy's, The Great Santini. How about you, what are you reading right now?


  1. You have a really great book collection, Melanie. I like the way you use books as decorations sometimes. I haven't really tried that, mostly because I don't have many vignette-type displays at this point. Someone would always be moving them around, so I tend to keep most surfaces fairly clear, to save on the frustration of having to fix them all the time. I really like Pat Conroy's books and have read a few of them. I just started re-reading Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, which is one of my favorite classic books. His writing is incredibly detailed and it sucks me right in. I managed to make it out of the thrift store on my last trip without buying any books, probably because I still have three from the last trip that I haven't even touched yet. :)

  2. Oh- Yeah! You and I both love books and I can see we have lots of the same ones. Would you believe that this week I have been sorting through books as we prepare to downsize. I have a pile to keep and a pile to give to a girls came and picked what they wanted and I have a few that I am going to try to sell that still have a high $ value. I adore books and have collected my whole life...seems funny to be 'un-collecting' now. BUT- it is time. I will keep several old 'loves' that I just can't part with.
    LOVED seeing all of yours.... xo Diana

  3. wowzers! That's a whole lot of books. I don't have room on bookshelves so have books and magazines stacked on the floor in different rooms. I definitely need to weed them all out. I can't believe you have that much and have 9 bags to give away. Wow! I do love that big bookcase filled with books. Makes a nice colorful statement against that wall.

  4. I also remember reading Kipling to him when he was between 10 and 12 and we both cried although he tried to hide it. Loved him so much.

  5. I love books, too, Melanie, but with lack of storage I've gotten rid of many of them. You've got a wonderful bookshelf wall in your family room! It's nice to have reference books at hand when you just want to sit down and read.

  6. Melanie, I would feel right at home at your house! Books in every room except the bathroom; and, no, even if it were bigger I would not have books in there -- eeew (I'm a bit of a germaphobe)!

  7. Hello there Melanie, my first visit to your blog - I've come across from Dewena's ...
    Now your photo's show such a wonderful collection of books. I love books around the home, magazines too. I do like the way yours are interspersed with ornaments etc. It looks great.

    All the best Jan

  8. Now that's a lot of books!! I am a book lover too, but mostly picture books. I guess it's the former primary teacher in me. I just can't let a lot of those precious stories go. Your displays are wonderful and I love the basement library! I am so glad that you have had a little light. Sending more positive thoughts your way!

  9. You do have a great collection of books and have them displayed beautifully.


  10. Anyone who stays with you has a wonderful library to browse !

  11. That is a lot of books! We have a lot, too. We've relegated many of ours to makeshift bookcases in the attic. I keep all my cookbooks in my pantry, but find I don't use them as much as I used to. One of my main "cookbooks" now is a notebook where I've put all my printouts of online recipes in plastic sleeves. Lays flat and wipes clean!

  12. Though I have pared my books down to basically a few displays and one three shelf bookshelf unit, I still own a lot of books in my heart. LOL I miss some of them. But the reality was it was taking up precious space and I wasn't reading them so I made the hard decision to get rid of all but my favorites. Now I still use the library or borrow books or get free books from or amazon prime.

  13. Right now I'm reading Counting by Sevens, but only because it's our next book club selection. Sometimes the library chooses Young Adult books for us, and I'm not always thrilled by that. But what I do like about reading book club books is that it takes me outside my comfort zone, reading things I wouldn't normally read. So far, it's just okay. To me, it's the typical YA book "oh no, I'm a misfit and I don't fit in!" Let's write something else for teens, shall we? Not every teen can be a misfit!

  14. Melanie, I have a wall of bookshelves like you have in your main library upstairs and it just holds my "I must keep this book." book. You know, the kind of books that one reads over and over and enjoys each time.
    I love your whimsical egg cup with the duck on it. That is so darn cute!
    I agree with you about books. I think they are the greatest treasure. Having a bookcase of unread books, to me, is like having wrapped presents that you haven't opened yet. It is that kind of feeling.

  15. I've come to your blog from Claudia's Instagram! You mentioned PD James in a comment. Did you ever see any of the old Inspector Dalgleish tv series? They were wonderful, although only for detail mystery lovers, not for action lovers. We loved them! Following along now via GFC.

  16. Melanie,
    You do love books!

    I do too and I am currently reading the best book - My Brilliant Friend.

    Happy Tuesday,

  17. Love this post, Melanie. You know if I was visiting, I'd be looking at every book you have!

  18. I think books always make a nice decor and great a warm atmosphere, plus they are useful!


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