Monday, February 24, 2020

living with books

"You can tell a lot about someone by looking at their bookshelves." (The Millions)

I can't remember where I read about this book, but was thrilled to find it at my local library.

The book offers an interesting peek into personal libraries and bookshelves, including those of Larry McMurtry, Silvia Whitman of Shakespeare and Co., and Emma Straub. I love looking at people's bookshelves in their homes, or even a couple of books casually strewn on a coffee table. 

 Someone is a fan of Philip Roth. He's one American novelist I've never read. How about you?

 I was in awe of the libraries and collections I saw in this book, though I think some people go a little overboard. I mean, I have a lot of books but I certainly don't want to feel like I'm drowning in them.

I have books in every room in my home except for the bathrooms, though the only books in my kitchen are cookbooks. This bookcase is in our guest room. 

 Books on the dresser in the guest room.

Books in the master bedroom. My collection of Madeline L'Engle books are stacked on the bottom shelf.

I keep my poetry books in the living room.

A basket on the coffee table holds my current reads. I rarely read a book twice, but I'm making an exception with The Snow Child. I previously read it in 2013. I donate or pass my books along once I've read them (except for certain non-fiction which I will refer to again), but when I came across The Snow Child at a library book sale for 99 cents, I wanted to read it again since I enjoyed it so much the first time.

 Now if you'll come with my down to the basement, where I have my home library...

 This bookcase contains children's books, most of which belonged to my boys when they were growing up. These aren't all the books they had, of course. These are just the ones I saved. The few Nancy Drew books on the first shelf are mine.

More books on the console-table-turned-bar-cart and a basket of Brian's books underneath the table.

These IKEA bookcases are perfect for our basement! Close to 100% of our books are used. We scout library book sales as well as used book stores. I also buy used books online, either from Amazon or Abe Books. 

I use books in decor, too ~ not just on bookshelves. 

I'd love to hear how you live with books in your home. Do you have specific bookshelves, do you keep books stacked on your nightstand, do you use them in decor? What are you currently reading?

Friday, February 14, 2020

love and staying warm

Hello, friends from brrr cold Illinois! Fresh snow greeted us yesterday and then the temps dropped to -6F with the wind chill this morning.

We've actually had a mild winter up until today, so guess I can't complain. In the meantime, we'll just keep warm in our own ways.

Making warm, comfort food such as chicken pot pie helps on cold evenings.

Or, a pot of black bean and sweet potato chili.

I found a cute shelf for my kitchen wall at Hobby Lobby. I've tried various pieces of artwork here over the years and nothing really worked. Sometimes it takes awhile to find just the right thing.

And I added this sweet paper banner to my kitchen window for a little cheer. It's from Susan Branch (I'm a huge fan of hers!), handmade by one of her staff. 

 Today is Valentine's Day ~ do you have any special plans? Brian and I don't make a big deal out of this day, but we'll have a nice dinner at home with a glass of wine and then perhaps watch a movie. It's too cold to go out, anyway! That's an old photo of us in the frame below. It was taken when we were in Cancun, Mexico 16 years ago.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

gloomy weather, cheery valentine's day decor

This is what it's looked like here for days on end. Dreary, gray, depressing. Perfect recipe for Cabin Fever and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Looking ahead at the weather forecast, we're supposed to have one day of sunshine tomorrow ~ and it will be 48 degrees! That's a heatwave for us in January. Last year at this time, we were at -50 with the wind chill factor. I will definitely be opening some windows and airing the house out tomorrow.

I don't do much seasonal decorating anymore, but I do like to add little touches around the house. I like Valentine's day because the red and pink add touches of color to the gray winter landscape, there's no expectations with this holiday (we do not exchange gifts or go out to dinner), and HEARTS, of course! 

On the dresser in the spare room...

At the end of the hallway...

In our bedroom...

Hearts in the main bathroom...

In the kitchen, the china cabinet gets some Valentine's Day decor...

And the kitchen table is all set for a snack...

Do you decorate for Valentine's Day or celebrate it in any way?