Life in a Book Room

Book room cool

CJ and Sibs

My sister and her husband recently created a little book room for their three children. It has all the necessities: lots of books and lots of character and lots of coziness…and of course, children!

In my imagination there are few things that compare to a family book room – a place that just fits a child and their books. It can be nothing more than a tent made from blankets or become as extravagant as a treehouse bunk bed structure built right inside their bedroom.

When our children were smaller, I would often find them sleeping on our book room floor…and covered in books. With the treasure of childlike exuberance and pint-size stature, they reveled in the quiet and the warmth and the smaller space which seemed like a mini-mansion’s library to them. They were home and they were safe and they were reading.

The book room. Whatever it looks like and however expansive it is, a book and a child can make it so.

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The 3-Hour Bookstore

3 Hour

Obviously, we like books. The name of the website makes that pretty clear. Our houseful of books that extend two and three deep along the hallway to our bedrooms makes it more clear. The kids’ secret bookroom built into the eve of the house makes it really clear. The books in the bathroom, on the kitchen table, under the bed, beside the chair, and sometimes even outside on the porch make it abundantly clear. We like books.

And that also means that we like homes for books – places like bookstores and libraries. More precisely, we love bookstores and libraries. If you were to go through our family photo albums of recent years you would see some particularly peculiar pictures mixed in with the normal shots of holiday events and family gatherings and music programs and goofy iphone pics taken for no definable reason at all. The peculiar photos would be of bookstores.

The girls and I started this adventure of trying to find bookstores in whatever town we were visiting on short Saturday trips around town or longer extended vacations out of town. We have found many and all have been an adventure.

I remember one that we found in a small town in west Texas that was painted entirely in pink, both inside and out, and was downright scary. It smelled of about a thousand cats and its tables and bookshelves were so packed that you had to dig through the rubble of books just to see what was there. It was a place that worried us and intrigued us all at the same time. As booklovers, we couldn’t help ourselves as we looked through this crazy place to see if a treasure was waiting for us. I’m sure we bought a book or two there, because we nearly always do.

The other night, my 13-year old and I spent three hours in a bookstore. Three hours was not the plan, but when we found each other in the children’s section at the back of the store and I looked at my watch, it had been three hours! We were both shocked and thrilled and wondered how it could be that a place would keep us that occupied for that long.

I think the most logical reason for it can be found in a quote by Augustine Birrell, who said, “An ordinary man can…surround himself with two thousand books and thence forward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.”

Three hours or two thousand books…either way, we’re happy.

 

Look at this book! The Library

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique recipe over on our Book Cook page…

The Library book review

Today’s great book: The Library by Sarah Stewart (1995, Farrar Straus Giroux) and illustrated by David Small.
Time to Read: short and sweet, just right after a long day at work; this book has a great rhythm to it.
Summary: From the back cover…Elizabeth Brown doesn’t like to play with dolls, and she doesn’t like to skate. What she does like to do is read books. Lots of them, all the time. Over the years her book collection grows to such enormous proportions that Elizabeth Brown cannot fit one more volume into her house. But this dilemma is nothing our heroine can’t overcome, and a splendid solution is promised.
Best Quote: “Books were piled on top of chairs and spread across the floor. Her shelves began to fall apart, as she read more and more. Big books made very solid stacks on which teacups could rest. Small books became the building blocks for busy little guests.”

Our View: This book has become a bit of a trademark at our house, a slogan if you will. We love books and we own many. You can find a single book, a shelf of books, a stack of books, a box of books, a row of books, a river of books, an ocean of books, a hallway of books in this house. The same can be said of Elizabeth Brown, the heroine of today’s book. It is a book like The Library that gives us permission to love every one of our books, a goodwill grant to own as many as possible and a double dare to read every single one of them before we die. Simply put – we need more shelves because of the inspiration that shines through this wonderful book!

Remember to visit our Book Cook page for an “Eat this Book” library recipe created by the kids to accompany this particular book.