Reading Room

It’s finally Fall my friends. I hope the cooler temps find you in a sweater & sipping your favorite latte. This weekend I look forward to curling up, wrapping up, and reading. I have a couple of books I’ve been looking forward to diving in to. I’ll also be reading my favorite blogs. Bloggers are such an interesting group & very well read I must say!

This Is the Life by Thomas AllenThomas Allen 

Speaking of reading – I’m curious as to how you’re reading these days? Virtual or real or both?

Rhyme or Reason by Thomas Allen

Thomas Allen 

When it comes to magazines I enjoy both as per my virtual Magazine Rack along my sidebar.  A bookcase in my home studio holds issues of AD, Traditional Home, Southern Accents & more dating back to 1991. I left my earlier issues in California - What was I thinking! 

When it comes to reading a novel or memoir I personally am a fan of soft faded covers.  I’m also a fan of this amazing book art by Thomas Allen. 

   Reading and Writing by Thomas Allen

Thomas Allen

We have books stacked everywhere & in every room of the house! Books are on our bedside tables, coffee tables, library tables, and floor – Rare editions, literary classics, modern fiction, and more!  Topics include history & mystery, biography & poetry, design, gardening, art & antiques.  

A genuine book always seems to have a soul of its own. Not only does it tell us a story, it in itself is a story. Passed down through generations, these books can be a teacher, a guide, and even a best friend!

Uplift 2004 by Thomas Allen

Thomas Allen

I can crack open a paperback from the summer of 72’ get a faint whiff of cocoa butter & find sand in the curled up pages. Our collection of childhood books are treasures not only for the stories they tell but for the crayoned personalization added by both of my children. You just don’t get that when you curl up with a Kindle and an iBook wouldn’t think of taking on such a patina!

Wingspan from Stuart Little

Thomas Allen

Literary types are happy to tell you that in the sleek smooth swiping world of e-readers, there’s still a desire to physically turn the pages of a fresh new novel or musky leather bound tome! Rare-books dealer Donald Heald says his 40-year-old company, based in New York, has seen a huge uptick in clients in their 30s of late. "If you want to own a great atlas of London from the 18th century, that when you hold it in your hands you're transported, there is no app for that," Mr. Heald says.  

  Charles Spada

Charles Spada  

Homeowners are buying quality books in quantity to amass collections for private personal libraries. Thank goodness architects, builders and designers are keeping this in mind because the home library is on the rise. 

And good news, a home library doesn’t necessarily mean over-stuffed leather chairs, dark wall to wall paneling and floor to ceiling shelves.  A beautiful example below by designer Phyllis Trevor Higgerson of Henhurst Interiors proves my point! I inquired with her yesterday about the lovely green pieces and she was so nice to add - The bookcases are family pieces, I am the fifth generation owner. They were designed by Ogden Codman for a family house in Rhode Island built in the 1890's.

Photo by for Henhurst Interiors

Henhurst Interiors

To make them work in my Vermont country house everything else is very neutral - nothing competes with their color or painted finish. They are neoclassical in style so I have mixed them with reproduction Gustavian pieces (which have the same design features but are painted pale colors) and contemporary upholstery with very clean lines.

Photo by for Henhurst Interiors

Henhurst Interiors 

I think the finished look is elegant but comfortable. I have teenage daughters and two Labs so nothing is too precious or off limits.”  I knew I would like her – Lab lovers think alike!  The pretty sconces add thoughtful lighting to make for a relaxed reading area or gathering place for family & friends. Thank you so much Phyllis for sharing!

Photo by for Henhurst Interiors

Henhurst Interiors

Surround yourself with books and instantly create a place for contemplation or philosophical musings.  Whether you like a book for it’s content or for it’s cover, know that the books that you choose tell others what you think and know and believe. 

If you want to gain great knowledge, be sure to actually read them.

Thatcher Wine believes there is nothing wrong with choosing books by their covers.His company, Juniper Books designs and prints custom book jackets & book covers in many different styles. His bespoke services also include handpicked book collections and customized book installations for interior designers, architects, visual merchandisers, set designers, hotels, restaurants, and private clients. This all started in Boulder, Colorado where he sold some of the rare and second-hand books he had collected over the years to keep the roof over his head. “I started selling off some of my own books. When I ran out, I started buying books. One thing led to another, and I sort of found myself as a bookseller,” says Mr. Wine.

Decorative Victorian Pictorial from Juniper Books

Juniper Books

If a desired color or binding style doesn’t exist, Thatcher will create it! “Sometimes when we come across a beautiful old book cover design on a book nobody reads anymore and virtually no one has ever heard of, we feel obligated it honor it by putting the design to work on something new and useful.”   This elegant image comes from an 1901 book –  They’ve placed the image across the spines of four re-purposed law books!

Decorative Set from Jupiter Books Online

Juniper Books

To open a book is to open a door to anyplace, anytime, or anything. "Part of the desire [to create libraries] is for people to look smart and well-read, and part of it is the quest for some great knowledge in this electronic age," says Wine.

Some of his collections are specific & designed to enhance a home's setting in a particular way. What Wine calls a "beach house mix" might have a smattering of literary classics, along with books about maritime history and ecology, along with a good selection of light summer reading. I’d love that collection!  Whatever your needs, Juniper Books offers a complete experience for the book-lover!


Not quite there yet?

Autumn Color stack by Jaysworld at EtsyJaysWorld

Over at Etsy I found Jamie Birkholz creating thoughtful libraries large & small. You’ll find her at JaysWorld where her delightful color coordinated collections are by author, subject & just plain old personality.  What a great gift!

  Autumn Inspired 13 Book Collection Interior Design by Jaysworld at Etsy


Do you own way to many books? In The New York Times I ran across an article titled, Books You Can Live Without  where The Editors asked six authors & the owner of The Strand, a secondhand bookstore, How do we decide what to cull and what to keep?”  I found it interesting that only one author actually mentions giving books away. My mothers book club actually started a library for a women’s shelter by weeding out their own collections. Had to include this for the ladies in Scottsdale!  

When Book Clubs Go Bad 

When book clubs go bad by Thomas Allen  Thomas Allen

Where are you finding all your great reads?  Do you have a favorite bookstore?  In my post, Reading Is Fundamental, I take you down 3 well-paved roads to finding a good page-turner.

Remember, the more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!

Have a wonderful Fall weekend!

AA1 green readers


Thomas Allen Online

Juniper Books

Jays World Vintage Books at Etsy


Henhurst Interiors said...

Lovely, Lisa. Thanks so much for including me. I am, and always will be, a bound book reader and buyer. I love the feel of paper between my fingers, the act of turning a page, and the satisfaction of adding a truly loved book to a collection on the shelf.
Have a wonderful weekend,

Renée Finberg said...

we all need one don't we?


Nantucket Daffodil said...

Lisa I LoVeD this post! We are a "book" household....hundreds and hundreds of books....however we are also a multi-Kindle household. The images were stunning. I do have an odd addiction to vintage books...especially gardening.

cindy said...

What a thoughtful post! Going to explore the links.I love beautiful books but I also love the use of a kindle for travel.

We are going to have one of the first rainy cool weekends of the fall this weekend, you just inspired me to get cozy and start a new book. I have been so busy with fall gardening and all of our son's soccer matches, I have not made time lately for a good book. Nothing more relaxing and good for the brain and soul.

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

As usual Lisa you have shared so many wonderful bookish the photos from Thomas Allen, the book club one being absolutely hysterical. I do have to admit to being an ereader addict, I gave away over 1,000 hardcover books last year in an effort to purge and reduce dust. I know, I know, but I am not as particular as the "how" I read as I am of the subject matter. Reading anything is one of my life's biggest pleasures and always has been, if I have a good book I am a happy and patient girl (airport delays, doctors offices). Loved this post, just finished The Chaperone which I really enjoyed. XX

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Wow Lisa....that one most certainly pulled on my heartstrings!! LOVE the resources you shared! Thanks, girl!

Karena said...

Lisa I have been an avid reader since a young girl. Reading does take you away to a new world, new experiences, characters, it is a pleasure much more important to me than watching most moves and television tripe.

I do hope you will enter my Giveaway of Velvet Pumpkins from Love Feast!

Art by Karena

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Dear Lisa ~
I am a first time visitor via Henhurst. I think Phyllis' beautiful living room is perfect for reading: comfy down filled sofa; bright and airy; and big coffee table for a pot of tea and sweets! I could spend Sunday afternoons reading there. Wonderful to find your blog :)
Cheers from DC,

Katherine said...

I was just discussing with someone tonight this very subject. We agreed that online offers opportunity for a quick read and research. There is such a joy having a book in your hands - something to touch, to cuddle up on the bed with .... loose yourself in the pages. And then the fun continues when you share the books with friends.

Nancy said...

Lovely post, and a huge fan of Phyllis and Henhurst Interiors!

carolyn bradford said...

Glad I found your blog through Phyllis! This is a beautiful post! I could read all day long and I don't have a reading room so to speak! This gives me a great idea! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!