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