Posted by: christinelaennec | August 16, 2013

Bookshelves: the key to (our) life

Now, I want to begin by saying that I fully understand that not everyone has such a love of books as we do.  I have one dear friend who has few books in the house.  But we have always been bookworms: book collectors and also book recyclers.  Just before we left Aberdeen, my neighbour leaned over the wall one summer evening to say, “I didn’t know you had an interest in Gaelic – I saw one of your books in the Oxfam shop!”


The photo above is from our living room in Aberdeen:  the built-in bookshelves, in this room and two others, were a feature of the house that we always appreciated and put to full use.  Although our house in Glasgow does have one lovely glazed built-in bookshelf, new bookcases are needed – and in fact it’s the timing of the arrival of these bookcases that have determined the date when we will move in!  (End of the month, all going well.)  I know that might seem ridiculous to some people, but it’s pretty typical of our lives.

I’ll leave you with another curious coincidence (to go with the Dafter’s teacher also recovering from ME):  across the street from us in Aberdeen lived a very sweet three-legged dog.  And next door to us in Glasgow lives a friendly three-legged cat!  Weird and wonderful.  It reminds me a bit of our flat in New Haven, Connecticut.  The day we first saw it, there was a praying mantis on the fence beside the front door.  We didn’t ever see another one – until the day we moved out!



  1. I understand utterly about the bookcases – I did a count up of our house recently and reached the conclusion that we had 23 book cases, mostly large, for 3 of us! My mother is endlessly looking for new places to put them! Our builder has built most of them for us. Hope your books are soon in their new homes and like it and that Glasgow has a good branch of Oxfam bookshops, I used to love the one in the city in which I went to university.

  2. Bookshelves are absolutely important! Quite a priority around here too……hoping my suitcase full of books makes it to SCotland. 🙂 ha ha ha!

  3. It’s probably blasphemous to say, but when I picture Heaven I imagine it a lot like that library-come-ballroom in Beauty and the Beast. Bookshelves (and books) are my favourite part of any home – I think our collections tell us a lot about the people who own them – and I can absolutely understand their importance in yours! I hope there’ll be photos when your new shelves are delivered and stocked 🙂

  4. I can never understand people whose home does not have book shelves. Our last house had a room just for them. Now downsized, the sitting room furniture took second place to fit round the book shelves, but we managed!

  5. Bookshelves surround me in my room 🙂 When we sold our new/used Booktrader store in NY we had a terrible time leaving the books behind! So glad that your move continues to progress positively! Yay, that Dafter is getting better and how wonderful of the Lord to allow her to have a teacher who can relate to her situation!

    I posted a misty picture of Mt. Hood for you, Christine, on my Boring and Dull Day post 🙂
    Gracie xx

  6. How interesting those coincidences are, Christine. One of my favorite homes to visit was the apartment of one of my professors. She had books piled, stacked, and tucked everywhere. I lost most of my books to Katrina, so I no longer have that many, but they truly are one of my favorite things – especially old ones that have that delicious scent. ❤

  7. I don’t think I could live without books! Bookshelves are as necessary as chairs to me, so I can understand. What wonderful coincidences you have noticed! A bit like a familiar welcome to your new home. Once the books are all there, you will know you are home once again. Hugs, xo

  8. How strange about the mantis. I agree with you about the books, a home without books seems a very peculiar notion to me.

  9. I am a bookworm, I go to the library at least once a week, I “need” to read every day for a few hours, I have tons of books, and they say HOME to me… but if you are in my flat you cannot see them 😉 because I put them all in the wardrobe! 🙂 That’s because I have dust allergy and I don’t like them to get all dusty and yellow-ish.
    Neat coincidences, btw! 🙂
    How was the Dafter first week of school?

  10. Thanks, everyone! Yes, books are kind of like friends, aren’t they? (Except I would never recycle my friends, obviously.)

    Stephanie, there is indeed a very good Oxfam bookstore here, and also an Oxfam music store. Possibly more than one each, for all know!

    Stacy, through all this move I have felt so blessed that our belongings (I presume!) are safe and that we will be reunited with them. I’ve always acknowledged that I am a materialistic person. I don’t require fancy gadgets or cars or designer things, but I love my keepsakes, books, yarn and of course material.

    Kia, thank you for asking. Sadly she has had a bad relapse. Since the hour of school last Wednesday, she has spent most of her time in bed. She is, however, able to sit up and look at her iPad, which is very good. Yesterday she was able to come into the living room and sit on the armchair for a change. So we’ll just have to be patient and assume she will start to regain her strength. The main battle is the psychological one: not to get stressed and worried. The school has been great.

    • Oh, I am so sorry to hear it, but I am glad that the new school is great. Maybe talking with her teacher, the one also recovering from ME, can help the Dafter feeling less stressed and worried?
      I sure hope she will regain her strength soon. She sure is a brave young woman! 🙂

  11. To me, a house is not a home without bookshelves. I have them in every room (except the bathroom). As I am a librarian, I am surrounded by books all day, every day.

  12. […] I posted about our old flat, there was a lot of discussion in the comments about bookshelves.  When we came to this house, we purchased quite a few new bookshelves, to make up for the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: