bookshelves

About my library.. again

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I have been dwelling on a question of how many books make a library. Where to draw the lower limit? One book, of course, doesn’t make a collection. Thanks to the Romans we know that three do. But, what about two books? It’s ridiculous.

Anyway, what made me think about it is the fact that having 400+ books never felt like having a library. The reason for this is, naturally, in their number and, consequently, the space they occupy. (Or the size of my room, if one is to take a slightly different perspective to look at the problem.)

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Books are mainly housed in two bookcases but many are scattered all around the room – sitting on the windowsill, on and inside of the old-fashioned cabinets, on the top of a closet… And still, they are not dominant.

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I always thought that I would be “satisfied” when I reach the number of thousand. That I will, then, see my collection as a library. I no longer believe I will. It will not happen until books take over every inch of every wall.

Because, in my mind, a library is a room ruled by books. Nothing in it but books, a desk and a chair in the middle, and a reading nook by the window.2014-02-01 14.12.55

Ideally, one of the bookcases would actually prove to be a door leading into a small bedroom for I wouldn’t want to be too far from my precious living objects if I don’t have to.. And bookcase ladders! That would be fun to have around.. to climb and read sitting on them…

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10 thoughts on “About my library.. again

  1. Ah now you’re talking, I love the picture you paint of the library. I always think a number of smaller bookcases could be put into the room as well to get as many books as possible.

    1000 is a good number and you will be proud and then realise you need more, of course. I do wish I could see the titles of the books you already have…yup, that was me clicking on all the pictures and steaming up my screen as I leant in to squint.

    I would have a double bunk bed, so I could put more books on the bottom as well!

    1. Yes, books everywhere! They are more than welcome to occupy every possible space they can find in my home, I say.

      Sorry you cannot see the titles.. But, if you are interested you can look for them here: http://www.shelfari.com/quiet-country-cottage/shelf, under ‘Own’, of course.. I also have a list in Excel.
      Do you keep any kind of record of the books you own? Do you know their number? Sometimes I am sorry I don’t make notes on when I bought them or read them..

  2. I use the blog as a record, last count I had something like 1400 books I think but i gave quite a few away when I moved. I know I will rebuild with better books when the opportunity presents itself. You have a good range of books there, I like the look of the illustrated Treasure Island muchly.

    I knew you were very well read but the choice you have there is fantastic and I envy you a lot of the books. It does galvanise me to read more though so we can discuss them. I see on your wish list you have the Sandman collection…I enjoyed that muchly. In fact there is one innocuous picture in book eight, I think that I absolutely love.

    1. I haven’t read all of the books I own. Like many, I too am always prone to read books from the library or the ones borrowed from friends or the ones I have been reading about at the time, thinking books on my shelves will always be there waiting..

      Well, I too am a bit jealous of your grand collection of books. There are many titles I would wish to call mine. From what I could see, you have a great taste in literature.

      The Sandman is the only comic book I have ever read. Well, except the Mickey Mouse and Asterix and Hagar the Horrible.. I recommend it to anyone who would listen, haha. It left a deep impression on me since it contained many thoughts I recognized as mine. Hopefully, one day it will be on my ‘owned’ list.
      Innocuous picture in book eight… I had to refresh my memory but I am not sure which one is it that you have in mind.

      1. It is a picture near the beginning, if I remember rightly (as one of my friends has my collection) it is on the right hand side of on of the early pages, a small framed illustration of a snowy lane. I loved that because it could lead anywhere, it was such an open ended drawing.

        I love Asterix, the names are always witty and the stories were fun too. Perhaps the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would interest you, it is a crazy literary homage to some of the greatest heroes in books…ignore the film though. There are a few, shall we say unpalatable bits in them but overall they have loads of literary references in them and helped me beef up my TBR pile as well.

        I do need to review some more literary books, I have a few notes being sent from America because I was dumb enough to forget them and perhaps if I ever finish this next Dickens book as well that will intrigue you as it is one of the lesser known works The Uncommercial Traveller.

        1. It must be in some other book because, try as I may, I cannot find that picture.. (Book eight is a part of Preludes and Nocturnes, with the title “The Sound of Her Wings”)
          I love pictures and paintings of lanes, especially the ones no one is walking as I can imagine myself on it better..

          Remembering the Asterix, I should add it to my wish-list. You know what else came to my mind – Peanuts, Snoopy.. I loved the cartoons when I was a child. It would be interesting to see what would be my thoughts about it now.. Is there Sherlock in this League! I will definitely look for it. You pulled the right string mentioning literary references..
          Have been thinking about Batman too. Some of the most praised stories to begin with, maybe..

          1. Sorry I meant Worlds End, it’s somewhere at the beginning of that book. I am thinking of the omnibus editions of each collection. Solitary is the way forward…I like to be solitary even with people in a room. we have the same mindset in a lot of things,.

            Sherlock isn’t in it but Allan Quatermain, Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Captain Nemo are in it amongst many other characters are obscure references which will keep you happy for ages. I’m not into superhero stuff except for what i just mentioned but I do like a bit of Judge Dredd now and then.

  3. I have given up my 6 feet fish tank to accommodate more books. But I guess I am still out of space. It’s a small world with smaller rooms :( I am trying to encroach towards the living room but my partner does not like it. Not one bit.

    Yeah, 1000 books will be quite a start for a personal library.

    1. Two years after this post I am still far from 1000 books. My library is growing pretty slowly.
      You should’ve put the tank in the living room (since books are not welcome) and thus keep the fishes and gain some space. :) But, maybe fish tank was not welcome either.
      Anyway, I have always thought that there must be a way to store more books in a certain room than it appears it can store. Haven’t found the way yet.

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