“A room without books is like a body without a soul,” declared Cicero. Or at least is said to have said. I’ve been away for a few days for a very enjoyable mini-break but am glad to get back. To books. Silent friends with things to say. Artwork with a thousand words standing in for any number of pictures.

Books are like wallpaper: they clad the walls. No repeating patterns here, nor monochrome magnolia. Here is texture, here is an interactive installation.


Knickknacks break up the intimidating mass: treasured items, family photos, trinkets.

Former loft storage

It’s taken a while to transfer, decorate, sort out, reconfigure — but now that it’s done it’s time to enjoy.


‘Tis evening on the moorland free, | The starlit wave is still: |Home is the sailor from the sea, |The hunter from the hill. — A E Housman

Home sweet home.

And you?

25 thoughts on “Shelfies

  1. oh wow – the Shelfie play on words is fun- the loft bookshelves were my fav – but the personality in the photos was rich! and the quotes – and actually this post made me feel better because we turned the book room into a guest room and I worried about visual clutter for the guests – even thought of removing one shelf – but now I think I will leave it as-is – maybe clean up a few shelves – hmmm
    have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve posted the loft picture before and it seemed to strike a chord even then! Interesting, your mention of a guest room and books: the last photo is of our guest bedroom, which already had the shelves in them when we moved! (The two darker photos were of the shelves before I painted them.) Anyway, glad you were inspired by my shelfies!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. maybe all guest rooms need a good amount of books – who knows! and quick story – one year – my husband decided to arrange my books for me – most are mine – he used to have an equal #- but he is digital these days – anyhow – it was horrid – the shelves looked better – but the categories were all messed – and so I am still actually getting them all back – ha!
        have a nice weekend 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The very first pic was also of the loft shelves a year or two before we moved, Lynne. No, I haven’t read them all! Some are non-fiction, a fair few of which I use for reference; of the rest about half are read, books I keep for rereading or for nostalgia or because they have significance; the rest because I’m an irredemable bookhoarder — and I because I have faint hopes of finally getting round to enjoying! But isn’t that a similar pattern for most bibliophiles? Maybe you too? 🙂

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      1. Ha ha yes, but in a much smaller way. When we had our loft extension carried out we lost a small room for the stairs, but I got to get the space around the stairs for shelves and a reading chair……not that I have anytime to sit in the chair and read…..but it looks nice. But most of my books are about churches, Scotland, castles, all things I love to blog about and two shelves of books that I would dearly love to read….plus the three still by my bed LOL….. maybe one day, but as you say they are not going anywhere, just waiting for their time 🙂

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        1. I do love the notion of books lining the walls of stairs leading up — preferably to a tower, maybe even one of those turrets in those Scottish castles you post! Incurable romantics, us …

          And yes, there’s the pile of bedside books to remember — and the ones stashed in or under the bedside table …

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  2. A room without books…..indeed. I have nowhere near as many books as you, but I have books in every room except the kitchen and bathroom. The first thing I notice in other people’s homes is the absence of books (if that is the case)!!

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    1. The same with me, Sue, I feel a great emptiness when I visit people who have no visible signs of books — it seems to say a lot about their character. Though the only place I’d ban books would be … the toilet. I’m squeamish about that …


  3. I love to see pics of your bookshelves – that’s what all rooms should look like. I don’t have as many books as you and half of our shelves are taken up with the other half’s DVD and CD collections, but I do love to see my books, if if I know I’m unlikely to read some of them again. Glad you enjoyed your mini break – ‘but it’s so much nicer to come home’ eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s special, isn’t it, what in German is termed heimweh: and that homesickness for me and hopefully you is largely tied up with familiarity, family and possessions, particularly books. I agree — books are furniture of a special sort (except when they’re fake, as in some cafes or restaurants where they’re only there to create a short-lived illusion. 😦 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Books are furniture, you’re right, but also have so many memories tied to them – happy, solitary pleasures. I wonder if my husband would agree to dispense with some of his DVDs so I can have more books. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the shelfies! I’ve never heard the quote about rooms without books, though I have heard one about a home without books, but never mind. That one is a little to bawdy to share.
    I never feel quite right in a home without books, though I still value my non-reading friends.
    Whenever I see books in a room I think of them as a collected story to tell; each being its own chapter. The more books, the better the story. Your home appears to be one amazing story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your metaphor of books being like chapters in a reader’s life story. They do say a lot about the owner, don’t they, whether it’s shelves filled only with bible commentaries or exclusively with Military History, to books of humour stuffed in the lavatory or living room shelves crammed solely with DVDs. Manners maketh the man, so maybe books betokeneth the brain …

      Liked by 1 person

  5. An interactive installation – yes! The first thing I look at in any home I enter is the books – if there are any. They say so much about the person who lives there.

    I just got back from a stay at a retreat center that had mystery novels in the bedrooms and bibles in the bathroom. A host with a sense of humor, obviously.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Interactive’ is the key I think, Lory — bookshelves where you’re allowed to browse, maybe leading to conversations about private passions or shared enthusiasms. I can’t bear the look-don’t-touch approach to personal libraries. It sounds as if your generous retreat host had the first attitude to books!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Choices – calmgrove

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