“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” – Henry Ward Beecher
Such true words written by Henry Ward Beecher in his book Eyes and Ears (1862 Edition). My love of books and my collection has grown tremendously over the years. I’ve only ever dreamed of having a library of my own. Don’t be fooled though, I’ve always had bookshelves everywhere I could put them and books stacked decoratively so I wouldn’t have to buy yet another bookshelf. But a true built-in library was only something I had imagined myself in, you know like Belle in the Beast’s library (oh, now that’s a dream). When we moved back to Florida after being in Missouri for 364 days (that’s right- not even an entire year), I wanted to find a place to house all of my books that I had been collecting over the years. Once we moved in and got settled, there was a wall in our house that was screaming to have floor to ceiling bookshelves. But because it was my husband’s office, I knew it would take a bit of convincing. It was the perfect wall to house books – my books!
“Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one.” – Augustine Birrell
So, after spending hours searching Pinterest for the perfect bookshelves, I decided to design my own. Not the kind that would be perfectly styled with vases, art and a few perfectly stacked books – nope, I wanted a library, a home for books and only books! My husband was convinced pretty easily, and he took on the project. It was the first completed DIY project for the house. It felt like we dropped the anchor and we were finally HOME! The only thing it is missing is the ladder and lighting, which are on the mile long to-do list.
Sometimes, I just sit and stare at the books or I pick them up and thumb through them. It is a true collection that still needs some curating, but most of the books I own have meaning, value or sentiment attached to them. Some have been given to me from the day I was born to the day I graduated college with notes or dates of importance penned inside. Others were gifted to me when someone I know thought I would value them more than it they just boxed them up and donated them. Hunting for rare books, first editions and vintage books is my passion, so quite of few of them are from my own findings. Doesn’t matter how they made it into my library, each one holds a special place on my bookshelf – from the words on the pages, the inscriptions inside or the story behind how it made it in my collection.
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges
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