Thursday, January 09, 2014

On the Possession of Many Books

There are books in every room of our house. And a full bookshelf in the basement. I do most of my reading in the living room, but oddly, that room has the fewest places to store books. They pile precariously on end tables, stack themselves on the floor, and generally threaten the tidiness I like. 

I like having my books handy. Inspiration to check a quotation, to read one particular poem, to sigh over a "best part," comes often. Today I was looking at the piano. Since taking down the Christmas decorations, it's looked rather bare and I've been uninspired about changing that. Until one of those "aha" moments. 

It's the perfect place for books! I gathered current reads, a few old favorites, and I confess, a few for looks, and stacked them on the piano. Mary Oliver is nestled next to Madeline L'Engle, Dickens to Jane Austen, Gerard Manley Hopkins to Jan Karon, and Susan Branch to my new bird book. There are books I want to read, some to re-read, others to just admire. It's an eclectic mix. 

As for what I'm currently reading - as above. I have not yet begun The 100-year-old Man... but I've heard it's good from my mother-in-law. I've recently finished two Louise Penny mysteries, and one by Alan Bradley - a young adult novel starring Flavia deLuce. Have you read any of Bradley's books? There are four in the series and although I'm no longer a young adult, I thoroughly enjoyed them. Flavia is a young girl growing up in England in the post-war years. She's interested in science experiments and solves mysteries.

The carton of eggnog languishing in the fridge had me wondering what to do with it before it went bad. I've been wanting to try a Panna Cotta so that's what I did with the eggnog. It turned out well - refreshing and light after the sugar glut of Christmas.

Where do you store books? Any unusual places? What are you currently reading?


  1. Still reading In Falling Snow, which I only started last week. What an interesting collection of books and they do look rather fine on the piano.

  2. Anonymous5:10 PM

    You have a great collection and they look wonderful on the piano and very handy to get to.

  3. We also have books everywhere and at least one bookcase in every room. But I've never thought to line them up on the piano. What a great idea and it looks wonderful! That's one thing about blogging--the ideas. I just might try it!

  4. They look wonderful on your piano! Love those Aha! moments!


  5. I too, have books stashed everywhere . . . hard to part with any of them, but every once in a while, I do a slight purge. The piano is a great place to both show and store and you have arranged them so artfully. I like.

  6. So clever of you to find a tasty way to use up the eggnog and an interesting new way to display your favorite books! I used to plan book displays in libraries; now I occasionally select a set of seasonally appropriate or binding color harmonizing collection to display between book ends on the hearth or end table or mantle. Aside from a few 1800s books that have interesting covers, I only keep titles that are very unlikely to be found in a library, mostly religious books and commentaries, a few cultural cooking books, some gardening books...I've culled my collection to fit into six six foot long shelves. Thank heaven for Kindle I say!

  7. I enjoyed looking at your rows of books to see which ones we have in common - many, as it turns out.
    Books are stored and stacked in every room of the house, with bookcases in living room, kitchen, family room and one spare bedroom. They teeter in odd towers on speakers and end tables, under chairs, in baskets - all over!

  8. Lorrie, what an ingenious idea to display your lovely collection of books on the piano! It's the perfect place, of course and your arrangement is very pretty!

    Thanks for sharing your 'aha!' moment!


  9. What is that book "Journeys Together," by YOU?
    I like your idea of using the piano for books that don't necessarily have anything to do with music. After all, in the present era no one is playing our piano enough that we need to have it piled with sheet music.

    1. I noticed that one, too! A photo book perhaps? I agree with the others - the books look wonderful on your piano.

  10. My books are all over the place, some sadly still in boxes. I too have all the Jan Karon books!

  11. Most of mine are in a closet adjacent to the den. Some are also in my husband's office, and some are scattered about the house. I have been contemplating making myself a little nook somewhere just for my desk and such around here and thought that step one ought to be a bookshelf.

    I love the idea of the books on the piano. I don't have a piano, but I need to toss that one to my sister. I think she would like it!

  12. The books are at hand on the piano and they look attractive there as well. Mine are in a bookcase in one room, another tucked into a notch at the end my hallway, and on a few tables. I get rid of some, every now and again, but keep special novels and non-fiction books (cook books and others). Right now, I'm reading one of Louise Penny's and Susan Branch's latest which, as you promised, I'm enjoying.

    Happy Reading, Lorrie.


  13. Here's a post I can sink into. We've got books and books and books and books also. Many of ours live upstairs, so visitors rarely see them, but they might glimpse full shelves in my office. Like yours, our livingroom has less books, surprisingly, but there are some shelves tucked away and we pile art books under the glass coffee table. My armchair in the livingroom is always in danger of being engulfed by those I've just read, the ones I'm currently moving between, and the ones I want to read next. . .
    And Flavia de Luce, yes, I like her very much. I think there might even be more than 4 (I've read 3, and I thought I had missed out on 2, but I could be wrong -- I've never thought of that series as Young Adult along the protagonist is pre- just barely pubescent. . . They're great, aren't they?

  14. Our books are stored downstairs in a vintage cupboard. The cookbooks are on a shelf in the kitchen and the ones we are currently reading are haphazardly placed around the house where we last sat reading them. Louise Penny was recommended to me by a friends who is in three book clubs!
    I skimmed a few chapters of the Bradley book with young Flavia and they so sound like a fun read.
    Your books look like art when stacked on your piano....

  15. Lovely photos grace your blog title!

    Just read a new book by Lisa Wingate called the Prayer Box. It has two story lines and one about an elderly African American woman who "passed" (as Caucasian) and the challenges facing her through the decades living in the South.

    Enjoy your book suggestions - more please.

  16. Currently.. blogs! =) .. catching up. You just reminded me that I did get some new book over Christmas and that on this quiet day .. I could actually get started. But then... my house also needs cleaning.

  17. Your piano is the perfect place for some books! I like how you decorated it. We don't have nearly as many paper books as we used to, but we don't have room for all of the bookshelves we used to have. We have some stacked up in the family room, but many are also in Mr. Jim's office. The vast majority of books we own nowadays are e-books, and conveniently stored on a cloud and our Kindles. Yes, it's not as adorable or inviting as paper books, but we are reading more now than ever before. So the electronic format works well for us. (No dusting either, LOL.) I'm reading The Book Thief at the moment. It is very long, and it seems like I've been reading it for the past 3 weeks. I will be glad to get on to another title that is a bit more cheerful!

  18. I'm so glad I didn't completely miss this post Lorrie - I love books and good book recommendations.
    You have provided me with a list to take to the library today - thank you!
    Sacred Chaos sounds like a good start as well as Walking with Saints - I need some spiritual discipline and meditation direction right now!
    The 100 hundred year Old Man.. sounds fun, I went on to Good Reads and they give it a 4 star review.
    It's amazing the books I find by really looking at bloggers photos - there is often a book in view!!

    I think I had books on our piano for a while too - they go well together and you've created a beautiful vignette.
    Lorrie I meant to say last time I popped in - I love your new header with glimpses of your life.
    The patchwork cushion and embroidery are beautiful.
    Stay warm and cosy!

  19. How clever are you the way you used up the eggnog! Next year....

    We too have hoards of books. :)

  20. Same here, books everywhere. Interestingly I did not find one I know amongst those I see of yours. I am sure there must be somewhere though.

  21. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Just have to say - we have much the same taste in book. Civilization by Kenneth Clark??? Awesome! I'm reading A Fine Romance now - Christmas gift from my bookseller husband (he's with Barnes & Noble). I shall have to photograph some of my collections - I decorate with antique books. Love old things.


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