Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Chic Library

A place I love to be the most is in my library. I don't quite have a library room yet, but I can stand in front of my 'cube' bookcase and imagine one in the future. The photo above I took when we first moved in here about three years ago. You can see wee Rosie-cat's bowls on the left. I miss knocking them as I walk past and then having to clean up the water (she went to cat-heaven in January).

I don't really keep a lot of fiction around except for a few favourite authors, but my chic reference library is well-thumbed. Pulling out one of my favourite chic books and reading a few pages is a brief respite and inspires me to be my chic-est self. You can click on the photos to enlarge them.

Some of my books are thrifted, some gifts, some bought from actual real bookstores and some ordered from Abe Books (cost: 2 books at US$1 each, postage US$13.50).

I suppose in some way they are like bibles to me, and I do have a real bible there too. Even though I'm not traditionally religious the bible has some really beautiful pieces. I'll take inspiration from any source.


  1. hi fiona,

    oh, i love this black and white photo, very chic. i too dream of one day having custom bookshelves. i'm not sure if i ever will but a girl can dream. thank you for sharing a snippet of your lovely home.


    ps ~ i left a comment, or i thought i did, on your last post, but it did not show. i wonder why that happens? i basically said i liked daytimers b/c years later reading them they read like a diary.

  2. Your bookshelves are very nice. And you have a great collection of books! They are really fun to pick up and read a chapter or two for inspiration.

    Rest in peace Rosie...(hugs)

  3. Hi Fiona

    Coming to you all the way from Spain!! I've been living in a rented house since being in Spain, and "crave" a library for my books. My dream would be to actually have a "reading room", with lots of huge sofas, lamps and books, books, books. Your bookshelves do look wonderfully organised. And I loved the black and white shots; very romantic.

  4. Janet, do you want a ladder that slides along your custom bookshelves? I do. As with you, a girl can dream.

    I think blogger is having problems with comments at the moment, as I have left comments on blogs including yours that I have realised have disappeared.

    Stephanie, I feel sorry for myself every day that I am cat-less. She was a good old stick. Thank you, I love my books.

    Vanessa, welcome from Espana. Yes, I dream of a reading room too, books, fireplace, chaise, ottoman. Wouldn't that be wonderful.

  5. Fiona, your photos are great. I love your collection of chic books and noticed I have (or had) several of them myself. I had completely forgotten about Helen Gurley Brown's book that I had years ago and loved. I'm not sure what happened to it, but it was a great guide to living well. And I love Alexandra Stoddard's books. I've tried to collect my personal, "girly" books together in my new boudoir and plan to spend time just browsing them.

  6. Books are living entities for me. As though a life has spilled itself onto it's pages and to discard it is almost to kill a life! I had to give away hundreds of my grandmother's books eventually, as there wasn't room in my "minimalist" lifestyle to accommodate them. Ah, life!

  7. Thanks for sharing your library. It is always interesting to see what others have on their shelves. I saw a handful of titles that I enjoy as well, and some that I need to add.

    By the way, as an animal lover . . . my thoughts are with you. It doesn't matter how long ago our beloved pets have passed, they always remain in our hearts.


  8. Cherie, I love my HGB and Alexandra Stoddard books. I bought both the hardcovers (of each author) for $1 thrifted. That was a good day. I like the idea of having them in the boudoir and I've thought about getting a small bookshelf for the bedroom.

    Debra, I know what you mean. When you open the pages someone is speaking directly to you and you become part of their world. I've weeded out a lot of books too.

    Simply Luxurious, I love seeing others bookshelves too, especially when you can read the titles. Thank you for your lovely thoughts on pets.

  9. the bookcase is too good, even if the book shelf is white or black, it doesnt matter, it looks too good and is too important and functional for a place like this!! great idea to have it there

  10. Your chic book collection is fantastic! I have some of the books, but you have some I have been looking at for ages. If they made it to living on your shelf, perhaps it's time to pick a couple up!

  11. My dream house has always had a library with wall-to-wall bookshelves, comfy chairs and good lighting.

    Right now we have books all over the house because we don't have space to have all our bookcases together.

    I have to say that I love your collection of books. Many I have, but you've also given me ideas for some books to look for.

  12. Henna, I'm not sure I'm with you. Is where I have the bookcase unusual? Because our house is so small I am limited as to where I can place it. I like it being central though so I can see all my beloved books as I go about my day.

    Kalee/Marie, for the most part I would replace these books if I lost them. Isn't that a good test to find out if you really want to keep something (when editing/decluttering)? I get so much pleasure out of my chic books. Call me shallow.

    Jackie, me too. An actual library-room. I’ve just realised that when I do the dream home shopping list (if I need something fun to do) I have never included the library room, walk-in wardrobe yes, but I have to remember the library room next time. The funny thing about listing a walk-in wardrobe is that I want the type you see in adverts - with five shirts, a folded pair of jeans and two pairs of shoes in it. A bigger wardrobe but less clothing.

  13. I joined a book club this year. There are 12 members and each gets to select one book per year for discussion with the group. I have enjoyed the books and have learned a lot about my friends from the books each chose. Some of the revelations were shocking.

    For example: one meek and mild friend suggested a book about the French Resistance during WWII. It was full of sex and violence. I was surprised she was interested in that type of book.

    I enjoyed seeing your library selections. Still striving for chicness over here in the USA!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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