August 26, 2014

Book Storage at Home

Speaking of books, Design*Sponge has a great post on the best ways to store books in the home. My own house is a mere 850 square feet, and as a huge reader (and longtime publishing professional), I'm something of a hoarder when it comes to books. I've gotten better over the past few years about keeping my collection to a minimum (and getting rid of books that I admit to myself I'll never read again), but I continue to search for practical and attractive ways to store them without letting them take over every surface.
Source: Design*Sponge

I love the look of an entire wall of bookshelves--if K and I ever move, having the space to do this will be one of the top requirements on my new-home list. Lately I've particularly liked the look of rainbow bookshelves--either from painting the shelves, or from the arrangement of the books themselves:
Source: A Cup of Jo
Source: Kitschy Living
What a great way to add some color and interest to a room. What unusual ideas do you have for storing books?

August 25, 2014

Crying Over Books

Do you cry when you read books? I'm terrible about it--a description of a character dying will always elicit at least some sniffles from me, and usually worse. It's one thing when I'm at home, alone, and can look like a fool in private. But several years ago, I finished Cold Mountain while riding the T in Boston and was such a blubbering wreck that strangers were eyeing me like I was unstable and were moving as far away from me as possible--despite the fact that it was rush hour and we were packed in like sardines. There's always one weirdo on every subway car, and that day the weirdo was me. Since then I've been very selective about what I read in public.
Warning: this is super sad.

So on Saturday morning I took my car to the dealer for a routine service appointment, and brought a book with me--a novel I first read many, many years ago, and in which, toward the end, one of the most likable characters in the story dies. I thought I'd have only enough time to read a chapter or two, and wouldn't get that far into the book, but the service department was packed and running behind and I ended up stuck there for three hours. With nothing to do but read my book.

And I got to the part of the story where the character dies, and the description of his sickness and passing and the funeral and the main character dealing with it goes on for pages and pages and pages. I thought I'd done a good job masking it and keeping myself to merely sniveling ("Think about something funny! Imagine everybody else in the room naked!"). But after my car was done and I was pulling out of the parking lot, I caught sight of myself in the rear-view mirror and I had total raccoon eyes from my wet mascara rubbing off. Oh yeah, real discreet.

I'm also guilty at crying over movies, especially when a dog dies. In first grade we had to watch Where the Red Fern Grows and my breakdown was so extreme that my teacher had to send me to the nurse's office and have the nurse call my mother. I'd like to blame it on the fact that I was only seven, but I suspect if I watched it again now as an adult, I'd still have the same reaction. The same would be true if I were ever forced to re-watch Dumbo or Bambi. Does this make me sensitive and emotionally intelligent, or just a freak?

March 24, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

This past weekend was the first of spring, although from the looks of my yard you'd think it was already summer! Granted, Southern California was the one area of the country that had zero winter-like weather this year, so it's understandable that my plants are confused.

One of my favorite plants is hibiscus--they're easy to care for and add so much dramatic color to a landscape. I have at least a dozen in the ground and in pots, and love adding to my "collection" when I find new colors. Even though the last couple of days were on the cool side, I spent plenty of time on the patio enjoying the blooms.

Also in bloom: this delicate dendrobium I bought on a whim a few months ago, not sure whether I could get it to bloom or what color it would be if it did. The flowers are tiny--smaller than a quarter.

Welcome, spring!