Tag Archives: Books
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Books tend to be an essential ingredient in many rooms. Writers and readers turn to books to escape and decompress, which is why you’ll often find books in bedrooms. I have a bookshelf packed with a variety of reads in my bedroom –– you’d find everything from cookbook anthologies to travel books, to textbooks and bestsellers.
Let’s take a look at how books can mingle in bedrooms, and create a library within each of these five spaces.
This ultra-chic bedroom on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is far from the dark, stereotypical library. The faux fur adds a touch of glam while the shelves are strategically accessorized in this comfy, inviting apartment.
Glossy magazines, popular titles, and a selection of classics line the shelves of the bed wall in this modern oasis. The “Womb” chair and ottoman by Saarinen is the perfect scale for the corner. What a great spot to get lost in a suspenseful or humorous novel.
This Sydney, Australia bedroom comes saturated with titles and bold colors. The cut-out niches are a clever idea to break up the wall of books. The low platform bed is a good choice, allowing the library wall to be the focal point.
Brimming with natural light and boasting a pool view, this compact bedroom makes for an ideal guest nook. I’m sure the designer had bookworms in mind.
Sumptuous fabrics and contemporary art decorate this Palo Alto bedroom, which wouldn’t be complete without a custom built-in filled with great books.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
M is for Monster: a fantastic creatures alphabet
There are a lot of alphabet books out there. Some of them are good, some are entertaining, and a very few of them are both well-done and informative. Sleeping Bear Press publishes the lion’s share of the good and informative ones. From A is For Axel: an ice skating alphabet to Z is Zeus: a Greek mythology alphabet and all the letters in between, this publisher has probably released an alphabet book on a subject of you or your offspring’s interest at some point or another.
There are also all manner of books about monsters. Not all of them are so culturally-leaning as this one. Not only does it mention the classic Western monsters like werewolves and vampires, it also dips into Eastern and Native American legend as well. From the Chinese story of Xing Tian to the giant bird known as Roc, this book covers a wide range of mythical beasts in twenty-six short letters. Each creature is accompanied by a short rhyme as well as an in-depth discussion in the side bar. We learn about the origins of Frankenstein, cultural aspects of Baba Yaga in Russian literature and television, and anecdotes about the Hippogriff.
We have read this book every day since I brought it home from the library. It’s informative and a little creepy without being downright scary. It is an excellent find for kids who like to be spooked a little bit.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman.
I’ve got a review for the grown-ups in the audience today! And I can state from personal experience that this is a great one to read in bed. I had magical wizard dreams last night! And let’s be honest—the best dreams are magical wizard dreams. Awesome magical portals transferring you from one dimension to another—what’s not to love???
I reviewed the first novel in the trilogy a while back and was anxiously awaiting the release of the third. It did not disappoint. If you a lover of magic and things wizidrical (though they carefully avoid using the word “wizard” except in an occasional mocking tone—that that, Harry Potter!) then I can’t recommend this series enough. More contemporary than Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and more adult than Harry Potter, The Magician’s Land neatly sews up three volumes’ worth of travel into other worlds, dealing with all kinds of gods, some of whom are pure evil, others who are kind of doofuses, and facing demons from the past, both metaphorical and literal.
Lev Grossman is a fantastic writer and his narrative voice is both sardonic and casual and wonderful all at once. He never lets you forget that, although we are discussing kings and queens of the magical land of Fillery, these are still the jaded kids from Brooklyn and other decidedly un-magical places. And if you are more of an audiobook person, the narration by Mark Bramhall is also quite good. Though I must say he seems to have forgotten what Josh’s voice is supposed to sound like. 🙁 Aside from that it’s a wonderful novel that wraps up a wonderful series.
Post by Stephanie Noble.
Teaching my son a love of books and reading is one of the great joys I have discovered since becoming a parent. He is lucky to have family and friends who gift him with clever books that engage him so completely that many of his first words came from books. Currently, we have a small corner of our living room devoted to our books. They fill vertical shelves that we installed to fit a corner that was dead space -tough to utilize because of a window on one side and a door on the other. While this is a perfectly serviceable solution for our small space, I dream about creating the perfect reading hideaway for my boy. A cozy corner of his bedroom devoted to losing himself in stories.
Pinterest.com is a great place to assemble ideas for this dream. I’ve been pinning ideas for the last year. Pulling bits and pieces out of different designs to implement when the time comes for the reality, I’ve created what I hope will one day become his imagination nook.
Because he loves to climb, I visualize a vertical space with a space for books, found treasures and space for his artwork. I’m just not certain how this little girl accessed her reading shelf. I would add a ladder.
In our current home, this swinging seat might have to replace an entire nook. It would still give him a spot to cozy up with a book that would feel different from the rest of the house.
If possible, I’d like there to be a lot of natural light, so he doesn’t strain his eyes. Also, so that he can pause and look out the window to dream about the world. In this picture, I like the books hanging from the ceiling. Excess books are being turned into great art, I’d like to include some book art in his space.
If the vertical plan doesn’t work out, a window seat is a classic reading space. I like the built in shelves in this space. I know that it has been styled for this photograph, but I laugh thinking what it would look like after a child took control of the space. I think that’s the most important thing to remember when designing a kid’s space. An adult has a perfected magazine perfect concept that may last for one brief moment before the child takes possession. Then a beautiful chaos will ensue. That chaos is the point at which the child makes the space his or her own. It’s important to not become so attached to the design that you’re unable to let go and let the space become the child’s space.
Post by Laura Cheng.
The Kindle is a phenomenal idea, but I’m still old school. I collect books of all genres and over the course of only five years, I’ve amassed a collection that is now piling up as four floor to ceiling stacks in my living room. On top of that, my mum recently called and gave me an ultimatum to stop by and pick up the books that she’s been storing for me since high school. Those books hold high sentimental value. Others may call it borderline hoarding. I can’t let my Beverly Cleary collection or my Calculus and Biology text books go to the dump. Being in the situation that I am in, I find the idea of decorating with books in the bedroom to be promising.
The only drawback to a library in the bedroom is the need to clean more frequently. Books tend to accumulate dust and I just don’t have the time every week to pull all my books off and dust. I’d get distracted and start reading the books. A 30 minute task would turn into a 3 hour one. Martha Stewart has a great idea of adding the hair dryer to my dusting toolkit, but the idea of the dust falling in or around the bed is unsettling. Lining my bedroom with bookshelves that are directed away from my bed may be one way to avoid this, as shown in the bedroom below. Even more than the cozy ambiance of the book collection, I really like the unexpected picture frame that is hanging off the bookcase.
Everyone has their own preference and argument in the way they arrange their books. If your memory can’t even track what you had for breakfast, then organizing by author, title or category will be more suitable. When form prevails over function, arranging by color and size will keep the bedroom looking organized.
An open shelf system to display my collection of books could easily lead to clutter. If there are enough books to fill all the shelves, then this next subject won’t be an issue. If not, a bookcase once meant to collect books could easily turn into a convenient resting spot for your stuffed animal or lost coins.
In my previous blog, I talked about repetition, balance, and spacing. The same techniques apply here. When placing items on a shelf, keep an eye on the overall composition. If photos are added to the mix of media, keeping them in the same frame will help maintain order and symmetry. Avoid patterned bed linens. A plain ivory or white outfit for your bed will make sure the attention is drawn appropriately to the stylish shelves of knowledge.