Tag Archives: library

Book Review: The Library, A Catalogue of Wonders

15 May


At a time in history when many readers are choosing digital books…myself included for ease of travel, plus I love the highlighting ability…reading The Library, A Catalogue of Wonders is time well spent.

The research is extraordinary.  The text is thought provoking.  The outstanding anecdotes just keep coming and coming.   Stuart Kells comprehensively covers history of scrolls to libraries of hobbits.  For fragile/delicate books to survive over centuries subject to the elements, insects, fire, humidity, carelessness, war, theft, purging…  is amazing.

Did you know a “book worm” is an insect?  I had only heard it describe readers!

I also appreciated the information on shelving technology…had not thought of it before.

The Library pairs well with The Millionaire and the Bard (previously reviewed).  Kells thoroughly covers the works of Shakespeare.

See 23 of the world’s most enchanting libraries https://on.natgeo.com/2UKZdaH via @NatGeoTravel  These photographs are stunning!  Check it out.

Coincidence? Mini Libraries

3 Dec

I saw this tweet the same day I finished stocking a library cart for the barn we inherited from my father-in-law.

I found a stainless steel 3 shelf cart with rails in the barn.  We kept his books on WW2, hunting deer, bees, tree and bird identification, playing craps, a couple of 1995 issues of PB mag (PB does not stand for peanut butter :), investment and music books from the 1920s.  The chair (not much on looks) is by a window.   Perfect!

Mini Rolling Library, In Memory of Grandpa

….So like the  little library in the cemetery honoring the deceased, our little library cart holds content dear to its former owner.

More from Houzz: Unique Home Libraries

11 Jun

In this era of digital books this article makes you want to reach out, take a book off the shelf and turn pages!

From Houzz on Home Libraries

20 Oct


This article suggests there are three styles (Dewey decimal system not included):  bookstore, theme and rainbow order.  After paring down and shuffling my books in July, I went with “theme” bookshelves.  Laura Gaskill has great advice with photos for oversize books, plan to rotate, display covers, care for rare books, rack ’em (children’s), vertical or stacks, accent with bookends and last but not least….leave room for more!

Coffee table books

Coffee table books

My oversize books span decades with The Incredible Year 1968 being a clue.  Kenny Rogers, Your Friends and Mine was a gift from my sister in 1987.  She had Kenny Rogers autograph it for me.  Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana have been home.  Hmmmm….I need a rotation plan for these books on the coffee table.

Eve and brass book end

Eve and brass book end

I love bookends and often buy them as gifts.  My shelves are so full, I don’t often use bookends myself.  However on my desk is a single brass one of a dog and a cat on a stack of books.  My grandmother used it for years.  Office assistant Eve…insists her photo is better than a brass cat!










From Houzz: Personal libraries around the world

13 Oct


AWESOME!  Outstanding photos of the libraries and owners!

  • Personal interviews from 11 countries:

Canada, France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Denmark, Japan, UK, Russia, Germany, Sweden

  • Described as:

Two story, Hallway, Nest, Stacks, Nook, Floating, Cave, Home, Geometric, Corner, With a View

  • Size:

300 to 6500 books


A couple of the interviews had comments about digital libraries.  Merging digital and paper was on my mind when I posted “It started when…” on July 28, 2015…part the evolution of my personal library that involved clearing obsolescence and sorting.



It started when

28 Jul

I put away the recipe for Impossible Vegetable Pie.  Pause.  Ah ha.  Half of my modest cookbook collection is just taking up counter space.  Now those unused cookbooks are headed to a public library book sale.  But not before…I’m on a roll…before scrutinizing the nine shelves behind the couch.  In 2010, the nine shelf solution was progress.  Some of the books I have had 50 years.  The thermodynamics text book…40 years.  Blah, blah, blah.  Since then, I have read dozens of ibooks.



The first sort of about 300 books is complete with everything left in place and hot pink stickers on spines of books to donate.  The subjects range from travel, gardening, fiction, non-fiction, business…even organizing…I stopped to scan that one.  The goal of the 2010 effort was to fill the shelves to keep “Office Assistant” Eve from napping between books.  There is no Dewey decimal system in place.

Sort with Hot pink tags

Sort with Hot pink tags

Donation_first 50, followed by 27

Donation_first 50, followed by 27




A week has come and gone since I started this project.  Results:

  1. Extra foot of countertop space in kitchen
  2. Empty file drawer
  3. Extra shelf available on desk
  4. Bottom three shelves have new purpose
    1. Memorabilia storage
    2. Stationery, cards, Christmas cards
    3. Board games
  5. Book groupings arranged for next phase…

Eve still naps under the potted plant 🙂



I choose to keep the six shelves filled:  (2) for favorites, (1) for travel, (1) for business/government, (1) for youth and finally…..miscellaneous!

What is your story?

Helping Hands, Touching Hearts Act 4 Scene 2

18 May

This week I got a request for help from Sidney and company who flew to South Africa May 1st for their three-month stay.

Dear E,

Hope you are having a grand spring day.

We have just returned from Zimbabwe where we helped a girl (18 yrs old) get back into school – about 8th grade.  Because they have to pay for each semester and because they are so poor, her Father could not send her this semester.  She is very bright and has dreams of studying law.  When we talked to the Head Master to pay, we met in a Small, crude but clean room in which a few shelves had been installed.  He told us with great pride that it is their library but they have no books.  He asked if we might be able to find a few people to send books…ANY books.  They teach and read English.  So, question is, would you have any books that you could give and send to this school?  The cost to send is a little high, but if only one box could be sent that would be a God send to them. I will certainly understand if this can’t be done.  We have also sent an email to ask our Church to send a box.  When we return, We can get other friends to help.  These people so struggle to get an education and are so desperate, they will welcome any kind of books.

I have an address..

Alick Sonke Kumalo Head School Master
P. O. Box CT 525
Chinotimba Stand 7240
Victoria, Zimbabwe

Thank you so much for your encouragement and help in the past.  I truly appreciate you my dear friend.
Would you pass this on to anyone you think might send a few books please?

In joy,  Sidney

Of course last fall I had sorted through my personal library and donated a couple of boxes to our local library book sale.  However, I did find my complete works of Shakespeare (very fine print), a paperback dictionary, a few fiction books in paperback from a high school reading assignment, a book on card tricks plus new playing cards which all landed in my send to the Head Master pile.  To round out the shipment and fill a USPS flat rate box, I went to Half Price Books clearance self last night to buy a selection of hard back non-fiction books.

Book shipment

Book shipment

Helping Hands Touching Hearts website: