One of my daughters gave me The Nester’s new book for Mother’s Day. I couldn’t wait to dive in, a week later, I settled into my favorite chair on a rainy afternoon and thumbed through page after page of beautiful photos. My idea was to run through the chapters just hitting the highlights, after all…I’ve read The Nester’s blog. I know (and love) her message…“it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”.
Surprisingly, an hour later, I looked up from The Nesting Place. Looked up from my journal where I was scribbling quotes…hiding treasures excavated from The Nester’s words.
“No amount of striving can create perfect.”
“Allowing things in our homes to be incomplete, imperfect and undone in some easy is a form of trust”.
“To create is to bring glory to the creator of all things”
“For every rule, tip, and trick, there is someone out there breaking said rule or tip or trick beautifully.”
Looked up, because of that last quote. The one about breaking the rule. I cut my eyes over at my almost wall-length book shelves right here next to my chair.
I’ve been bothered by those book shelves for exactly two years. Almost to the day. Two years.
I “styled” the bookshelves (in the new house) because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. There are loads of bloggers and designers that I love who have written about staging or styling book shelves.
So I tried to follow their tips.
(picture below was taken right after we moved into the new house 2 years ago)
I tried to follow the tips and tricks, but those book shelves… they had no soul. Even with all my old – vintage – yellow paged- leather bound books…that book shelf was bland. And it bothered me.
It bothered me so much so, that I made a quiet deal with myself…just DON’T look at them. Ignore the books and the shelves.
So I stopped paying attention to the wall of books, most of which either came from my sweet Gramma’s library or were lovingly collected by The Husband and I.
I ignored those classic titles from my favorite authors…Howard’s End, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Razor’s Edge, Little Women, Jayne Eyre, The Hounds of Baskervilles…
And to add insult to injury, in the two years since we’ve been in this house, I stopped collecting. I haven’t poured through musty old books at antique stores or stopped at Estate sales in hopes of finding a title missing from my little library.
When I started ignoring that book shelf, I inadvertently doused the fire on my love for all-things-old-books.
Until The Nester said:
For every rule…there is someone out there breaking said rule beautifully.”
And something rose up in me and very nearly screamed:
I. Don’t. Want. Styled. Bookshelves.
I want to sit here reading in my leather easy chair with a wall of my beloved books next to me. I want my eyes to rest on leather and worn bindings…browns, reds, greens and blacks, lined up waiting to be seen. To be read.
I like to look at my books and remember walking into Oxford Books in Atlanta. The smell of all those books the continuous book bindings reaching to the ceiling and wrapping cocoon like around the dark paneled room…
(Oxford Books was a delicious old bookstore that’s long gone but will forever live in my memory.)
So I got up, right then and right there. I left The Nester’s book and my journal opened on the end table. Standing in front of my bookshelves, while the rain poured, I fell in love with my books all over again.
Then I preceded to happily un-style my bookshelves.
I filled the 2 center shelves, the ones closest to my chair, chock full of my beautiful books.
Then, because I have more shelf room in this house than I have books, I worked with the remaining 4 shelves using some books and some of my favorite things to fill in the space (until I can find more vintage books. I’m sooo on the hunt again)
So, that’s why I recommend The Nesting Place. Myquillyn gave me permission to break the rules and breaking the rules gave me back my book-love.
And that was only after reading for an hour…there’s no telling what I might do after finishing the whole book!
Get it friends. You won’t be sorry…
Sending love my friends xo
ps…after reading another chapter, I took down my plantation shutters in the breakfast room…these have also bothered me for 2 years…stay tuned…I’m on a roll.