A room with books or a library?


My current workspace has kept me happy for some time now, but recently my hubby and I took a tour of the area under our house where the pool table currently resides. Due to a wet summer and its continuation into winter, the brick walls have attracted fungi (we have ENSO conditions to thank for that – El Nino Southern Oscillation). As we discussed what to do about the fungi I started to imagine what the space would look like as my studio. It is large enough to hold my books and my desks, as well as the pool table, plus it has it’s own bathroom. Within minutes I was telling my husband how I’d like to turn that window into a door, lift up the lino and replace it with something nicer and warmer, erect a wall between it and the garage and treat the brickwork to some rendering to seal it from the moisture. My husband might have made one of those faces he makes when he’s anxious, but I was too busy in my fantasy studio to notice. For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamed of a library/studio lined with books, a comfy armchair and an enchanted garden just outside. I am halfway towards achieving the enchanted garden at the side of the house, but currently it is only accessible through a makeshift gate. My husband was all for the idea after visualising it himself (and perhaps seeing the benefits of relocating my writing life). We have a four bedroom house, but three of the rooms are taken up with workspace, one with my books, one with the desks and tools of writing and the other is my husband’s man room where he keeps his manly things.

Even though I spend my days staring at a 17 inch area of white screen, I like to fill the space around me with thoughtful things – and paper, lots of paper. Currently a large portion of the paper component is missing from my space. This was a choice I made some time ago to maximise both bookshelf space and workspace, but, as I suspected it would, it has left me with a feeling of being unglued. As a writer it is difficult for me to separate the acts of reading and writing. I constantly write notes while reading and read while writing. It is an immutable thread. When I am in the workspace I think about being in the library and vice versa. Though I love to lie on the sofa bed in the library with a pile of books, it feels like a room with books rather than a true collection or reading room. Books belong in hands, not collecting dust on shelves out of sight or getting compressed in boxes. They need to be opened in order to speak. And so it is with this in mind that I am seeking to create a new library/studio to house my collection and my thoughts.

External space is an allegory of the internal world. We must be as comfortable in our workspace as we are in our own minds.

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About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
This entry was posted in JOURNAL ENTRY, Library project, ME ON WRITING and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to A room with books or a library?

  1. vanyieck says:

    In the past I’ve tried to organize my workspace, but, like my thoughts, eventually it becomes scrambled with books lying everywhere, slips of paper with half-developed ideas. At least I started with good intentions.

  2. drtombibey says:

    Ms. Sharon,

    My books are scattered all through the house on coffee tables, at the breakfast nook, on the floor of my study, at my computer work station, in my mandolin case; everywhere.

    Like my mandolin they are worn and tattered, but good old friends.

    Dr. B

    • Dr B
      I’m curious to know what books you keep in the mandolin case.

      • drtombibey says:

        Usually just some paperback I am reading. I looked to see what was in there right now. It is ‘Letters to a Teacher,’ by Sam Pickering. I have finished it, so I need to re-load. Sometimes if I have down time at a gig I’ll read a little if we aren’t jamming.

        Dr. B

  3. Karen says:

    Oooooh, that sounds just wonderful! Your own little nook in which to find and nurture your creative self. I have always dreamed of having a studio. I actually would like a yurt – one of those hexagonal structures that look like a piece of honeycomb from above. My writing space is at the other end of the loungeroom, but since I write when the kids are in bed, it’s not that much of an issue. I would like my yurt one day though…Happy renovating!

    • Hi Karen
      I can picture the yurt in my mind, it’s cozy and beautifully decorated. I used to dream of a similar style of study, but it was attached to a rather large Mediterranean-style house made from recycled material on several hundred acres of wilderness. For now I am content with what I can do. I hope you get your yurt some day.

  4. jenniferneri says:

    This is a great post! I love the way you make it all seem so tactile!

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