A Room of One’s Own

(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)

Since we moved house, I have done no writing.  Somehow I seemed unable to to get back into a normal routine until all the boxes were unpacked and everything had a place.  And there were a lot of boxes to unpack. The disruption of this, coupled with no internet access, is also why I’ve not been blogging.

Hubby and I have been together 22 years and we’ve moved four times during our life together. Each time has been into a bigger place than the last, and each time there was more stuff to move.  We’re both terrible hoarders.  I’ve been unearthing some fascinating artifacts whilst unpacking this time around.  Every story I wrote in high school, for instance.  All my school notebooks.  Every letter that everyone ever wrote to me from the point I moved from Canada back to England in 1988.

So now there are two of us in a four-bedroom family house.  You’d think that would be enough space for two people, but we’re still working on finding a place for things.  Much of the space in our house is taken up by books. We are both bibliophiles, and although we’ve now both converted to e-readers, that doesn’t mean we want to get rid of all the physical books we have acquired over the years.  In the last house, the books were spread throughout every room.  When we moved, we got a better idea of just how many books we’ve got.  Taken in total, there must be close to a thousand in all.

The two of us have always dreamed of a private library, and with the layout of the new house we began to think that we might finally realise that dream. The house has an extension at the back – a lovely sunny room the previous owners called ‘the sun room’ that we thought would make a perfect library. However, when we actually got in the place and started unpacking all the boxes, we began to realise that we actually had too many books to fit them all in one room.

For once, though, we moved into a house that already had bookshelves built in – the first time we’ve bought a house bought by fellow bibliophiles, it seems, as usually the first thing we have to do is put up shelves in order to put the books away. The dining room in this lovely old house was built with a fireplace, and although the actual fire has been removed, the alcove on either side of the chimney breast has been filled floor to ceiling with sturdy shelves. Just right for putting books on.

Of course, we had far more books than these shelves would fit, and so we have bought more book cases and have managed to create our library – see attached image. I have to admit I am very fond of this room. It’s a wonderful room to sit and read in, and it’s one of my favourite spaces in the new house.

The plan is to keep this room free of TVs, computer and stereo equipment, and keep it as a quiet space – a proper ‘room of one’s own’, where we can retreat for solitude and quiet reflection.

With this room being at the back of the house, as part of a single storey stone extension, we are already getting an inkling that it will be a tad chilly in winter – the season we are, of course, moving into. However, this is such a wonderful space that I don’t think the cold will put even me off from spending time in here. I might just have to get into the habit of wearing thicker sweaters around the house. And of course, when one sits and reads, a nice hot cup of tea doesn’t go amiss either.

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