"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Saturday, 7 April 2012

ONCE UPON A DREAM; Blue Stocking Library Days

My Dream Library.
Those of you who are following me on Twitter will know that I have recently been spring cleaning and reorganizing my study.  A space to write is essential for an author and as a lifelong bibliophile I like to have all my books in one room, with a comfortable place to sit quietly and read.  Being a bit of a blue stocking I have always had a fascination with libraries.  I love the idea of being surrounded by books and the written word; engulfed in halls of learning.  I have a crystal clear memory of my mother taking me to the local public library so I could get my very first library card when I was about six or seven years old; I was thrilled that so many wonderful stories were made available to me. It is one of the most precious memories of my childhood, and my mother can have had no idea at the time that I would grow up to become a successfully published writer.

Even as a University student in my early 20's, the thing I loved most was not just the traditional lecture halls and the opportunity to learn, but that the huge University libraries were at my disposal. I have a deep love of old fashioned libraries like the ones in black and white English college films; the kind where tutors wore black gowns and invited favorite students to debates over tea, toast and scones.  Alas, my Uni days were not nearly so romantic, but I did consume vast quantities of buttered toast and crumpets in the refectory with fellow students! I also developed a lasting habit of making reading lists which continues to this day.  Certain items of library furniture can set my heart racing; swish library ladders that roll along bookcases; spiral library steps that can be trotted up to reach the highest bookshelves; carved wooden lecterns; winged leather buttoned armchairs pulled up to a blazing fireplace; secret doors hidden in walls of books; a butlers tray filled with scones and crumpets...a library is nothing if not a space to dream and spin fantasies.

Having been privileged enough to study in such beautiful libraries I soon decided that I would one day have a library of my very own and I have achieved this goal. Although my study is not so large as I would like it does have walls of books, a beautiful globe like those pictured above, a tapestry and a mahogany  escritoire desk with secret compartments and pigeon holes.  It has a comfy buttoned leather chair and matching footstool, with a throw to snuggle up in when the weather turns chilly. It has floor standing candlesticks, spice red painted walls, a desktop lectern and a decanter of sherry!

I spend so much time in this room I have come to name such days my Blue-Stocking Library Days!  I can happily tuck myself away here at the back of the house with my cat Pyewackett curled in his basket beneath the desk.   I might not be writing; I might be reading a novel; conducting researched; making notes for a project; making reading lists; reorganizing the vast number of books within the bookcases; listening to music; recording my own songs or maybe even watching a DVD.  Whatever I am doing in my personal library I am very grateful to have this space and the solitude to enjoy the peace of it.

As I type the candles are flickering light and shadows across the multicoloured spines of all my books, incense is scenting the room with violet, a crackling fireside DVD plays on the computer to give the illusion of a real fireplace, and a festive glass of sherry gleams like rubies beside me.  This is where I will be over the Easter bank holiday... curled up in the library chair, feet resting on the footstool, warm and cosy as the rain patters against the study window.  Here I am going to fall into a new novel and enjoy toasted hot cross buns smothered in butter with an extra sprinkling of cinnamon. I even have a cosy pair of blue knee socks for when my feet get cold! Such is the style of my Blue-Stocking Library Days....how do you enjoy your reading time?


  1. Oh Marie! I can picture it now and I am oh so envious !! I share your lifelong love of books and it is a standing joke in our family, that my girls and I would quite happily move our beds into a library !! I would also be equally happy in one of those old secondhand bookshops, where books are piled high from floor to ceiling, full of mystery and adventures waiting to be discovered !Such a shame that these are no longer a commonplace sight on the high street any longer. Enjoy your Bank Holiday :-) I am off to find a good book and a not so comfy place to read !!lol!!

  2. You sound like a woman after my own heart! Beds in the library...why didn't I think of that! I am lucky to have such a room - it is tiny but I've made the most of the space. When I upgrade my mobile I will start and post pictures as well as descriptions.
    PS I have not ignored previous comments and I do read them all, but I've only just figured out how to respond haha :)
    BB Marie