Thursday, March 1, 2012

Love Among The Stacks

Good morning, this is a pre shower post so please excuse my scrawl.

Pigtown Design has announced that today is World Book Day.  This is my kind of holiday,  And an excuse to pay homage to my Grandmother.

Nanny, as she was know, was Irish by birth. She married another Irishman, Sullivan by name and immigrated to Canada. 

By the time I had been acquired, or rather became aware, she was living with us in Michigan.

She was the soul of patience, a rare quality in my house.

She taught me two things when I was three.  One was to crochet, the other to read.

I lost the crocheting early on but the ability to lose myself in a book has stayed with me for many decades.

I learned to cook, garden, travel, spell and cast a spell from books.

When I moved into my house in 2001 the first thing we did  was build bookcases around the window in the dining room.  It is a given someone will jump up during a dinner party to find the name/picture of a plant or an ingredient in a dish.

Why do I love blogs so much?  For the pictures of course but mostly for the tales, the way you all use words to pull me into your worlds, and open my eyes and mind to other possibilities.

Just like books do.

So Happy World Book Day, let's all crack a spine together in celebration!


  1. That's the Irish: we are the soul of patience, we can crochet, we can read. And you, Jane, are a credit to your Grandmother.

  2. There's nothing more elegant than a stack of books.

    I spy Silver Palate. A long-time favorite.

  3. Oh there's nothing I like more than a snoop through somebody's bookshelves.

    Love that your Irish nanny taught you to read, of course!!

  4. And that's just cooking and gardening! Yes I spy Silver Palate too! And the short fat book Gardens...actually have two of those from thoughtful friends. I wonder where you keep your magazines: especially those from the UK?

  5. There's nothing better than a full bookcase...the kind where you can tell the books are loved and well used - not just for decorating.

    Yours are perfect ~

  6. i love that building bookshelves was the first order of business. we had so much to do here that my bookshelves were never built. it's a crime really. i love that you built them around a window too. that's what i was going to do. dang it jane.

    happy book day to you!

  7. World book Day. I love it! I love that building bookshelves was at the top of your priority list, too. The built-in bookshelves in my hallway(yup, you read that right - hallway) were one of the things that sold me on my house when I looked at it. Don't you think you can learn so much about a person by looking at what they have on their bookshelves?

  8. Yes! I'm in! Although I may have to make it an e-book, but still. I'm going to say it counts, OK?

  9. oh gosh, is it world book day? i have a book post brewing, bum timing!!

    You know how much I love books. Only thing is it is easy to accumulate so many they can start to become menacing in their number, like they are growing across every wall and surface, so I regularly cull the paperbacks that I haven't loved etc, they all go off to the charity shop and I just keep the ones I love. Our families tend to give books as gifts a lot, so they kind of build up! Perhaps I need kindle, but that smell of a new book, the smooth, cold it just me??

    Heyy, Is that 'the joy of sex' i see - omg i found that book when i was about 10 in the shelves at a friend's house, it has left me wary of bearded men forever!!
    looking closer I think it might not be after all, but what a memory it just evoked!!Ha ha!

  10. You can tell so much about a person by perusing their bookshelves...I notice you and I have a lot of the same books, no wonder I like you Lady J. I just finished a book last night, or in the wee hours of this morning, so I'm looking through my pile for next. However, suggestions are VERY welcome!

  11. My built ins are in the dining room too. Love them and ALL my many, many books.

    Happy World Book Day, Jane!


  12. Mise, surely that's not it? i know you can also make fudge and bake great cakes. Unfortunately I was not taught this :-(

    Steve, Thank God for natural elegance considering I was taking the pictures at abut 7:30 this morning.

    Jane, I'll have to do the other side some day:-)

    Shelley, Oh I have an old wooden whiskey crate that corrals the magazines. When it gets too full it's time to recycle.

    Sarah, Thank you. xo

    Janet, You can never have too many, I wish we'd carried on to the other window. Though it would have made the house rather narrow...

    Karin, I so would have fallen for that, it's like you live in The Holiday, but with a better kitchen!

    Lisa, it all counts, as long as we're reading!

    Belinda, Joy Of Sex, Joy Of Cooking...6 of one ...
    As long as we're having fun.
    My paperbacks are also passed onto friends or given to the Salvation Army.
    Unless I love them too much then I read them over and over.

    Amelia, Hmmm what did you finish?

    Sue, what's better than food and books right?

  13. You are a girl after my own heart. I love that we have World Book Day. I can spend hours browsing through other's stacks of books. I may have to get out my magnifying glass and browse via your photograph. One can never have too many books!

  14. Books are the bane of my existence!
    Seven large bookcases, all filed to overflowing and still they pile on every table, beside every chair I cannot throw them out!!! They are my friends, many I revisit regularly, some I think I will revisit so they stay. The selection would only tell you that I am a very confused person as they range over every genre and non fiction area!!!!
    I would like world book year!!!!! xxx

  15. Jane--I love that a place for your books was a priority. They are such good company and add warmth and soul to a home. So nice to get a peek at yours. And isn't it funny how many of us recognized Silver Palate?

  16. I didn't even know it was World Book Day! I'm ashamed of myself.
    But you know what, my Irish gran taught me how to crochet too, I just wish I had paid better attention xo

  17. Your nanny did a Good Thing there. If she's in Heaven now, as she rightly deserves to be, it won't be with the Irish nuns from my convent boarding school, because souls of patience they were not! Bad old biddies, some of 'em....

    Do you think there will ever be a Kindle Day?

  18. I had no idea it was world Book Day! I love that you have book shelves in your dining room. I would never trust someone that didn't have books around...on shelves, in stacks, on tables, under table. I think you can tell a lot about someone from looking at their shelves. Thank you for alerting me to this day. Loved Belinda's comment!

  19. So sweet your grandmother taught to read (and to love it) and so young!

  20. So sweet your grandmother taught to read (and to love it) and so young!

  21. Totally missed World Book Day but can assure you that I was reading that day - as I do every day! Love your shelves and the wonderful light in your dining room. xoxo

  22. Dinner parties? Book shelves? Doesn't Kindle Fire and Facebook make these obsolete?

  23. Thanks for the shout, Jane! Been in and out of a couple of booksellers here in London!


  24. Such a nice bookcase! And I love that it's close to the dining table for quick reference- so much more satisfying than the iPhone grab : ).

    Thanks for sharing, both your photos and stories!



  25. I can't think of a better first thing to do to your house than build book cases around the windows in your dining room!

    Really? Age 3?