The Junk Room

I’ve been thinking a lot about our library lately. Not the library around the corner, which has a reading porch, rocking chairs and free (if not particularly good) coffee, but the fourth upstairs bedroom in our home that was clearly designed to be a second living area (the closet is a token space, but technically its presence makes the room a legal bedroom) and that we’ve designated our library.

Right now, it doesn’t feel very libraryish. Oh, our old couch is there, and shelves of books, but it’s also got boxes and bags left over from Christmas, and piles of miscellaneous stuff we’ve never quite found room for, and I swear it’s all illuminated by one of the most hideous light fixtures ever seen in a real house.

I originally wanted the big L-shaped space as my office, because it doesn’t have a real closet, and it does have huge floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the side street, while all the other upstairs bedrooms have “normal” windows, and yeah, it’s still carpeted, but I kind of like having carpet under my bare feet while I work.

I’ve tried many times to convince Fuzzy that he should let me move my things into this room, and he keeps reminding me that we agreed on the rooms we have because they’re about the same size.

To which I say, “who cares?” I work from home. He doesn’t. He has a couch in his office, I don’t.

Meanwhile, the most beautiful room upstairs has become the junk room.

And it bothers me.

Branching Out

Every generation has one. The Book Aunt. The person you can always count on to send you fascinating things to read at Christmas and your birthday, with the corners of the dust covers cut off so that you can’t see the price, and a warm message scrawled in peacock blue ink on the inside cover.

For me, the book aunt is my mother’s younger sister, Patti. For our nephews and nieces the book aunt is…me. And I’m cool with that. Fuzzy’s family is big on reading, though they’ve never really had much exposure to the classics, and my step-brother’s kids are becoming readers as well.

But books seem anticlimactic when compared with iPods and jewelrey and pictures of dead presidents, so I’m wondering if I should do theme boxes… like, when I give my young nephew a copy of The Jungle Book I could throw in some animal print bedding, a copy of the movie, and a box of animal crackers. (As an aside, I love animal crackers.)

Or when we gift a young niece with Black Beauty maybe we could include a horse figurine, a charm for her bracelet, and perhaps donate to her riding lesson fund.

I like theme boxes. I like small presents wrapped with great love. I like making reading something more than words on a page.

This idea has potential.