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Still Cleaning Bookshelves

I thought I’d better kick start the day with a tasty breakfast, even if it was a light one.  While husband went to collect the paper, I prepared fruit (tinned cherries, and fresh raspberries, banana and grapes) followed by a warmed brioche with blackcurrant jam for me, and a boiled egg with wholegrain granary bread for husband, and tea.  By the time we’d had that we didn’t even want extra toast with the lovely lemon & lime marmalade during the evening with a cup of tea.

After I’d tidied the kitchen, filled the dishwasher, filled the washing machine, and made the bed, I returned to the job of cleaning the bookshelves here in the study.  I find the ‘other’ side of the room is slightly easier to clean, although I don’t really know why.  I have removed a lot of small books from the top shelves and they will go into wicker baskets upstairs to make room for other books which I use more often.   I still had to part with 30 books and also I’ve parted with another bundle of magazines. I truly hate doing this, but  space is finite.

Books and magazines (above) awaiting transportation to the charity shop in Torquay – appropriate that one of them is Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui (I’m sure that won’t have escaped your notice!)  It’s years since Feng Shui was all the rage, isn’t it?  How trends date so!  When will “mindfulness” have had its day, or perhaps it already has, ha ha!

Anyway, the shelves have all now been cleaned and all that remains to be done is clean out my little cupboard next to where I sit at my computer, and also weed through some wicker baskets on the bench, and go through some files that need weeding, too. Then clean the windowsill, vacuum the Venetian blind, wash the windows on the inside (our window cleaner does the exterior), vacuum the carpet, add some flowers, and the job will be done.

Photo taken yesterday (above)

Photo taken today (above)

Above, the bookshelves next to where husband sits.  I will explain the ‘gap’ in the bookshelves, where there are now piles of magazines and overflow books, and some files:  when husband first retired he did contract work for his company. He was a senior design engineer and he made the bookshelves thus so that his large A1 printer for design work could sit there.  When he gave up contract work a year or two after he retired, there was no need of this large machine, so the space is now used for my magazines and large books.  He could fill the space with more shelves, but we find it just as useful as it is.

I kept some small books back, though – they didn’t all go upstairs; I thought these might look pretty facing outwards on the shelves, as in a bookshop … books as decorative objects …

And while I’m parting with some books, two new ones arrived this morning …

I hope they will be entertaining, and I shall read these once I’ve finished re-reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (in preparation for seeing the film next week) and that is certainly entertaining!

A short post today as I’m quite tired now, but I’m also very satisfied with my efforts, each book having been removed, dusted, and returned to its place on clean shelves.

Until next time.

About Margaret Powling

Margaret Powling
Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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10 comments

  1. LOVE all those books and the shelves.
    J x

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Joy. They don’t look as good as a library of leather-bound books, but this is very much a working library, all the books are used – read or browsed. I’m just glad they’re all now clean and tidy again. But there are the shelves in the other rooms then to clean, my work isn’t yet over, but I won’t start on those for a while yet!

  2. Are ou sure you placed those books facing outwards as a decorative touch or merely an attempt to find a way to store more on your shelves ? Ha ha. The shelves look very well made and finished. I’m still swooning 🙂

    I noticed the teddy bears (?) on the higher shelves. Are they special to you ? I have a teddy bear on my bookshelf who is almost 60 years old. She belonged to my Aunty and was a Christmas present when she was five years old – my Aunty turns 64 this year. The bear is now a dull brown and has moveable joints but is very hard to the touch – not cuddly or soft like today’s teddy bears. I think she was originally much lighter as you can see a glimpse between the moveable joints. She has only one ear and no eyes – my childhood dog chewed these off as a puppy – but is treasured nonetheless.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Ah, you’ve spotted my little ruse … yes, Lara, I needed to find somewhere for those small books. Several other small books will be put in lidded wicker baskets in the guest room, but I know they will then become “out of sight, out of mind”! I particularly like those on the shelves, I’ve had them for years. As to the teddy bears. Well, on the far left is not a teddy bear but a door stop that younger son bought us years ago, and it’s a turtle (not a real one, of course) and it’s made out leather. But it had to be removed from the doorway because Barry-the-dog thought it something to eat! I can’t remember where the little teddy bears came from, and similarly Barry liked the idea of chewing them, so they were put high up on the shelves, too, and there they have remained. They are not of any sentimental value – the teddy bear that our younger son had when he was a baby is in the summerhouse, a very middle-aged bear by now! I love it that you have your Aunty’s bear, but the poor thing suffered just as these little bears would’ve done had Barry had his way!
      Yes, he shelves are very well made. I was just saying yesterday to my husband that although they’ve not been painted in at least 20 years, and considering the bashing and crashing of books as I get remove them and replace them, the paint has stayed very good indeed, hardly chipped at all. Mind you, I would love a change of colour-scheme now, it’s about time the room was decorated. But oh, imagine moving all those books just for a change of colour-scheme! I do wonder whether it would be worth the effort!

  3. Your library looks wonderful. I would love to have the space to have so many books. I have a large collection on Kindle as I don’t have room but it’s not the same as holding a book.
    I too am re-reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as I want to see the film. My mother introduced the book to me when it first came out and I loved it. I hope the film does it justice.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Pieta. I hope it doesn’t sound too grand, calling this my library, but really that is what a collection of books is, isn’t it? And, as I’ve said, this is just part of the collection which is spread throughout the house. More photos of other areas as and when I clean them. They aren’t as dusty as the shelves here in the study were, but you can imagine it takes time and tenacity and a good deal of strength to tackle all these books!
      I am loving all over again the book of The Guernsey Literary etc. I saw a little of the trailer online, and then stopped because I didn’t want to see too much of it and spoil the film. Trailers these days seem so long you feel you’ve seen the film once they’re over! But it does look good. And oh, it will be lovely to go and see a film/movie (we are still old-fashioned enough to call them films rather than the American “movies”) in an afternoon, a real change from reading the paper or doing some housekeeping or gardening or shopping.

  4. How satisfying! Clean and dusted, as they say. I too, love the books facing outwards, they look charming. I am a yoga teacher and this whole mindfulness thing really annoys me. Especially as one of my students was made to attend a mindfulness seminar, and then couldn’t cope with the overload of ‘stuff’ that she was being mindful about. Her partner, a psychiatrist, was really unhappy about it…..

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I used to have postcards on the shelves, too, Ratnamurti, but any small breeze would send them flying, so now I use books to add interest like this. That is funny, in a sad way, that a student couldn’t cope with all the overload of mindfulness stuff, indeed, things which mindfulness were supposed to overcome!

  5. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Some jobs, even if tiring, are very cathartic, aren’t they? Cleaning and clearing is very satisfying.
    Do let us know when you’ve seen the film. It’s one I would like to see.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, I found cleaning the study very cathartic, and there was a good degree of satisfaction with a job well done.

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