My secret Christmas wish

If there is any justice in this world, in a few days from now many of us will be unwrapping shiny new additions to our book collection. Like every other avid reader I’ve put in my request to Santa of titles I would quite him to bring down the chimney on Christmas Eve. I went for a mixture of  some titles from my classics reading list and some from the world literature challenge.

What I really wanted as a present is what I know I can’t have. See what I want, what I really really want would take rather more ingenuity (and pennies) than I think my beloved family members would consider possible.

Morgan Library

Morgan Library, New York City

My heart’s desire would be a personal library of the kind you see in films located in British stately homes. You know the ones —  shelves that stretch almost to the ceiling filled with hardback books (strictly no paperbacks) whose titles are embossed in gilt. I haven’t yet decided whether the way to reach the upper shelves would be via a gallery walk way or by using a type of ladder that moves along the wall on wheels. It would of course need to be a cosy room (no draughty corners thank you) since I plan to spend many hours in here. I don’t want too much in the way of furniture and certainly not of the chintz variety. I do however require a heavy damask-draped bay window with seat looking out over the lawn or some far away mountain tops; a few wing-backed chairs placed close to the fireplace and of course a few choice ornaments dotted on occasional tables.

Cosy libraryAnd what about the books you say? Ah yes, deciding which titles to include  would require some considerable thought and effort. It would be, if not quite “the work of a lifetime” like Mr Darcy’s library at Pemberley,  certainly an endeavour that would take be several years to complete.  The classics of literature would feature of course but I have a hankering for books that will help fill the many gaps in my knowledge; books containing old maps and stories of travel to places I can never quite place on the globe; guides to fossils and types of architecture; Roman and Greek myths and quite possibly something on science though that would need to be a beginner’s guide since I have little aptitude in that direction. I imagine myself a little like young Jane Eyre, stealing a few moments to peruse illustrated books on British birds or far away lands.

Of course the likelihood this is going to happen is very slim but I’m enjoying the pretence. And if it doesn’t exactly come to fruition, I have a back up plan.

Number 2 on my wish list is  a device that would put all other readers into suspended animation for a while (humanely treated of course) while I catch up on all the books they tell me are wonderful but I just haven’t got around to yet.  Anyone found one of these yet or will I have to invent it?

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on December 22, 2013, in Sunday Salon and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

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    • I am flattered that you think my rumblings are worth sharing with other people. No issues at all from me. Thanks for asking – not everyone would be that polite:)

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  2. I want to put all authors into suspended animation for a few years till I get rid of the existing TBR list. Then they can all come out refreshed and ready to prepare a whole new batch of delicious temptations…

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  3. I’m definitely up for number two. I have the books – just not always enough time to read them! I’m an unrepentent hoarder and start to feel anxious if I don’t have at least a hundred or so books to choose from at any time. There are worse vices to have! 🙂 Hope you had a great Christmas!

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  4. Those are lovely wishes, and beautifully expressed. My library would have a sea view, and a librarian with the understanding to put the right book into my hand at the right moment, as I find large numbers of books rather overwhelming. I love them, but I’m horribly indecisive.

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  5. I don’t think you are asking for too much! And since you can’t decide gallery or ladder, why not both? If you are going to dream, dream big! You better put up a big stocking just in case Santa grants your wish 🙂

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    • I tried the big stocking approach but it seems Santa was running behind schedule for his important date with a pint of stout and a slice of venison pie so he only had time to drop a few books down my chimney this year. He did give a very nicely worded note of apology and pro,used to do better next year.

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  6. One of the services that Heywood Hill offer is putting together a library for their customers. As I pointed out first they would have to build the library. Have a lovely Christmas, Karen.

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  7. Fun! I’d take both the library and the suspended animation trick!

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  8. I want a library too! And time to read! And money to buy a the books from my wish list (1400+!)! It would be so amazing to have an entire room dedicated to books and reading!

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  9. My philosophy on books is a bit different than that as we’re trying to take the clutter out of our house, including books that we’ll probably never get to read. However, if we want, a lot of those books are available online. I just have to push a button or get them in ebook format. Yes, I know it’s not the same as having a physical book, but what I get a book for are the words that are contained in them, not the case they’re in. 🙂

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    • I need to do a bit of deck clearance also Bryan but have no had much success with previous efforts. If input a book on he discard pile I can be sure my husband will announce it is one he wants to read.

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  10. I love libraries — especially the kind you have pictured here, but I don’t tend to read in libraries. I like reading on the couch in the center of my home. My husband says I create a nest around me — all my books and papers — and always a throw blanket. I like to be covered up. Do you ever have real dreams with libraries in them? I have lots of house dreams with endless rooms that I (at first) didn’t know were there.

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  11. I love those old book lined rooms of English stately homes too. Whenever I visit those types of houses I’m always fascinated by the books.

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    • I don’t visit many of them but when I do, its the library that gets my attention. It always makes me realise just how wealthy these people were that they could afford to stock a whole room with books at a time when they were quite an expensive purchase (even after the advent of the mass printing press)

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  12. Your second wish is my number one! I like the idea of a library but it would have to allow paperbacks which would spoil the effect 😉 happy Christmas one and all!

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  13. This matches my wish exactly! Can we add a wine cellar for a great glass of wine to sip from while reading? Merry Christmas to all book lovers (and others)!

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