Letter from the Editor: Reading & Curiosity

Mar 11, 2015

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One of the priceless gifts that being a teacher gives you are moments that cannot be planned for, but are oh so treasured when they happen. A former student who is currently in college asked if she could stop by recently and have lunch with me during the school day. Tickled, and eager to hear how her experience in higher academia were going, we set the date.

As she was talking about her classes and all that she was learning, I lost track of time. I’m not sure if she enjoyed it as much as I, but I gobbled up her new found knowledge, conversing about topics such as philosophy, politics and religion. Needless to say, in that moment, she was the teacher as I walked away having learned more than a few things from the discussion.

For me, such conversations and sharing of information are intoxicating as they pique my curiosity as I wish to learn more and more if only I had the time to take the classes she was talking about with such intrigue. To observe someone else light up when they talk about newfound knowledge and an excitement for life is a joy that inspires hope and serves as a reminder that there really is something more to learn no matter what our age.

I suppose the reason I surround myself with endless books begging to be read or finally finished, as well as a long laundry list of publications arriving each month is because I love the euphoria that knowledge cultivates within me. To find answers, to unearth the “why” for life’s infinite questions, is soothing in its own way.

And speaking of books, here are a few that were recently released or will be released soon that you may enjoy as well:

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~How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned from Reading too Much by Samantha Ellis

~Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixten Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids by Meghan Daum

~Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

~The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins

~The Philosopher’s Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods

So lately, and always it seems, my thoughts have been thinking of home libraries and how lovely ti would be to have the space and the shelves to have such a room in my home.  As sort of a makeshift Decor Inspiration post. at the end of the post there are few images of beautiful interior images offering a variety of ways to decorate with books and inspire a room of reading and curiosity for life’s answers. But before we get to those, what would your ideal home library include? A sofa or an Eames lounge chair? Dark or light walls? Side tables or tufted ottomans? A television or tech free? If we’re dreaming, below is my list of must-haves. Feel free to dream with me in the comments.

  • Shelves of books organized by subjects for easy acquisition dependent on my need and mood
  • Oodles of windows or at least one large French window as to let in the sunshine and feel the breeze on warm summer days or gaze through and hear the pitter patter of the rain when spring showers fall.
  • A sofa with a chaise or an ottoman for cozy comfort
  • To clearly designate the purpose of the room, I would prefer it sans television, so as to allow the books and reading material to have  my full attention.
  • A vase or two for fresh flowers
  • A tray or table large enough for a tea setting
  • Art that has been gradually but carefully collected from travels

Now, please do share . . .

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Images: (1House Beautiful



5 thoughts on “Letter from the Editor: Reading & Curiosity

  1. I have always had a lifelong love of books. For many years I had shelves of them and the last time I lived in a house rather than an apartment I had one entire wall of a very large room filled with shelves of them. The safest moment was when we moved to Manhattan and a much smaller space and I had not room. Some favorites and collectables are in storage but I have had because of space to transit to Kindle as a storage unit. However, I notice real, rather than virtual books are finding their way back into my home because I jus love the physical sensation of holding them. Somehow I need them around me like air.

    Accidental icon
    http://www.accidentalicon.com

  2. I love libraries. But I don’t buy books, as I read so much it would break the family banks and we live in the Houston library system and can get everything and anything from the library. Below is one of my favorite blog posts on libraries.

    http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2012/08/library-woes.html

    The Kelly Wearstler library in that post is amazing, but too grand for my taste.

    Oh, and DVFs library. Can’t remember where I saw it, but it was fabulous, as one would expect.

    Great topic. Hope this is indicative of another “bar cart” style podcast being in the works. Would love to see a similar design process on a reading corner.

  3. Oh Shannon I know of what you speak. First, some of my best conversations have been with ex-students who come back to exchange thoughts! It takes a long time — and sometimes never — for a teacher to reap what they have sown but it happens sometimes.

    As for books, when I was younger I would worry that there may not be enough in the world now I know there are too more than I will ever be able to read. I now have a “library corridor”, about 6 metres of shelves which were lined with books but now…well now I am culling them and giving them away. In not too many years we will downsize so I need to be ready for that.

    I have no regrets, I’m lucky enough to live an age of electronic books. I’ll keep my favourites and keep up with my endless reading list digitally.

    Thanks for those scrumptious titles!

  4. “I love the euphoria that knowledge cultivates within me. To find answers, to unearth the “why” for life’s infinite questions, is soothing in its own way.”

    Omg Shannon, such gorgeous words!

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