Bookless in New Jersey

A close friend of mine doesn’t have even one bookshelf in her house.  She has stainless steel kitchen appliances, a saltwater swimming pool in her beautifully landscaped yard, and a television whose size rivals the screens at the local theater.  All those things but no bookcases.

Not only does she not have bookshelves, but aside from a few cookbooks doesn’t own any books at all!  I love this girl dearly but often shake my head in bewilderment (and disbelief).  It’s all I can do not to bring over a few bags of books and artfully arrange and stack them around her house.

my nightmare...no books anywhere!
my nightmare...empty bookshelves

I guess for non-readers, a house without books is no big deal, or that’s just what my friend tells me.  But even my sister, an almost non-reader (she reads a book or two a year), has a bookshelf in her house.  She owns some YA books, parenting books, a million cookbooks, and some thrillers.

I’m probably making a mountain out of a molehill, but as someone who decorates with books, has book shelves in most rooms in the house, and has books in every nook and cranny, a home without books isn’t cozy enough for me.

19 Comments

  • At 2010.06.11 02:16, bybee said:

    you’ve said it all!
    .-= bybee´s last blog ..Theme-y on Thursday: The Wolf Is At The Door =-.

    • At 2010.06.11 08:12, Lex said:

      That’s just her own idea of home. I do understand though the nightmare of living without any books to read. Living in a room walled not by cement by with high bookshelves is quite the sweet sweet dream.
      .-= Lex´s last blog ..Grégoire Alexandre =-.

      • At 2010.06.11 08:28, Jeane said:

        A home without books feels very empty to me, too. Even people I know who don’t read a lot always seem to have a shelf or two. But there are people who don’t have a single plant in their house (I’m a plant-lover too) and I don’t find that strange.
        .-= Jeane´s last blog ..A Treasury of Flower Fairies =-.

        • At 2010.06.11 08:32, Natalie said:

          I love the plant analogy–I didn’t even think of that. I’ve had a variety of plants over the years but my ability to kill such sturdy plants as a cactus always leaves me feeling guilty. Right now I have a small basil plant that I’m trying not to kill. We’ll see how that goes!

        • At 2010.06.11 08:40, Steph said:

          I haven’t always had the insane number of books that I do now, but I can’t imagine not having a single book in my possession. It’s just too sad a thought to contemplate!
          .-= Steph´s last blog ..“Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven” by Susan Jane Gilman =-.

          • At 2010.06.11 09:37, rhapsodyinbooks said:

            I know exactly what you mean! The first thing I do when I go to somebody’s house is look at their books. And what a shocker if they don’t have any! And how UN-cozy, as you say!
            .-= rhapsodyinbooks´s last blog ..Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Author of Gringolandia, on “Categories and Boxes: YA, Adult, and the New Crossover” =-.

            • At 2010.06.11 09:46, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

              Sounds like a nightmare to me too!

              • At 2010.06.11 10:36, Sammy said:

                I couldn’t imagine not having books around. I grew up in a house stuffed with books and my apartment is the same way. Books are, not only good for the mind, but they add some spice to you home. They are to lovely not to have around:)
                .-= Sammy´s last blog ..A-Game or Not? =-.

                • At 2010.06.11 11:02, Hermie's Mom said:

                  I totally agree with your sentiments.
                  I meet with one of my clients at her home. She has spent a lot of time and money decorating her house. She has an entire bookshelf wall in her living room. One day she told me she doesn’t even read, but she likes how it looks 🙂

                  • At 2010.06.11 13:09, Jenners said:

                    I’m willing to overcome the nightmare of a bookless house if it has a saltwater swimming pool!!!!!!!

                    And if my husband had his way, there would be no books kept in the house. I have one big bookshelf and one small one and that is all I’m allowed. No wonder I love the Kindle.
                    .-= Jenners´s last blog ..Review: "The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors" by Michele Young-Stone =-.

                    • At 2010.06.11 16:30, Kathleen said:

                      I can’t imagine a house without bookshelves and books!

                      • At 2010.06.11 17:43, Lisa said:

                        Isn’t there a law against having no bookshelves? On the plus side, dusting would be a lot easier!
                        .-= Lisa´s last blog .."In The Sanctuary of Outcasts" by Neil White =-.

                        • At 2010.06.11 19:25, Rambleicious said:

                          A place just isn’t home without shelves crammed with books.

                          I love my books and can’t imagine living in a space where there are none.
                          .-= Rambleicious´s last blog ..…and you can’t make me! =-.

                          • At 2010.06.12 09:00, Beth F said:

                            No! I find houses without bookshelves to be a bit cold. I don’t think I could live without books.
                            .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Review: The Turning: What Curiosity Kills by Helen Ellis =-.

                            • At 2010.06.13 00:05, Ti said:

                              A home without books? Is there really such a thing?

                              I don’t know what I’d do without my books. I think I’d go stark raving mad and start reading the labels off of soup cans.
                              .-= Ti´s last blog ..Review: The Passage =-.

                              • At 2010.06.14 14:41, Care said:

                                The empty bookshelves remind me of that scene in You’ve Got Mail when she’s leaving her store for the last time. *sniffles*

                                • At 2010.06.14 15:11, Connie said:

                                  I can’t think of a single person I know that doesn’t have a houseful of books!
                                  .-= Connie´s last blog ..A Thought for Thursday =-.

                                  • At 2010.06.14 15:41, Jennifer said:

                                    I can’t imagine a home without books. Or bookcases. I just see books as essential to home decor. After all, my home houses my ideal reading nook. Still, I can see people moving away from bookcases into different kinds of decor that feature more high tech gadgets than actual books. I’m just not sure that kind of look will ever be for me. I mean, I love me my high tech gadgets, but I love my books so much more.

                                    • At 2010.06.14 19:14, Unapologetically Mundane said:

                                      I have a friend who doesn’t own books. She also doesn’t own photo albums. Nor CDs. She says that we keep those things around not for ourselves but to impress other people. Which I sort of agree with. I never, ever listen to any of the CDs I have, because they’re all ripped to MP3 on my iPod, and I only keep them around because I like to have shelves full of stuff. My friend reads books and gives them away, and I sort of like her for that. I still like to look at my own books, though. I sure hate the idea of moving (as I’m bound to do in the next few years) and having to pack those suckers up, though.
                                      .-= Unapologetically Mundane´s last blog ..Hot Dead Guy: John Steinbeck (and How He Embarrassed Me for Life) =-.

                                      (Required)
                                      (Required, will not be published)

                                      CommentLuv badge