I’ve shown off my home theatre before, which was a joint project for me and Gillian, and my closet office is designed to be a nerdy haven for me to work in. But until now, I hadn’t been able to give Gillian a space that’s just for her.
I had a reading space set up on the balcony, but that only gets used a couple weeks a year, tops, when the weather is perfect. The problem is we don’t have a huge apartment. There was no room inside to set aside for her. Or so I thought…
Then inspiration struck – we did have room, it’s just that it’s the bedroom.
Our bedroom was not much to look at. Simple and functional, but that’s all. It had a bare bones Ikea mattress frame and a single bookshelf.
We recently acquired two more bookshelves from Gill’s dad (who was clearing out space at his place), but even with the extra shelves, they filled up quickly. It was time for our annual book purge.
Now, before you get in a tizzy over the blasphemy of getting rid of books, you should know our process. Together, we go through all the books, reorganize them by author or genre, and decide if each book falls into one of two categories: a Re-Read or a Trophy. A Trophy is a book that you might not necessarily re-read, but it holds a special place in your heart for whatever reason.
If a book fits neither category, it gets donated or goes to a second-hand bookstore.
Anyway, during this year’s purge, we ended up with a new category – Still To Be Read. Turns out Gill has TONS of books she is planning to read… someday.
So I decided to try something new. I set aside one of our new bookshelves and put all the STBR books there, filling up three shelves, then labelled it “New Arrivals.” The bottom shelves got labelled “Old Returns”
The idea is that when Gill is looking for something to read, she’ll come here first. And any book she finishes that is neither a Trophy nor Re-Read can get stored underneath until the next purge. Time will tell if this works. But the idea kind of gave off a library vibe.
Another thing that had been on my mind of late was the ways adults leave their childhood behind, and how they also hold on to it. I think it’s easier for men to hold on to parts of their childhood than women. Man caves and shrines to nerd-dom are common with men, even celebrated online. Not so much with women. I think there’s more pressure on them to leave that part of themselves behind and “grow up.”
That was when I decided to turn the bedroom into a personal reading haven for Gillian, one that speaks to the girl inside her. One of the biggest influences of her childhood was Anne of Green Gables. She has ALL of L.M. Montgomery’s books, and, having recently read Anne myself, I could see the appeal of the character, both from a child’s and an adult’s perspective.
I then started looking online for book nook ideas. I couldn’t do a complete makeover, but I could at least look for ideas I could work into the bedroom.
And here’s the final result. We got ourselves a new and better bed frame (with a built-in power outlet for charging stuff). I figured some simple things, like display shelves with favourite authors, past and present, would be a nice touch. A bedrest pillow that would make reading in bed more comfortable.
The rest comes down to decor and accents. Fairy lights tied to the main light switch that will provide a bit of whimsy and child-like charm. Pictures and quotes from Anne of Green Gables. Some personal effects here and there.
Even a basket with a cat face on it. Just because.
When Gill came home from work and saw the end result, she was thrilled. I have a feeling a lot of reading will be done here in the future instead of in the living room.