Saturday, 10 May 2014

*Sigh* Oh for goodness sake, it's just like school!"

At the moment, I am preoccupied by storage.  We are due to move in the next few weeks to a house which has some chance of fitting all of our things in it, without piles of books being the main focus of all the living areas. Although, having said that, I read a very trendy-trendy looking book from the library the other week called Books Make a Home, or something similar (I am not going to do it the honour of taking any more time out of my life for it to look it up online). It was truly, truly dreadful.  Pages and pages of extremely well-lit photographs of what looked to me like piles of books and magazines all over the place.  The message of the pictures seemed very strongly to be that if you live in an extremely large, trendy, and modern house and have no other possessions at all, then piles of books everywhere can look great! Except they didn't look great, they looked really untidy. One of the suggestions was to create your own glass coffee table by putting a piece of glass on top of four equally-sized piles of books. I mean, really?
  • That would look absolutely dreadful.
  • That is surely a ludicrous health hazard.
  • Most importantly - how are you meant to read and enjoy a book that forms one of the legs of a glass coffee table? Not entirely practical, is it?
I utterly agree with the premise that books make a home, which is why I borrowed the book in the first place.  But the book itself seemed to say that "using books you will never read and that look attractive is an interior design statement which shouts LOOK HOW CLEVER AND WELL-READ I AM! LOOK! PLEASE BE IMPRESSED! I'VE NEVER ACTUALLY READ A BOOK BUT THAT DOESN'T MATTER DOES IT SAY IT DOESN'T MATTER!" Not what I want for my home, thanks very much, Mr/Ms Author of Dreadful Book.

Anyway, back to actual useful book storage.  You know, the kind that displays books in an attractive way, but makes you want to look and them, and actually facilitates this. That kind. Although, apparently, this kind makes your living room a tiny bit like school.  Ah well, you can take the teacher out of school, and all that.

I bought the box from the Great Little Trading Company when they had a stonking sale.  At full price, it is a little wince-making.  But they are always having sales, so I suggest you sign up for the email newsletter and wait for a nice little "Please buy our stuff!" email to drop into your inbox.

It's called the Book Caddy, and is basically a white box with a  handle to store some books.  There is a little chalkboard area on the front.  Originally I put all of our WWI books in there, as a prelude to some village commemorations of the centenary said event.  The kids had a look at them.  BabyM tried to eat them.  A rolled her eyes and said the statement in the title of this post.  We all carried on happily.

This week A said "We're doing myths and legends in literacy. I suppose we could put some of our books on that in the book box thing." "OK" I said, trying to hide my intense excitement that she was playing along with me.  Our box now looks like this:


It's quite Marcia Williams box-set heavy, but that's not a bad thing, in my opinion.  Marcia William's cartoon versions of myths are great. I am fully aware that most of the lure of helping with the box, was being allowed to write with the special chalk pen when we had finished filling the box.  Tbh I was slightly upset at not being able to do that bit myself.
I suggested (with probably what was, on reflection, a bit too much enthusiasm) that we did a week each, where we put in favourite books from our shelves, that we would like to recommend to the rest of the family.  "Oh, really, Mummy! If it's not making the house into school, it's like making it into Waterstones or something!" How can anyone really have any objection to living in a branch of Waterstones? OK, so the bedding is not all that comfy, and you might want some cooking facilities.  But other than that, I don't see a problem. Bagsie the Birmingham New Street branch.  There are plenty of decent eateries nearby, and the stairs and particularly attractive.

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