I have always been a reader, I’m not sure when or how it really became a thing for me because I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have my nose in a book. I remember in grade 1 getting a gold star for reading 100 books before anyone else in the class. I remember reading Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables, Babysitter’s Club and A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. And then The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, I read my first book by Danielle Steel (stolen from my mom’s shelf) in grade 6. I was reading adult books and doing reports on them for my classes. My parents did the best they could to keep up with my reading, but thankfully the library was just down the street from our house. I used to walk there every week and pick out new books. The library was my favourite place in the world, and I was lucky enough to have access to two. The town library and the school library. Eventually I moved on to high school where there was a great library, and in university I lived in the library, studying and reading in my favourite corner. I even worked at my university as a caller to help collect money to build a new library. All of this to say I have always been a library fan.
When I finally moved out of my parents house and went to live with a boy, I had hundreds of books and we had nowhere to put them. We had three tall bookshelves in our apartment and there were still books in boxes with no place to go. So I had to do a major purge. I donated so many books to the local library and the goodwill. And was left with two small shelves. Soon after we moved to Toronto and I discovered that a branch of the Toronto library was down the street from my work. Perfect. We had limited space and I had very limited money so I couldn’t buy too many books. I got really good at finding thrifted books and using the library again. When we moved back to Barrie, we moved into a tiny basement apartment, still no space for books but I did have a little more fun money to spend on books, so my collection started to grow again. By the time we moved to the townhouse we rent, I had about 200 books. For the first time, I was going to have a room of my own, an office/library that would have all the space I needed for books.
My library is my favourite place in the house and I have made it into a cozy perfect space. The first thing I needed was shelf space. My husband picked out these metal industrial shelves from IKEA that at first I vetoed. They were not wooden and that made me think they were wrong. But he convinced me they were the best option because each shelf could hold 200 lbs. He was making a dig at me owning so many books, and he knew I would fill them up. He was right. In the two years we have lived here, I now have almost 500 books! And my industrial strength bookshelves are perfect.
The other thing I needed was a cozy chair. We took our couch apart and brought the chaise part up to my library. I can stretch out my legs and there is room for Chewie to cuddle with me. Next I needed ambiance. I started collecting candles and plants. I love having a beautiful smelling candle in the room while I read, and I especially love when that candle has a wooden wick and sounds like a fireplace crackling. I eventually found a shop online that sold amazing candles and they were based in Toronto. I love to support local Canadian brands and the shop is run by the sweetest woman. I was sold. I ended up with a collection and now have a lot of scent choices to choose from. You can click through the photo to check out their shop if you like wooden wick candles as well. My favourites scents are Om and New Orleans. The shop had a Christmas collection too and my favourite was mistletoe. You can use my code READWITHANGIE for 15% off in their shop!
Finally my sister came in like the plant fairy she is and gave me some plants that I could try to keep alive. She gave me a pothos first which I named Potty and managed not to kill, so she moved me up to a spiderwort, which grew like a weed and whom I call Spidey. So she said you’re ready for a big one and gave me a monstera. Monty is my favourite plant. He grows so slowly but I love him, and I check everyday if he’s decided to bless me with a new leaf. Then she gave me Sissy, my snake plant. I also have a zz plant I call Ziggy and my mom gave my Jude the jade. So my ambiance is going well. The room always has fresh air from my plant babies, and smells good from my candle collection, and looks good because it’s full of colourful books.
Tell me, do you have a collection you love? Books, candles, plants?