Bookshelf Word Project

LunaMy cat Luna was nice enough to help me on my latest craft project. One that I have stewed over for a year now: How should I decorate my bookshelf?

I thought perhaps I would do a vintage theme with my 1950s magazines that I bought from the Oshkosh Antiques Store, but I didn’t feel it made sense for a bookshelf. At least not mine. No, it had to involve words. The only possible option came to me about a month ago when an old dictionary fell into my lap …

My job recently rid itself of unusable dictionaries after the new editions were finally ordered. My co-workers knew about my Mod Podge fetish and allowed me to claim one. But I wasn’t just going to put it on my bookshelf (in alphabetical order according to author’s last name); I decided to tear out random pages and glue the pieces to my bookshelf doors for decoration.

It involved a pair of scissors, a paint brush, the Webster’s II New College Dictionary, and Mod Podge.

I made sure the words:

  • snowflake,
  • reeve, and
  • literary

were visible. Also, I wanted the picture of a balalaika to stand out. Honestly, I don’t know the instrument, but it looks like it would sound a lot like a mandolin and that’s good enough for me.

Thankfully, the dictionary was out-of-date to the point that, if it was not functional at work, it was as good as crafts.

Reading Inspiration Gone Wrong

Today, I finished Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves” in my backyard with three cups of tea, accompanied by my sister’s dog Xander and my cat Luna. I established that today was the day I would finally finish it. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the story — not one of my favorites — but it was a very slow read and it was hard to follow the characters. I continued trying to keep the six main characters straight while also grasping Woolf’s concepts at the same time. It is a stream of consciousness story written through the eyes of each character all rolled into one novel without chapter separations, except for beautiful ocean/wave imagery in italicized letters to differentiate between the characters’ stages of life.

As a writer, I am constantly mimicking author’s writing styles of those I am currently reading. Toward the last fourth of this story, I was finding myself inspired to write a stream of consciousness piece about characters I have had bouncing in my head over the years. Instead I stuck to my reading goal and forced myself to finish it without any breakfast or brunch. When  11:30 am rolled around (mind you, I started reading around 8 am) I finally finished the last sentence and breathed a sigh of relief. Still inspired to write but absolutely starving, I decided to cook myself some organic Moroccan style rice, fold/hang up my clean laundry, and shower before my dentist appointment at 3 pm. By the time I completed all of those tasks, I had two hours to spare, but my inspiration and ideas were missing.

I stared at my computer for awhile, opened and closed Facebook and Gmail, waiting for the motivation to come back, but it never did. So instead I am writing this blog entry, complaining about these moments that seem to happen to me more than not.

It’s really too bad, because when I read novels and pick up an author’s writing style, my short stories tend to come out crisp the first round; words seem to type themselves in Microsoft Word and, sometimes, I don’t even stop for typos. It’s like writing my own steam of consciousness piece every time.

Darker Print

When you’re reading novels, do you ever notice how the ink is sometimes printed darker on one page versus the other? For me, I typically notice lighter ink printed on the right page of an open book.

This may sound strange, but relief overwhelms me when I flip a page and see darker, bolder words again. Motivation to read the entire page and possibly the remainder of the chapter without interruption kicks in. I find coziness in my seat again (wherever that may be at the time) and read away.

I found a perfect video of what I mean. If you pay attention to either the left or right pages, you will notice how often darker print slips through, making THIS reader happy.

I wonder how many other of my fellow bookworms find pleasure in this reading moment.

Express Your Shelf

Today I stopped at The Book Store on Northland Avenue in Appleton where I discovered some ingenious new book covers.

Since the Nook’s and Kindle’s creation, owners have had creative protection case options for their eReaders to take them to the beach or on vacation without the fear of transportation damage. I know first hand what zero protection to a book can do for an avid reader like myself. Any where I go, I bring my beloved paperbacks with me in my purse and by the time I finish reading them, they have creased covers, torn pages, water stains, and minor dents.

Even though I do not own an eReader and probably never will, I found myself feeling jealous and resentful of all the “book” cover options for electronic book readers only. A part of me wished I didn’t love paper so much, while another part of me – my eyes – was thankful I still had will power. (Perhaps it was my lack of savoir faire when it comes to computer technology that has frightened me away from “upgrading” all this time.)

I have never come across anything like this offered for the more traditional bookworms. Some of the jackets at Barnes and Noble even had inspirational quotes in cursive font or a Victorian painting on their covers. Both of which are definitely my style and I would have paid the $20-some if I’d had the opportunity.

Well, today was the day my fears of being left behind were diminished when I came across The Book Store’s fake leather book covers for paperbacks! As an avid reader, who typically prefers soft covers over hard covers, I was thrilled to have discovered them. Not only were they geared toward the style of books I choose, but they were also my style decor. I selected the cover with the famous authors’ last names (as seen in the photographs). Isn’t she a beauty? There was even more than one size to choose from! For starters, I picked the smaller of the bunch, just to make sure it was the right change for me.

I found one good bookmark there as well. The quote describes my favorite way to start the day:

“Morning reflections. Savor the quiet moments.”

Shared with a hot cup of tea on a breezy, autumn day.