The article’s about a guy who turned an old silo into a three-storey library with a spiral staircase in the middle. Too cool. But I loved this quote:
“I can’t imagine living without books. If I go out to dinner at someone else’s home, and they don’t have books visible, I wonder if I want them as friends,” said Barbara Farnsworth, an antiquarian bookseller in West Cornwall, Conn.
It’s so true! I always find it disturbing to be in a house that lacks books. Like, do I have anything in common with these people? I remember a time I was house-sitting, and I kept wandering around the house thinking “something’s not right” but not clueing in to what it was, and then I realized. No books! I gasped. I did another circuit of the house to check and make sure, but no, it was true. Not a single one! I was quite literally shocked.
I also find it disturbing when a house lacks living things other than people (i.e. plants and/or pets) and personal mementos (not tchotchkes, but photographs and other items of personal significance). Without those things, it seems like a hotel room, not a home.
When I was in my last year of high school I babysat for this “rich” family. (I put in rich in quotations because it turned out they were in fact living beyond their means. ) Anyhow, I’d never seen anything like the house they lived in. I mean, not the house itself, it was typical for the neighborhood. But the interior. It had clearly been “done” by a decorator. Everything matched, from the furniture to the paint colors to the accessories (they were clearly accessories, not personal items). For instance, there was a white baby grand piano in the living room. I’m sure no one in that house played piano. There was never anything out of place, no magazines on the coffee table or toys on the floor or anything like that. It was stunning. And completely sterile. The only room I felt comfortable in was the unfurnished playroom (the room builders call the “bonus” room) that held all the kids’ toys. After the perfection of the rest of the house, it was delightfully messy.