Posts filed under ‘bookroom’

Seasons and Windows

In the book after which this blog is named, there is the story of a girl in a beautiful white room. Her bed is white, the table is white, there is a soft white rug on the floor. Her silky, pale curtains shimmer like moonlight. She is happy. But in the garden outside her window, the winter slowly gives way to spring. Bluebells swarm beneath the oak tree, and the sky blazes above them. Oh, she sighs. If only I could have a blue room. Then I would have all I desire. A sprite, overhearing her, decides to grant her wish. The walls and the cushions and the embroidered couch in her room blush suddenly into myriad shades of blue: sky blue and cobalt and saphire, and her curtains are edged with the deep blue of the evening just before it gives way to black. Oh, she sighs, I am happy, I have all I desire. But outside, the sun shines, and the leaves ripen, and the world changes…

Months later, she sits in a bronze and copper room, gilded with gold. Its warmth and glow had once seemed all she would ever need. But – outside, the snow begins to fall, silently covering the garden. Oh, she sighs, if only I could have a room as white as snow, only then would I be content. The sprite, by now, is fed up. Now, you ungrateful wench, I will grant your wish, she snaps. And the room disappears. The girl shivers in the snow.

If you check this story against the original, I have probably misremembered the details. The beauty of this story was in the details: the descriptions of luxurious fabrics, the colours, the light. So, in honour of this story, I now have all the seasons. I have collected them in Northern Hemisphere trees. They remain a novelty to me, as does the sharpness of the air here, and the tone of the light.

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October 11, 2007 at 4:33 pm 4 comments

The Little Book Room

I read The Little Book Room back in the days when books didn’t have authors but were magical objects that somehow crossed from other worlds into this one. It was red, and worn, and smelled of old paper. It was a collection of stories, and the first story was about a special room, lined with books. I wanted that room, I wanted to be there. And then, miraculously, the book became the room. I have not seen this book since I was a child, but some of the stories are still precious to me. One of them was about a beautiful glass Christmas tree. In anther, a king had to go on an adventure to find a bride. His kingdom was bordered by a tall, thick hedge, beyond which was wasteland. His knights would jump over the hedge on their horses, and there was nothing there. But the children, who crawled under the hedge, knew that on the other side there was a magical forest. And one day, the king crawled under the hedge, and his adventures began.

The book was partly about these magnificent stories, and partly about the pleasure of reading them. That’s what this is about too. Books encountered and remembered. Not just books but the spaces they exist in. You’re welcome to join me, under the hedge.

May 2, 2007 at 3:11 pm 3 comments


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