In my travels, I’ve been lucky enough to visit several majestic Stately Homes, such as The Breakers, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Biltmore, Chartwell and Sandringham House. You know these types of homes. Reined in by velvet-covered barrier ropes, you’re cautiously escorted through the Stately Home by a knowledgeable tour guide who relays various stories about the history and occupants of the Stately Home. And if you’re lucky, you get a humorous anecdote or two about incidents that happened in the home, giving you insight into the people who lived there.
I would say that if you really want some insight into the occupants of a Stately Home, check out their bookcases. As a self-confessed book addict, bookcases draw me like a magnet and the bookcase of a Stately Home is alluring because it provides a unique insight into the minds of the home’s owners. Some Stately Home bookcases have novels created by the fiction writers of that era. Other bookcases contain foreign language books in French, Latin or other languages or books about topics such as astronomy, biology or gardening.
And this philosophy works for modern life as well. If you’re ever visiting someone’s home and want to start a conversation, just check out the bookcase and comment on the books there. It works every time.
So, blog readers, tell me: What’s in your bookcases? Does your taste in books run the gamut or do you have a sizable collection devoted to one particular topic?