appendix vo. 11 (bookish)

We are smack in the middle of some home renovations, almost finished with one space and now moving on to two others. I’m using this excuse to explain my absence this past week, but really, the older I get the more I realize my capabilities of doing only several things well. I pushed against this from year 25-38, but no longer. I am no Wonder Woman and this is something I’ve learned to accept and not bemoan (much.)

At any rate, we are knee deep in dust, MDF, paint cans, and not-yet-placed furniture. Not to mention the piles and piles of books that have been displaced all over the rest of our home. It’s a mess, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel (and the enthusiasm about some newly acquired antique pieces.)

For my appendix post this week, I wanted to share only a few things about books. Trust me when I say that I could author a blog exclusively about my love of books, literature, and all things “bookish”, so it always pains me to share simply bits and bobs, here and there. There’s so much for the literature-loving soul to feast on. I hope to pen many more posts about the topic in the future, but for today, this will have to do.

My friend Noelle and I talk often about one day owning a used bookshop. We are both avid book collectors (amateur) and if I had to chronicle the amount of texts we have exchanged about literature, I could write…well….a book. Many would agree with me when I say that the death of the independent book store is imminent (see here from 2011), but for some strange reason I still romanticize the idea of one day shuffling around a small brick and mortar cottage-style dwelling, adding and removing books from the shelves and helping the wanderer find “just the right thing” that will satisfy their bibliophilic itch. Maybe one day……


  • I stumbled on this documentary and immediately clicked to view, without even asking my husband if he wanted to watch (sorry Sean.) It was delightful. While it narrowly focused on the lives of antiquarian booksellers, it still conveyed the uniqueness of the people who absolutely adore and respect books, their value, and their purpose. It can be found on Amazon Prime – if you do watch, please share your thoughts with me. I’d love to hear what you thought.
  • Have you ever heard of “hidden Fore-edge paintings”? I can’t tell you how delighted this bit of book magic made me. It’s essentially a painting that is drawn on the leaves of a book. Back when we were all wandering through museums, it wasn’t uncommon to see paintings and drawings on the page edges, but hidden ones? I had no idea! Visit here and here to learn more. I might be scouring some of my more antique books to see if any of them hold this secret.
  • As someone who rescues any/all discarded Bibles at estate sales, this site made me heart-warmed.
  • “Must-read” book lists are a dime a dozen and who’s to say which is the best? I did find this one rather good (although I would add a few and dismiss a few others….) What do you think of it? What would you add or subtract? I got a little irritated that Little Woman and Les Miserables were left off. Perhaps they could swap out The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for one of those?

And what would a “bookish” post be without a few book recommendations? These selections are straight from our coffee table and books that we are either currently reading as a family or have just completed. We love them all: Redwall, Land of Hope, A Year With Miss Agnes, and Up From Slavery.


I hope you all have a peaceful weekend – we are having dinner with friends tonight and tomorrow Sean and I will be assembling some new bookshelves. One day we will get those floor-to-ceiling bookcases – complete with a ladder!


  1. As always, your post brings me cheer and new links/books to follow, thank you! I’m about to have my gallbladder out this morning, and I look forward to checking out that documentary this weekend as I recover. 🙂
    Have you heard of the Close Reads Podcast and Goldberry bookstore? You’re closer to it than I am (all the way in California!), it might be worth a visit if you find yourself near it! It might scratch that itch for a real little bookstore. 🙂


  2. There cannot be enough book recommendations! I miss Brontë’s Wurthering Heights and I recently read Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge by Evan S. Connell, I might add those two as well. I’m recovering from a minor ankle procedure, so I completely agree with the first commenter: all recommendations for distractions of the finer kind are welcome!
    And cannot wait for updates on the renovations!
    Have a nice weekend!


  3. The paintings on the books!!!! Oh my!!! Now I need one in my collection!!! It’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen!!! And I too and my hoping and dreaming for floor to ceiling shelves with a ladder!! 🥰


  4. Hey, Rachel! I loved this post…so much bookish goodness! I can’t wait to see your renovations! (I just emailed you and forwarded a newsletter from Sarah Clarkson you might enjoy.)
    Love, Nicki


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