Sunday, August 26, 2012

Books By the Foot

Now I've seen it all. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I just found a Web site by accident called Books By the Foot. They sell hardcover books. By the foot. These books are meant for display, not reading, so titles are not listed. Buyers include interior decorators and homeowners who want to add a whiff of culture to their homes by displaying artistically arranged books. You literally buy the books by the inch, be it 12 inches worth of books or 12 feet (or 100 feet).

You can specify if you want a color scheme, such as all earthtone book covers, or all green or blue books, or maybe you want all vintage-look books. Or how about monochromatic "wrapped" books where all books are wrapped in colored paper according to your color scheme. If you like uniformity, you can buy sets of encyclopedias, or indulge in "boutique" books with theme-type covers, such as African animal prints--zebra, leopard, giraffe, etc. You can buy books by subject matter, or "chopped" books that have had the bottoms lopped off to make them fit smaller shelves.

My personal favorite, one I must admit I very much liked the look of, was the Newspaper Decoupage Accent line, where book spines were covered in vintage-look newspapers. For about $25 per linear foot, you can have this distinctive accent for your bookshelves!

Photo credit: Books By the Foot
I'll admit that I love the look of rows and rows of books lined up artistically in bookshelves, with the occasional knick-knack or treasured memento tucked among the books here and there. That's how many rooms in my house look: lots of bookshelves filled with books and treasures. The difference is that every book was hand-picked by me, and most of them have been read by me. To date, I have over 5,000 books, most of them hardbacks, many purchased for a song from library book sales. I love these books, and love how they give warmth and character to a room. But I do find it a little sad to think of books merely as objects to be looked at but not to be read.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Autumn Approaches

I love summer. I love the warmth that goes bone deep. I love how the sunshine makes every living plant go into Mach 3 overdrive. I love having to wear sunglasses just to go out to the mailbox. I love seeing the temperature climb to 80, 85, and even into the 90s.

I hate that summer lasts only 3 months.

I fear summer is waning here in the sunny Pacific Northwest. After a month of unseasonably hot weather, there has been a subtle shift in the air. Whereas for the past month it's been so hot that some of my windows have remained permanently open, even when I went to bed, the nights have been getting colder. For the first time in over a month since the hot weater hit, I went around the house closing all the windows tonight. The past few days have been coolish and overcast. This evening I had to put on a sweater because my T-shirt isn't warm enough. I just checked the thermometer on the wall in the hallway and it's 66 degrees. Autumn is nearly here.

But ever the optimist, I shall not begin mourning the passing of summer until I have to turn on my furnace for the first time since June.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Slicing and Dicing

I've been such a foodie lately, baking and mixing and stirring, slicing and dicing and stir-frying, sprinkling spices and seasonings with abandon--a little on the food, a little under the arms.  There's nothing nicer than smelling like oregano.

With all this hot weather, the squash in my veggie garden is taking off, with leaves as big as elephant ears, and squash growing so fast you can almost hear it lengthening.  I have yellow crookneck, patty pan, hubbard, and I forget what the other squash is.  Soon I'll be making squash bread and freezing it or giving away as much as I can.  I'll never forget the time my then-new neighbor decided to have a veggie garden--his first--and he ignored my advice about NOT planting zucchini.  Everyone knows zucchini is the kudzu of the Northwest.  I came home from work one day, and all the mailboxes out on the road were filled with zucchini.  A whole line of mailboxes, bulging with obscene green zukes the size of zeppelins.  It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen.  This neighbor was crafty.  He sneaked the zukes into the mailboxes after dark.

I never grow zukes, but I have enough other squash plants to keep me in squash for months. It's amazing how many things you can make with such a versatile vegetable!