“I hate going into a house without books. It makes me wonder what the people do.” — Mary Herbert, English major and real estate broker
I have never lived in any place where there weren’t books. I grew up in a house filled with books, and my first home away from home was a college dorm room in which books were part of the furniture. The houses of my extended family were likewise filled with books, and we always gave and received books as gifts for Christmas and birthdays.
The chief selling point for the house in which I currently live was the study — a room that could be entirely devoted to books. Unfortunately, the room has a double window and double French doors, but most days I don’t begrudge the loss of wall space too much because both allow in lots of natural light, which is ideal for reading.
There is something about books that makes a place seem comfortable. High-end furniture stores often carry elegantly crafted faux books for accessorizing the well-appointed room: leather binding with gold trim, stamped with classic titles. I’ve seen them in model homes, classy hotels, and fancy office suites. Restaurants seeking to strike a homey note with their decor place discarded textbooks and hardback novels among the baskets, antique dishware, and silk plants on their ornamental shelves.
So what, then, DO people who live in houses without books do? My best guess would be that they spend all their time making sure there aren’t any books in their houses.