My Paradise, My Promised Land

Today’s Daily Prompt is a great one. It asks “A genie has granted your wish to build your perfect space for reading and writing. What’s it like?”

Oh my, my perfect room for reading and writing. The luxury, the peace, the comfort, the books. I know where to start, a few years ago I saw a photo of the library in one of Sir Richard Burton’s houses. It had floor to ceiling bookshelves that were not only along one wall but came out into the room with books on both sides. In the alcoves formed by the shelves were different chairs and lounges and the opposite wall had windows to let in light.

So start there. Lots of bookshelves and I mean lots — we’re going to need more than a thousand or two of shelf feet. At the moment I have around two hundred shelf feet in this house and I’m running out of room even with the paperbacks two deep. The shelves are going to hold more than books. They are going to have interesting nick-nacks — Pez dispensers and a few memento mori of jobs, travel and people. They are also going to hold Lego models, Origami and other craft I’ve built from paper and cardboard.

Places to sit. I need at least one good quality recliner (the one I inherited from my parents would be perfect once I get it re-upholstered for the fourth time), a three seat lounge and a chaise. A bay window with a window seat would be nice. A three seat lounge in a window. Near every seat you need to have somewhere to put down a cup of coffee or a cold drink. It might be nice to have a few bookmarks on the same spot, I never seem to be able to find a bookmark.

Then a desk. It doesn’t need to be too big, for me a big desk just attracts clutter. It needs to be big enough for a 27” monitor, a couple of books, a pad, some pens and perhaps the speakers for the sound system (though there are probably other speakers elsewhere in the room). Either on one end of the desk or on a table nearby is an espresso machine, a biscuit tin and a candy barrel and tucked under the desk is a bar fridge.

The desk needs to look out a window onto something nice and green — trees or a lawn and gardens though it might be nice to have wooden venetians on the window.

The desk chair needs to have arms and the ability to tilt back. My current desk chair would be fine.

On the walls not covered by shelves are some interesting photos and prints. My print of the Sistine Chapel ceiling and my print of a pencil sketch of the Piazza San Marco are two examples. Some are certainly visible from the desk chair.

There are a number of things that aren’t in here. First and foremost is a telephone. No television, no games.

I need a way to adjust the level of the lighting easily with overhead lights, standard lamps and table lamps all with dimmers as well as blinds and curtains on all the many windows. A skylight or two would be good and I can even imagine a couple of those nooks with a stained glass window.

Finally we need that genie to stay around, a genie to keep the desk tidy and free of coffee cups, make sure the biscuit tin is full and the waste paper basket is empty — but never to move a book or a piece of paper. The genie can also keep the books straight and almost in the proper place, I like to have a little disorder when I’m looking for a book to read as it gives it an element of kismet.

That’s not just a place for reading or writing, it’s my nerd cave, my sanctuary from the world, a place of rest and writing and reading and working. My Xanadu, my stately pleasure dome, though mine would not, I hope, have caves of ice.