Hi Friends!

Finally a page that is all about the books!  I have always been a reader and I tend to hold on to my books if at all possible.  There is unfortunately a limit to the number of books I can fit in my house.  There are currently 23 bookcases of various shapes and sizes in my house.  My sister has two bookcases in her house, and when they end up with more books than can fit on the two bookcases, they get rid of some books.  When I end up with more books than can fit on my bookcases, I buy another bookcase hahaha.  But there is no more room in the house for more bookcases so sometimes I do have to grit my teeth and donate some books to charity.

I have probably mentioned this before, but some years ago, I rearranged all of my fiction books by the colour of the spines.  All the coloured spine books are all together arranged in rainbow colours (not rainbow order!)  Some people do this purely for decoration and hire interior designers to seek out books with coloured spines just so they can have this effect but it seems pointless to me if you aren’t using your own books or plan to read them!  All the black and white spine fiction books are in another room.  You might think that this system would make it impossible to find anything but it’s surprising how quickly you get used to it.  Remember that the books are arranged by the colour of the spine, not the colour of the cover which is often different, so it’s no good to remember that the cover might be red, if the spine happens to be black.  When I worked in the library I would often get people looking for a book and all they could remember was that the book was blue.   My first degree is in Library & Information Science, and “collection development” has always appealed to me, though this arrangement would never work in a library lol.  Outside of the fiction collection in my “library” I have the non-fiction arranged by subject, in other areas of the house – gardening books, cookbooks, art books, craft books, IT books, design books, history books, travel books, books about books, and so on.

Wigtown Booktown . . .

Since we are on the subject of books, it would be remiss of me not to mention Wigtown, which is a small town in the south west of Scotland and Wigtown was officially designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998. The reason it was given this designation was because there were so many bookshops there.    There are currently sixteen bookshops in Wigtown, though I am fairly sure there used to be about 30 bookshops.  Sixteen is more than sufficient though and there are about half a million books available to peruse.   The owner of one of the bookshops, Shaun Bythell, has written a couple of books about what it’s like to be a bookseller which are quite fun – The Diary of a Bookseller and Remainders of the Day. If you look at this link you will see the covers of both books feature the bookshop cat!

Today’s Art . . .

Today’s art is another page for my theme on Art Journal Journey for this month – Books, Cats and Tea, which are three of my very favourite things. No cats on this page unfortunately, but we have books and references to tea.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë has been a long time favourite book since I was a kid.  It’s not without it’s problems which as a younger reader I didn’t notice at all, but there is still something about it that I like.  The copy of the book in the above photo is one that I picked up in a charity shop for 10p.  it was published in 1960 and the pages are suitably aged.  I used pages from this book as my background.

In the photo below, I have underlined some of the text where Jane is in the library and she talks about the type of books she finds in there.

In this photo, I have underlined the passage about tea with Mr Rochester.  I did go through the book specifically to find these passages about the library and tea to use on my page.

Again, in this photo, there is another passage from the book that I chose specially.  It is the opening paragraph of chapter 38 which starts with the famous first line of “Reader, I married him”.  That might be a spoiler if you haven’t read the book, but since it’s been in publication since 1847 there is a good chance that you’ve read it!

Because of the book and library theme going on with this page, I also made a small library pocket where the issue card would live.  I stamped the “due dates” with the publication dates of the first three editions of this book.  It was first published on 16th October 1847, a second edition was quickly published three months later on 21st December 1847, and a third edition was published on 13th April, 1848.

The woman on the page is my version of what Jane Eyre might have looked like.  I had started off my page by drawing and painting her, and then adding the book paper to the background afterwards.  Jane did not have a happy upbringing so she looks suitably miserable.

The black and white floral paper is a Tim Holtz Wallpaper I found in a box of Halloween stuff from, ahem, 2018, yes I know, I know, it’s shocking isn’t it.  I remember at the time thinking that some of the stuff in that box was going to be limited editions for that Halloween only, so then I wouldn’t be able to buy more, and so then I ended up not using it at all!  I took a photo of the stuff in the box and will share it next month.

I used some Distress ink around the edges to make the pages look more aged than they already were, and then I found the inkwell and the pen and added them too.  The Ex Libris sticker I popped into the pocket to finish it off.

I have several copies of this book on my shelves, here’s a look at some of them.  (While I was pulling these off the shelves I also found four copies of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, without even trying lol.)

Let me know what you think in the comments.   As always, thanks for reading and Happy Journalling!

my handmade journal, watercolour paper, pages from Jane Eyre, TH worn wallpaper, stamperia diecuts, distress ink, glue, coloured pencils, pitt artist pens,


Art Journal JourneyBooks, Cats and Tea

6 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Erika N
September 27, 2023 10:37 pm

I am so glad you mentioned this post Elle (in your comment on my blog) because somehow I missed it, and I very much enjoyed it. First of all, I have 15 bookshelves (with no room for more) and 3 very tall piles of books next to my bed that my husband jokes is my new nightstand. 🙂 And those books look amazing all color coded. I remember you showing this or a similar photo before and I thought it was a cool idea. I started a second degree in LIbrary & Information SCience, and sadly only went half way through. First of all the school was about 3 1/2 hours away, which made commuting a bit of an issue, and also I had had my daughter, so doing it with a baby was even more difficult. Sadly I never got back to it. Since I ran out of space I figured I better say how much I like your Jane Eyre page and how you used the dates-and thanks for the story behind them. That background was very very clever also! Thanks for taking the time to write this post. I very much enjoyed it! hugs-Erika

September 27, 2023 12:39 am

Wow. I am in awe of your book collection. The colors are amazing!!!

Fab art – love your theme, your painting and your pocket! Seriously – this is soooooo cool.


Bleubeard and Elizabeth
September 26, 2023 6:15 pm

All the books in my office are by subject matter, like calculus, geometry, physics, statistics, etc. Not sure I could ever get used to hunting for books based on color, even though color drives my art AND each room in my home is color coded.

I like this latest take on your theme. I use book pages in my Cats AB, but I didn’t thing to create a page based on a specific book. Thanks for sharing this latest entry using your theme at AJJ, dear Elle.

I had to got through 8 different themes before they decided I wasn’t a robot

September 26, 2023 10:17 am

Beautiful this page with the woman and the book entry, beautifully designed!HUg Elke

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