Friday, December 27, 2019

The Ultimate Library

The stuff that dreams are made of....

Continuing my random journey around the internet in search of visual treasures, I found what certainly must be The Ultimate Library. I found this picture on Pinterest this morning. Wouldn't it be grand to have a two-story set of bookcases, requiring a ladder or staircase to reach the upper half of the shelves?

I'm sitting in my own library this morning as I write this post, and looking around me I realize that my own library is pretty nice too. My library hardly holds all of my books, far from it. I store my reference books for the SYW, AWI, Napoleonic era, some GNW books and my  collection of wargaming books ( Grant family, Featherstone, Peter Young, etc). My large ACW book collection is shelved in other areas of my house. All of my Ospreys and uniform reference books are in the wargame room in the basement.

Here are a few pictures of my library. I am sitting on the leather settee as I write:

The view from the entryway, looking to the right.

The view from the entryway, looking left.
The rolltop desk was given to me by my late father. It is one of a matching pair that he purchased in London, circa 1972.

My one regret is that I did not put a fireplace in the room. We rehabbed the entire house before we moved in back in 2004, and our architect told me that he could install a fireplace in the room, probably where the armchair and window are today. I'm kicking myself for not taking him up on the offer. The small television seems a bit out of place in this room.

The bookshelves are groaning from the weight of my books.
The white porcelain is  Lord Nelson, a gift from my wife. The John Bull statue is one of my favorite pieces. I bought it with the intent of turning it into a desk lamp, but I have never gotten around to doing that. On the shelf second from the bottom is my small collection of Frederick the Great statues and busts that I have acquired on my world travels.

One of the other bookshelves in the library. Note the collection of Napoleon figures on the second shelf. The collection has expanded greatly since this picture was taken about 5 years ago. The equestrian statue is Robert E. Lee on his horse Traveler, sculpted by Ron Tunstall. The grenadier mitre is a reproduction made by Military Heritage in Canada.

My library has a set of pocket doors that I can slide shut to keep out the noise or to have some privacy whilst I meditate and have great thoughts (or read another Christopher Duffy book).


  1. The photo you found would mirror my thoughts of a dream library too. What a wonderful space!

  2. A highly inviting space, Jim.

    Best Regards,


  3. A lovely library indeed and your bolt hole is something I can only dream of! The best library I've seen was in a small Austrian monastery, where their security was a piece of paper on the door that ex-communicated anyone who stole a book! As an aside, they had a room where Prince Eugene of Savoy was due to stay, but never showed up. Nice to have seen his room though.

  4. Interesting library thoughts everyone. We deactivated the open fire and chimney. I am tempted to get a wood burning stove but never quite get round to it.

  5. Very nice pics of your room Jim. I would rather have yours than the big overwhelming one, it's hard enough to find time to peruse my own modest library often enough without a staircase-worth too. What is the rather fine looking picture on the right hand wall of the first of your library pics? Can we have a better look one day please? Chris

  6. A beautiful room! You have your own "stuff that dreams are made of"! Just looking at the photos of the room is relaxing. John