Books On My
Bedside Table…

Dateline: 28 August 2014

I used to read blogs where the author would have information on the sidebar like, "What I'm making for  dinner," or "Books on my bedside table."  This was back before Facebook became so popular. I think that kind of running daily commentary has now migrated to Facebook. 

I don't do Facebook. Never have. Probably never will. But "Books on my bedside table" has always been something I've wanted to write about.

It seems to me that the usual "Books on my bedside table" list contains one or two titles. And when someone mentions the books on their bedside table (usually a woman) I envision a very neat and tidy bedside table, perhaps with a white starched doily under the books. 

Well, I'm here to tell you that my bedside table does not have a doily (and it doesn't have a book about doilies). 

My bedside table has the usual lamp, flashlight, a couple pens, Whizbang Pocket Notebooks, etc. etc., and a pile of books. When the book pile gets higher than the lamp, I start stacking books on the floor next to the bedside table. I could have a listing titled, "Books piled on the floor next to my bedside table."

My problem is manifold. I like books. I have a lot of books. I like to read books in bed. And my house is small with not enough room for enough bookcases to house my books.

I keep my books in boxes and a few bookshelves in a little room I added onto the back of my workshop years ago. When I want a book, I go out to my shop, find it, bring it in the house, then upstairs to the bedroom, and it usually stays there until the piles really annoy my wife, Marlene (who happens to love old doilies and actually does have one on her bedside table). 

Every four to six months I spend a couple hours boxing up the books, hauling them back to my workshop, and making my side of the bed all neat and tidy (for a little while).

One box of bedside books on the way back to my workshop.

In my dreams I will someday have a library room in my house. It will be a simple, cozy, man cave, with bookcases from floor to ceiling on a couple walls. An Eric Slaone print. Some family pictures. A writing desk. A comfortable stuffed chair. An ottoman to put my feet up on. A good lamp stand. A side table. It will be a relaxing space for quiet reading (and falling asleep). And every book will have its place. Yeah, I'm a dreamer.

If you click on the box of books picture above, you might be able to read some of the titles, and you'll discover that there is only one novel in there. I never finished reading it. I rarely finish novels. I'm just not much of a novel reader. I'm more interested in learning how to do something, or in better understanding concepts, issues and historical events.

So that's my "Books on my bedside table" blog post. Maybe someday I'll get around to the "What I'm making for dinner" blog post. I'm not much of a cook, so that ought to be interesting.


dfr2010 said...

What? No doily? No pattern books for doilies?!? Barbarian!

As for the bit about having a pile of books on the floor next to the nightstand ... I read that aloud to my husband and he laughed, as I have the same. At least one has doily patterns, though.

Anonymous said...

Book lover here. Why bother reading novels when there is a great tomato story out there somewhere?

SharonR said...

Envisioning a doily on the table, makes me think how we all think of cozier days when our mothers spent more time at home, doing work in the house, doing real house management and caring for the family through sick times and celebration times. Everyone needs to have a creative outlet, and for many, doily making was one way, along with quilting, etc. our mothers had.
House work is real work, and among the benefits are children who grow up remembering cozy days with doilies on the tables.

Aside from that, I have at least two of the books you have - Root Cellaring and the Shaker Garden one. I'd like to read the Spencer's Mountain. However, I have pledged to not buy any more new books for 1001 days (go see: I have so many! It's a real challenge. Wait. I just remembered I just bought one today. Forgot all about that goal for a flash of a "gotta have it" moment. Just ordered, "Fat of the Land" by John Seymour. Okay, no more from now on!

Unknown said...

Yes, pile on nightstand and stack on floor.
To start is my Nook. Currently reading James Michener's "The Source".
Four NOFA pubs:Organic Soil Fertility and Weed Management; Organic Dairy Production; Compost, Vermicompost and Compost Tea; and Whole Farm Planning. (not sure of punctuation)
Several back issues of Small Farmers Journal and Stockman Grass Farmer.
Natural Beekeeping
The Holistic Orchard
Roosevelt and Frankfurter
Lots of seed catalogs.
I am a voracious reader. Downstairs is The Resiliant Farm and Homestead and your two newest additions...Whizbang Gardening and Whizbang Cider.
And just for grins.....dinner was a gluten free pizza as my husband works for Against the Grain commercial bakery. We get the rejects for free!!
Tomorrow is chicken and veggies, all from the homestead. And our weapons are under the bed.
Thanks for showing us your box of books. Very interesting.

Herrick Kimball said...

Fun comments to read.

I checked out Against The Grain. Looks like a neat company. I also have a lot of magazines with my books. I decided to leave them out of the narrative. I'm making a big effort to cut back on magazines. I just resubscribed to Small Farmer's Journal's online edition for $9 a year. That's a mighty good deal. But I won't be able to read it if the grid goes down.

Spencer's Mountain was a disappointment. Don't buy a copy. E-mail your mailing address to me and I'll send you the book. A gift from me.

Doilies do hearken back to another time, and it wasn't really all that long ago. People kept themselves busy with various hand crafts. No time for that now with Facebook and Netflix and other electronic amusements. I am amazed at the fine craftswomanship reflected in the old lacework. I've often thought that I would like to frame some of the pieces against a black background. They are a pleasant form of art.

dfr2010 said...

Not everyone leaves doilies in the past. I still make them! Yes, I do have one on my nightstand that I made last year. I also made a filet crochet lace tablecloth this summer. I also knit, sew, embroider, and do calligraphy. I should probably specify that all but the sewing (and occasional large embroidery) are done by hand. I don ot have a Facebook account, or Netflix ... wonder if there is a correlation there?

Herrick Kimball said...


I think you are one of the rare exception. I admire your industriousness.

CLL said...

Books are a major part of my life. Currently reading Jane Eyre, Parnassus on Wheels, Charlotte Mason's first volume, various and sundry homesteading books, just finished reading Swallows and Amazons to my boys. Many years ago my collection had grown so large that I decided to make my books available to area homeschool families to check out. I now have over 17,000 "living books" and growing (including yours.) it's wonderful when my boys say, "Momma, do we have a books about ______," and we just go downstairs to the library to find one.

Thanks for sharing your list. Your blog is an inspiration.

Patti said...

I do in fact have that very same doily book...I love it, and have made several doilies from it. It does not, however, set on my bedside table. Probably because I don't have a bedside table!! I do, however, have a Facebook! :) I always enjoying checking in and catching up on your blog.