Jane Flanagan is an Irish journalist and blogger, now living in Toronto, Canada. Her blog Ill Seen, Ill Said (named after a work of short fiction by Samuel Beckett) is a showcase of Jane’s passions, from design and fashion to poetry, books and philosophy. Posts include a weekly installment of inspiring women from history and present day. Jane also recently launched a webshop called Coterie — a natural extension of her blog style.
The obvious gift for any book-lover is a precious tome. But being a book-lover infiltrates lives in more ways than the contents of a bookshelf. The reading experience is one that conjures scenes of tranquil reverie — a state that extends beyond the page.
[Left to right, top, middle and bottom rows: Leather cover for moleskin journal from zenokleather; Sterling silver “War and Peace” charm from charms4you; Humo vintage eyeglasses from MOD vintage; Old books photo print from sprinkles101; Red barnwood “Read” sign from SlippinSouthern; Leather pouch bag from harlex; Small brown leather satchel from BiChen; Ring with Alice in Wonderland quote from victoriabuckley; Mid century black metal wire mesh rack from VintageModernAndMore]
Reading is about curling up in a favourite armchair and feeling words change you utterly, move you deeply. So, if you’re looking for that perfect something, consider the stuff that enhances the experience of reading. This could be a cushion or blanket, the perfect mug to hold.
[Left to right, top, middle and bottom rows: Custom literary quote cuff bracelet from Fireweedimpressions; Ode to J.D. Salinger tote bag from I Miss You Already; Typography-inspired Pride and Prejudice dishtowel from Brookish; Antique brass English candlesticks from cottagefarm; Cross pillow from enhabiten; Vintage gooseneck lamp from Route11vintage; Fusion felt sleave for iPad from Feruto; Vintage French balusters from La Pomme; Vintage paper and ephemera pack from ethanollie]
Some readers like to cozy up at home and some like to take books with them, to coffee shops and brunch spots. For the latter, every purse or bag is judged by its ability to hold a decent tome and the more battered the better. And, of course, nowadays that could also be an iPad or eReader case.
[Left to right, top, middle and bottom rows: Leather iPad2 case from Memories & Merriment; Vintage My Lady personalized bookplate from FromTheLibraryOf; Letterpress card with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quote from Letterary Press; Paperweight with Jane Austen quotation from Bixler & Johnson; Virginia Woolf letterpress print from Katherine Codega; White patterned lace damask mug from JustWork; The Dickinson — personalized book plate from Wishing Thorn; The English Major print from Janet Hill Studio; Burgundy wine fingerless gloves from Nawanowe]
But beyond the act of reading, a book-lover’s obsession infiltrates their life and home in other ways. It could be a tea towel with a favourite quote, or a tote bag with a literary wink. And it will most certainly involve the art of book display too. Because, as any book-lover knows, a room without books cannot be called a home.