Monday, June 17, 2013

A Library of Home: A Belated Father's Day Post

I have always been surrounded by books. My father is a professor, a collector, a connoisseur by nature, always has been. From what my Grandmama tells me, he read encyclopedias cover to cover as a little boy.

My first memories are of the books on shelves in our home that were covered in gold foiled lettered spines that meant nothing to me at the time, but everything to me now.

At some point in my life I began to doubt the collection of books that my father has amassed. I won't lie that I even began to question his sanity at a point or two. Floor to ceiling book shelves in his office that create a labyrinth to his desk...both at home and at his office at the University, layers of oriental rugs, books, bankers boxes and knowledge. Books in every room.

I spent this past weekend in New York City with my best friend wandering the streets and photographing a city that is near and dear to my heart. In all of its simplicity, a weekend away from our children, a weekend of wandering, devoid of plans or deadlines, we allowed ourselves to stumble upon things that we never would have otherwise. 

On Saturday afternoon, carts of books drew us in to this tiny bookstore, Alabaster Book Shop on 4th Ave in Greenwich Village. 

As soon as I walked in I was home. 

Floor to ceiling books, years of cultivation, layers of oriental rugs, bankers boxes, wooden ladders, labyrinths of shelves about a giant wooden desk that served as the checkout. Shelves that had long been outgrown. 

It was like a garden that began with carefully planned beds and had become wildly overgrown with the passion of its inhabitants. It was perfectly, natural, ordered, chaos. The finest of its kind. 

There wasn't a corner that was left untouched, antique furniture pieces filled with books, stacks of books, piles of books, table lamps to light your way, picture lights to highlight its best works of art.

I never wanted to leave. Much like my father's office and his home. A space filled with knowledge and love, passion and perfectly natural chaos. 

The finest of his kind.

Happy Father's Day Dad.

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