Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Scene of the Blog Featuring Jennifer of An Abundance of Books!

This week's featured book blogger is an elementary school librarian who currently lives and works in Dubai.

It's strange sometimes how blog design can convey a message, and whenever I visit Jennifer of An Abundance of Books, her blog design tells me I've stopped by a happy, enthusiastic place that loves books.

Looks are not deceiving. Jennifer reviews an eclectic mix of books and participates in a number of reading challenges. Although her reading is varied, her feature Tots to Teens and in beTween, in which Jennifer highlights quality books for parents to share with their kids, is very near and dear to her heart. If you've never stopped by An Abundance of Books, I hope you take the opportunity to do so today. I think you'll like what you see!

Before we get to the good stuff, don't forget that you can click on any of the photos below if you'd like to see them in a larger size. Oh, Jenniferrrrr... you have some visitors!

Jennifer's living room
I do some blog reading and the bulk of my book reading in the living room.  We have piles of books in both bedrooms but the shelves in our living room are where we keep most of them.  When we lived in Kuwait I used to just keep my "pretty" books here and had them organized by topic and size with series staying together.  We had an office with 3 shelving units where we kept all the other books.

Living room shelves

When we moved to Dubai we had to consolidate to one shelving unit and now it's pretty much organized by series and whatever fits. We used to have decorative items sitting in front of the books, but all of our tchotchkes have migrated up the shelves as the kid gets taller.  The very top of the shelf is filled with things we've rescued from around the apartment. (Even though my son has broken a few things he's only ever messed up one book.)

Jennifer's Office
My office, or The Bat Cave as my husband calls it, is where I do the bulk of my blogging.  Unfortunately it also doubles as a storage room since our apartment is short on space.  It's filled with pictures, decorations, documents, and assorted stuff that there's no place for in the rest of the apartment.  We used to keep it pretty tidy until my son became mobile and now it's overloaded with things that we want to keep away from him. I have to clean up my desk every few weeks because it tends to attract loads of papers, books, and lesson planning materials.  Typically the only free space is directly in front of the keyboard and the mouse normally ends up on a stack of books somewhere.  (My husband once asked me if I was building a fort.)

In the picture looking into the room the chair is pushed all the way into the corner so you can see how narrow the office is.  The door doesn't open all of the way because we have some shelving back there filled with stuff.  Looking out of the office from my desk you can see I have another set of shelves that would be a great place to put books but it's kind of gotten filled with… more stuff.  Once upon a time we were very organized but then the baby was born.  (The novelty scarf hanging off the desk is something I wear at school for UAE National Day - it has a picture of Sheik Muhammed on it and says "I ♥ UAE".)

Jennifer's desk in The Bat Cave
On my desk I have some knickknacks that we've picked up when traveling: an evil eye from Turkey, a Balinese dancer carving to hide my external hard drive, and a 1920s picture of the pyramids.  (My best friend and I read "The Egypt Game" in fourth grade and vowed we'd go to Egypt one day, so the picture means a lot to me.)  I also have my work/blogging calendar so I can keep track of things (but I also use iCal), notes for a book I just finished, notebooks filled with book quotes I liked, and assorted office stuff.  The pile of books is not a TBR stack but a mix of books.  Some I need to read, a few need reviews to be written, but most I'm finished with and are waiting to be shelved but there's no free shelf space yet.  See the four foot tall windows behind my desk?  Those open up into an air shaft.  In Kuwait I had a view of the Persian Gulf or the desert and in Dubai I get an air shaft.

Jennifer's son "blogging"

After looking at your photos, I wouldn't need to be told that you live in a hot and very sunny climate. It has something to do with the drapes in your home and the way the light shows behind them-- and the fact that I live in a desert, too!

By the looks of things, it won't be long until you have a highly qualified assistant blogger on your hands!

Thanks for allowing us this glimpse into your home and creative spaces, Jennifer. We really appreciate it!

Stop by next Wednesday when I'll be featuring another book blogger from our worldwide community.


  1. Thank you so much for having me over, I had fun with this. And my son liked running into all of the pictures. :)

  2. Nice living room. I saw straight away that this wasn't a living room in the US, but further than that, I wasn't sure until I saw Dubai mentioned. :-)

    Great computer!

  3. Jennifer's little assistant is adorable. I'm going to check out her blog now.

  4. We have the same computer Jen! YAY MACS! And look at your pretty bookshelves, I really need to invest in some of those. All my books are currently on the floor of the guest room and it's getting a bit ridiculous:)

  5. Thanks for sharing your home and workspace, Jennifer. I've never 'met' anyone who lives in Dubai before. Blogging is wonderful. :)

    Great pix of your son 'blogging.' I can see he makes for a great assistant. :)

  6. @ Lee Swammes - Was it the tile floors that gave it away? I haven't seen carpeting since we left the US.

    @ Bermuda Onion - Thank you, I like him too. :)

    @ Jenny - I used to work on a laptop and then I got my husband's desktop when he upgraded. I love the giant screen, I don't think I can ever go back to a laptop.

    I know there's no IKEA in Columbus, but I like these because they're deep enough to hold opts of books and stuff.

    @ Yvette - I figured blogging was a good excuse to stay inside when it's really hot out. :)

  7. I must check out Jennifer's blog. What an interesting life they must lead, and great experience for her son.

  8. You can never start them blogging too young ;-)

    I'm going to pop over and check out Jennifer's blog!

  9. Jennifer, thanks for sharing your space with us. I like the clean lines and white floors of your living room. It's always interesting to see the differences in styles of homes other parts of the world, or even within the US. I bet Dubai is a very interesting place to live.

  10. Barbara-- I think it's wonderful for children to have that kind of experience.

    Debbie-- I love it when a plan comes together! ;-)

  11. @ Barabara - It is a great experience for kids, we've been very happy so far.

    @ Leslie - I've gotten used to the white. Our walls are made out of concrete (no drywall at all) so paint just gets soaked up and doesn't really cover. Dubai has been a very fun place to be so far - it's like Disney Land for adults, it's insane. :)


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