Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Scene of the Blog Featuring Alex of The Sleepless Reader!

A truly voracious reader is always on the look-out for recommendations and for kindred spirits, and as a result one of the best resources can be the comments on your own posts.

I have regulars here who are all known to me and loved, and I subscribe to their blogs, but when someone new takes the time to read something I've written and to leave a comment, I have to admit that I become very curious and check to see if the newcomer has a blog. This is how I met this week's featured book blogger, Alex of The Sleepless Reader. A comment was left; and I donned my deerstalker cap and hoisted my magnifying glass. The game was afoot!

The trail led me to a neat and minimalist design in which the content stands out clearly: in depth book reviews, reading lists, gift lists, and an eclectic mix of books. This traveling book blogger can now be found in Brussels, Belgium, enjoying its chocolates, Art Nouveau buildings and graphic novel mania. If you've never visited The Sleepless Reader before, I hope you take the time to do so, and please say hello to Alex while you're there!

While you're looking at Alex's blogging space, don't forget that you can click on each photo to view it full size.

My own little corner of the world is Brussels although I’m originally from Portugal. All the magic happens from that corner of the sofa you see over there. There are no desks in the house or a fixed computer, so that’s the nervous centre of my blogging and also reading, mostly by night after work. You’ll notice the can of Coke-Light, which fuels the whole endeavour and my Moleskine Passion Book, which I carry everywhere and where I note down any thoughts on the book(s) I’m currently reading.

Behind the couch you’ll see the biggest bookcase in the house. I have the firm belief that the harmony of my home rests on how my boyfriend and I decided to share the bookcases :) He gets the two right columns; I get the three left ones.  Only 3 of the cubes are “already read”, the rest is all TBR.

The same thing happens with the smaller bookcase, of which I get to use all but two cubes. These are my dedicated Jane Austen shelves, where I keep all her books, biographies, sequels and such, together with my collection of Pride and Prejudice in different languages. 

So far I have it in 26: Danish, Greek, Czech, Hebrew, Italian, Turkish, Romanian, Korean, German, Norwegian, Japanese, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), English, Chinese, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Russian, Catalan, Croatian, Dutch, Farsi, Spanish and Swedish.

So if anyone out there has access to a different translation, I’m more than happy to make a switch with something on your wishlist! 

Over to you Cathy!

I know there are dedicated Austen fans who visit Kittling: Books, so I hope someone can help Alex! In the mean time, I'll be honest and tell all of you that when I saw that first photograph, I began to drool. That room has so much ambiance-- and I absolutely love those windows! I still find myself craning my neck trying to get a good look at the view outside the glass, and the apartment must look wonderful on a sunny day with the light flooding in.

How many of you own multiple copies of a favorite book? I have French editions of some of Diana Gabaldon's novels, but the rest of the books I own that are in other languages are single copies, like a children's book written in Lakota and several dictionaries for languages such as Gaelic, Apache, Navajo, and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Oh! I almost forgot-- I have Spanish and French editions of the Bible as well. Having Alex enumerate all the different editions she owns of Pride and Prejudice makes me want to do the same with one of my favorites!

Thank you so much for this glimpse into your creative spaces, Alex; they're lovely!

Don't forget to stop by next Wednesday when I'll be featuring another person from our wonderful, worldwide community of book bloggers!


  1. Thanks for showing us into your house, Alex. I love that living room. But so many unread books? I would be so stressed. I'm down to 27 now, I think and that's bad enough.

    Great division of bookshelves! Actually, in the living room 100% of the shelves are mine. Your boyfriend is lucky he gets 2 columns!

  2. Like I said over a my blog, I feel like on Elle Decoration for Book Bloggers :)

    I'm glad that my collection is not so crazy here as it is in "the real world". The first questions people usually ask when I tell them about it is: "But can you read in all those languages?" and when I say no, the then ask "then why?!"... and I think I lose their respect for ever...

  3. I enjoyed meeting Alex - and learning about her fascinating reading challenge, One Two Theme that I am tempted to join :)

  4. I adore this subdued space and all those neat shelves! Another Jane Austen blogging and RL buddy Anna would drool over that Austen collection.

    So originally from Portugal? I presume you mean the mainland and not the Azores where my family is from (at least part of it). Wonderful.

    I'm going to have to check out this blog. I wonder how she ended up in Brussels?!

  5. @Molly: drop me a line if you decied to join with the Impressionists theme. I've got a couple of recommendations!

    @Serena (love the name btw...): Acores might just be my favorite part of Portugal outside Lisbon (although Alentejo is a runner-up). Which island is your family from? One of my best friends here in Brussels is from Pico and I spent the most amazing summer in Sao Miguel.

  6. love that living room window. I want to step over and take a peek out...

  7. Now that's dedication to Jane Austen! Loved the bookcase pics!

  8. I love Alex's space - I'm going to check out her blog now.

  9. What a pretty blog space Alex. I am sure you must get a nice view out those windows.

    As for your TBR pile you are not alone. I am sure quite a few of us can relate to that.

    I am off to check out your blog now.

  10. @everyone who liked my window :): we live in a building that's "protected" because of its art-nouveau facade. Sometime we wake up, look out the window still sleepy, with hair stuck in the air and tourists across the street are taking photos at us!

    TBR: a shameful 171 books...

  11. I am drooling over your shelves. What a lovely space to hold such treasures.

  12. I'm drooling over that living room reading spot and the windows. I do miss living in the city. As for multiple copies, I have several first editions of books by Hal Borland, the naturalist. I used to work for his widow.

  13. Those book shelves are so beautifully organised - I wish mine looked that good :-)

  14. Alex, what a GREAT reading space! And what a fantastic idea to collect P&P in so many languages... very cool!

  15. Lovely post!

    In this home my husband spends most money on books (theology and philosophy), and that is great because it means I can buy plenty of my second-hand crime novels without feeling guilty ;D

  16. I run to my computer every week just to see the wonderful spaces you have featured! I love this feature and have found many new blogs to read. Thanks so much!

  17. I took the road on the other direction. Came to this blog from Alex's!
    Having recently visited that room, I am very proud of my friend that she's featured here. She has a true shrine over there ;)
    Being a reader myself, I am very curious about this feature (and probably much more) from your blog Cathy!

  18. joemmama-- You're very welcome! I'm so glad you enjoy this feature!

    Mady-- I'm very happy that you visited!

  19. That is such a nice space! I'm totally jealous.


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