Posted by: Corri van de Stege | July 29, 2007

Musings on books, rooms and telly programmes on books…

I like Graham Swift’s ‘Writers’ Room’, this week’s peek into well-known writers’ rooms. As he says, it has just the right mixture of being messy and chaotic with that of tidying books away neatly on shelves around the room.  I think his working space is fabulous, a large wooden surface is fitted across the width of the room undeneath a large window, which for some unfathomable reason, he has pemanently covered with blinds.  I would not.

My own room, which has two large windows letting in oodles of light and sky and sunshine, as well as a bit of a view of the neighbour’s house – but then you cannot have it all can you – is divided between work space, the day job, and my own space.  In fact I have two separate desks, one with the work computer, files etc. and this one that I use for my private and personal work: blogging, e-mails, writing, tranasferring music to my iPod, digital photographs, etc.   I’ve got my own laptop for that and books are usually piled up on my left whereas if I shift to my right I look out of the large front window. 

My work computer as well as my PDA is in fact squeezed on a desk between the front window and the side window, in the corner of the room, whith an extended space underneath the side window, covered in files and heaps of paper, as well as a radio. 

I have a very comfortable sofa against the backwall, in between two large bookcases.  From this sofa I have a majestic view out of both windows,overlooking the neighborhood, the street in front of the house beyond the garden, trees and a dose of varying turneresque sky on a daily basis.

 Melvyn Bragg laments the fact there there are so few bookprogrammes on mainstream channels in Britain.  One of the reasons, he suspects, is because people who decide to work in television are no longer attracted to producing bookprogrammes, ‘which have always come about from the enthousiasm of individual producers’.  And he adds ‘perhaps this is just a fashionable or philistine blip and more normal service will be resumed soon’…  Although I would welcome listening to writers a bit more than I am able to, I’m not sure whether I would have the time to watch lots of book programmes on tv.  As it is I am quite pleased when I manage to read the Saturday and Sunday press in depth for all the new books and gossip about books on offer! 


  1. Nothing strange that the telly concerns itself with only programmes that are watched by masses. Elite programmes not attracting that much audience the ads are meant for.

    A good description of your “lab”, seachanges.

  2. Lovely post.

    While I strive to maintain a tidy study, I allow a tolerable amount of mess–a small pile of loose papers here and there, a couple books neither I prefer shelfed nor read. 🙂 I don’t know how to explain, but just the right amount of chaos constitute an air of bookishness, just like when you walk into a neighborhood bookstore with creaky wooden floor.

  3. Jose: glad you like my lab!
    Matt: know what you mean about books ‘neither shelved nor read’: I have plenty of those lying about… keep telling myself that one of these days I will do something with them..

  4. The neither-shelfed-or-read pile could be books people gave me, titles that are slow-going, volumes that are always handy. But the bootom line is I like the sight of books all over the place. 🙂

  5. So do I…

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