Libraries And Daydreams

20 Apr


When I was 17 years old, I lived in a tiny little box of a dorm room with my best friend in the entire world.  The room surely shouldn’t have fit one individual, unless that person were a toddler who liked feeling claustrophobic, but yet somehow we crammed two girls with considerable closets and a whole lot of hair products into that space.


It’s only for the young!

And even then!

Our dorm room was so small that it was basically impossible to keep it clean, and so we just kind of accepted the inevitable.  Our room/lives would always be a bit on the exploding side, and over time this became something of a game for me and Ashley.

Ashley being my roommate/best friend in the entire world/owner of lots of hair products.


Sorry, I know obvi is annoying, but it’s also how I talk right now.  I’m just keeping this as real as possible for my great-great-granddaughter Jillian Scarlett O’ Hara Zelda Edith Sylvia Jane Woolf who will one day read this and roll her eyes at my vernacular and then fly off to London on a broomstick.

I guess in the future we’re magic?

And my offspring are named after my literary heroines?


When our dorm room got particularly bad, Ashley and I would jump on our beds, wildly pointing her camera around the room.  We would then load the camera to her computer and see what mysteries our dorm room had in store for us in those pockets we couldn’t/wouldn’t see with our normal eyes.

These pictures then turned into a rather large slideshow of messy room photos that we showed people who came to our dorm, “I really like how that tan bra serves as a juxtaposition to the black blow-dryer.  And the shadows of that PacSun belt really give the photo a certain depth, don’t you think?”

No one liked our messy room slideshows.


Also, while we’re on the topic, at this point in our lives, Ashley and I decided when we went to bed we were too lazy to actually turn off the light, so we would throw whatever we had on hand at the light switch on the wall until we finally succeeded/our roommates came and turned off the light for us.

What delightful girls we were.


I don’t know, really.  I like to believe I’ve moved beyond throwing things at light switches stage, but I’m hesitant to make a statement like that.

Lately I’ve been daydreaming about having my own place.  I suppose it’s the natural order of things, or so psychologists would tell me.  I’m ready for a place of my own that I can decorate just so with a fussiness and precision that will be both delightful and exhausting.

I’m ready for a studio apartment that’s light and airy and at the same time bursting with books.  I’m ready for this studio apartment to be in San Francisco because I want bay windows and sourdough bread and I also don’t want to leave California, DANG IT.

Sometimes I even let myself dream of the future beyond the studio apartment.  The future in the fairytale cottage with all the plants and all the charm and all the library I’ve always wanted.

The library really is the key to all of my house daydreams.  I’m convinced I could live without most anything in a home, but I can’t live without a library.

And I’d really like to not live without a clawfoot tub.

But it’s mainly about the library.

I don’t often go too deep into the library daydreams/nightdreams/mid-afternoondreams because without the cottage it’s hard to tell what the set-up will be.  There will be a Beauty and the Beast ladder, of course.  And it will be bright  and have the comfiest blankets the world has ever seen, of course of course.  But other than that, all I know is it will be full, and it will be open to whoever wants to borrow books, and it will be a dream come true.

For my birthday this year, Rob got me a stamp that says “From the Library of Jillian Denning” and I’ve had a blast with it.  Every book I lend out contains this stamp now, and it makes me feel like an amateur librarian. Whenever I lend out a book with that stamp and someone falls in love with a story, my heart fills in this way I can’t even really describe.  I got so giddy when Rob loved High Fidelity I wondered if I was having some sort of mental break because I wanted to talk about it for several hours and no one else seemed nearly as enthusiastic.

There really is a thrill to sharing a good story.

There really is a thrill to words.  The thrill of my life so far, actually.

I will, I will, I will share this thrill with the world through The Library of Jillian Denning: The Actual Space.

One day.

But next up?

A studio apartment.

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6 Responses to “Libraries And Daydreams”

  1. Ksenija @ With An Open Mind April 21, 2014 at 3:31 am #

    Dear Jillian,
    say thanks to Rob for inspiring me to my belated-birthday/early-christmas/move-into-new-flat-which-isn’t-rented-nor-found-yet-wish. I will be such a happy girl stamping all my books.

  2. Liz Brownlee April 21, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    Ah! I live in a 600 year old cottage. I have a tiny, antique clawfoot bathtub (but always use the shower) and have to admit that I am typing this in the 1776 extension which has a roof going from 5 ft 8 (garden side) up to 10 foot (old wall of house side) and has 8 foot oak bookcases two deep in books. I am living your dream. Sorry. I’m sure it will come! Easier to see it through in England though… I suggest you emigrate! Enjoyed this!

    Liz A-Zer

  3. Rhonda April 21, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    I hope you find the apartment of your dreams. And then take pictures of it while you’re jumping on your bed 🙂

  4. lauren packer April 21, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    what is a house without a library?

  5. Macy April 23, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    Best college story ever. I also want a studio apartment right now. But I feel like then I would be moving backwards because I have a house of my own already.

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