Renting a farmhouse in northern Vermont for 4 days is a perfect opportunity to see what lies on a stranger’s bookshelves.
Down many a winding road and off every beaten path was the driveway to the farmhouse. Rustic and grand at the same time with its wraparound porch and wavy glass windows it is everything I expected to find.
Entering the house there is a huge kitchen. Full of hanging baskets, the largest built in hutch I’ve ever seen and there, tucked away on not one but two shelves, the first books in sight.
The cookbooks were a given considering the location, it is a kitchen after all. It’s the seemingly out of place gardening books and books on northeastern wildlife that give me a moments pause. Okay, so the owners of the house value learning about the creatures around them and have a healthy appreciation for flowers or foliage.
Peeking just past the woodstove a collage of picture frames catch my eye. As I enter the den memories of my Aunt and Uncle’s home in Maine come flooding back. Books are laid out on tables for the weary or curious to pursue. And pursue I do.
Peeking at each of the oversized books my two favorites out of the selection quickly emerge. ‘Alvarez Siza Complete Works 1952-2013,’ a beautiful book full of architectural designs, plans, pictures and descriptions of a Portuguese architect.
My other favorite from the coffee table book selection, ‘Egyptian Art’ by Emile Prisse D’Avennes, contains a drawings, pictures and descriptions of the symmetry and opulence of ancient Egyptian art and architecture.
Off to the side I can see a hint of the rest of the house.
Peeking through the door into the dining area and beyond I spy them, the bookcases. Not one or two or even ten but a small library bursting full of them. As it is close to 1am and I am beyond exhausted by a day of traveling, they will have to be explored in the morning.