Tag Archives: Bookish

BYON: Build Your Own Nook (on a budget).

The door knob to my book nook glowing in books.

The door knob to my book nook glowing in books.

I have a shed in my backyard that hasn’t been gifted with my whimsy yet, but this weekend, my Mom and I added whimsy to a seemingly useless closet in my library.  AND IT WAS RELATIVELY EASY.  Unlike Wiki-how, I don’t have a set rule of instructions, but my Mom got everything we bought on sale except for a cute coffee mug shelf ($9 at Lowes) and the shelves that we used as the seating area (Target).

So, here’s a (po’ man’s) instruction manual on turning a closet into a reading nook.  Good for any age of imagination.

lampFirst, we painted the closet one solid color because it was dirty, and smelled of old coats.  And we get enough smell from used books that we don’t need someone’s pocket lint looming over our experience.  I had this creamy beige that I had left over from painting my living room so we used that.  And since there’s no light in a closet, it brought out the natural light in the room.  I painted above the shelf and the entire top of the closet, Irish Green because we got a $3 can of it at Lowes that someone had returned.  My dad found this eccectic, antique globe lantern at the thrift store.


Chevron wallpaper and painted door

After that, my Mom bought $14 chevron wallpaper at Target and we wallpapered the back wall for a statement as well as the bottom of the shelf that was already in the closet.   It was a sticky process, but it was a stick and re-peel, so every time we messed up we just tried, tried again.  My Mom and I don’t have passed-down patience genes so it was pretty funny to watch, I’m sur.   I recommend not getting wallpaper that’s geometric.  I would love to make another one of these in my future that has like vintage stationary/vintage parisian wallpaper.   I also painted the door using blue tape with a purple can of Valspar that was on sale for $1 and a can of pink that was on sale for $3.  I wanted to make the door really funky fresh so it felt like you were walking into a different world when you went in.  I think I was successful in that although we have like nine patterns going on.

My Mom had already picked out a cushion from Pier One ($19.98) to sit on.  We tried to design around the pillow when we were thinking of what to do.  Obviously, she let me just go insane with the door.


Cheery Blossom Wall Decal ($9 @ Target)

I had the feather pillows already and we just liked the way they fit.  My Mom also picked up a pretty wall decal at Target and we put it on the wall that I would look at while I’m reading.

We put a few final touches on it, and overall it was a really awesome project to do together.  There’s a corner shelf where I can put coffee and the bookshelves (2) we bought to sit on, we turned sideways so they would fit “stuff” aka “more books.” I’ve stacked my TBR pile in there and one of my favorite elephants from my Dad.  Here is the “almost” final reading nook.

This also is an exclamation that there’s no limit to your bookishness folks.  There are no caves too damp, or clouds too light for your bookish flavor.  It can always grow.

Fro REALLY likes the nook.

Fro REALLY likes the nook.


A full view of the (almost) finished product.


Newsday Tuesday

It’s back….in BLACK (ink).


Favorite Tweets:

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Favorite Search Terms:

  • autograph for friends in english: Do I smell a penpal?
  • compare and contrast the hunger games venn diagram: I love that teachers google and get my blog, although I rarely put lessons up here.  I do have a teaching website, I suppose I could share it?
  • yesterday i devirginized my own story: This sounds both gut-wrenching and gut(tural)
  • thees girls make you drool.com: I feel like an eight year old googled this who isn’t ready for this stage in his own maturity.

Book News:

Back To School // Make You Drool

I’ve done a lot of Bookish Gift Guides over the years, but I’m going to mix it up today.  I keep getting a million Labor Day sale emails.  I can’t resist when they ask for your email for coupons, even though a few days ago I went through and unsubscribed from everything that never gets opened.  I decided that a lot of my students were graduating and learning how to function in a cubicle/closet of a dorm.  Plus, isn’t it just fun to buy school supplies? Or home office supples? Or just organization cubbies because they usually have all kinds of funky patterns and matchy-matchy themes?

So, here it is: THE BACK TO SCHOOL // MAKE YOU DROOL Gift Guide


Dorm rooms, home offices, and students should be surrounded by inspiration.  Inspiration these days comes from quotes, and signs on Pinterest, Etsy, and Tumblr.  When I was in high school, I printed Tumblr quotes and taped them to my mirror so I could be surrounded by goodness (or what I thought were deep quotes about people not understanding who I am). Now, scotch tape isn’t needed, nails and hammers are.

Signage from Etsy

Signage from Etsy

My favorite use of signage is this photo from Birch & Bird Vintage Home Interiors.  It’s bright and a tad Southern with the monogram M flower wheel.  And it includes my next must have – Inspiration Boards.

Birch & Bird Home Interiors


Inspiration boards are like tangible versions of Pinterest.  Anything you find that inspires you in a magazine, a book (I’ve been known to rip pages, I know, I’m awful), postcards, receipts from movies or dinner where deep conversations were had, or just trinkets.  My inspiration board in my childhood bedroom used to have a Nazar (to ward off evil) just because I thought it was a good totem.  It can truly be anything that breathes inspiration into you.

Some of these inspiration board options are pretty expensive.  My advice is to find a flea market, a shop of stalls filled with wood pieces, a store of vintage finds, a Habitat for Humanity Resource Center, and just find something to DIY.

Inspiration Boards on Etsy

Inspiration Boards on Etsy

I have a few favorite offices with inspiration boards.  The first is from Tumblr (La-Belle-Vie).  I wish I could give credit to the actual person who owns this quaint office space, but here’s the beautiful image. This office is ALL about the inspiration board.  It makes the room, and shows that inspiration boards done right, don’t need to have expensive, luxury furniture.

Tumblr Image @ La-Belle-Vie

The next one is all about color.  It actually looks like a kitchen to me. Maybe it was a kitchen, or those spices just have something going on.  I have a shed in my backyard that I inherited from the last owner.  I would LOVE to make it into a home office, but my fear of snakes and my disgust at scratching mosquito bites until they bleed keeps me out of there.  A girl can dream though.   I think this one is all about organization and paint.

Decobiz Inspiration Office

Then, there’s “decorative clutter” on Pinterest. Wish I knew who had that adorable bench, but again, Pinterest doesn’t really cater to copyright.

“Decorative Clutter” (If this is your image, email me)

I mean, come on, guys, there’s a J.Crew bag up there. Inspiration can come from anything, anywhere, anytime.


I believe desks are where writers, readers, and business professionals can really be themselves.  My creative writing teacher in high school had a taxidermy crocodile head on his desk and we never got the story behind it, but I remember that head being a reason why I really liked him as a teacher.  My dad has clay-wrinkled sculptures that I made in elementary school art and expensive pen holders from his time in management.  My desk at school has two plants: Laverne (philodendron) and Shirley (cactus wearing red flower bow).  It also has a draw-it-yourself frame so my students can let of steam by drawing when they need to.  Desks are for momentos, trinkets, and thingamabobs (thanks, Little Mermaid). If you need a little inspiration, here’s some fun.

Desk Accessories

Desk Accessories

My favorites around the internet are as follows:

This is from OCM BLOG

I just really like the hour glass (PINK HOUR GLASS YES) and the mason jar of paperclips, and the adorable white frames.  It’s just an eclectic mix of colors and pictures.

This is from DIY Enthusiasts

A lamp goes a LONG way and so do fresh flowers.  Who needs a significant other to buy them flowers, Walmart has a bin right by the door – GET YOU SOME, GIRL.

This is from Lovable Lockets

Sometimes the best place to be “girly” isn’t your closet, it’s your desk.  I love this desk design from Lovable Lockets.  It makes me feel feminine, fresh, and modern.

Now I have to go off and stare at my “study” and try to figure out how I can new & improve it into an eclectic, whimsy, genius center.  I’ll take pictures and share when I think I’ve got it where I want it.


A lovely acquaintance, Mollie, made a bookish instagram for her editing called Molliereads (mohrediting.com).  AND it inspired me to make an instagram for bookishness and blogging and happiness and words and connecting.

Find me on Instagram @ bookishcassie

You can view my bookish life as it unfolds and we can share favorite books, book photos, and book comments together in a smaller platform.

See photos like the following:



YES. LET’S DO IT. If we can get a few followers from the blog maybe I’ll do Project 365 the Bookish Edition. That would actually be incredibly fun.  I’d have to read everyday for sure (not that I don’t, you know you have to get your before bed read on).

Newsday Tuesday


Favorite Tweets:

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Favorite Search Terms:

  • boobs beach: Are they searching for beaches where they can be top-free or are they just searching for boobs on a beach? Because someone should send this person a sand mermaid.
  • Handwritten tutorials bowl movements: Is someone looking for a how-to-to-poop? SERIOUSLY GOOGLE?
  • how to use power point and make a project a cat come to the bowel and than cursior click tail of cat and than cat was go back: Yea, this person definitely meant to get my blog.
  • i have an idea that my guardian angel often looks like this fb meme: Your search has been answered.

Meme from quickmemes.com…Are memes under fair use?

Book News:





David Bowie:

Newsday Tuesday


Favorite Tweets:

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Favorite Search Terms:

  • i’ve always imagined heaven to be a kind of library: You and me both, googler.
  • burying book in the wall ai weiwei: This is a history lesson I must google to get…now.
  • johnny depp high school girlfriend: Yep, you got my blog.  OW OW! It’s filled with useless facts like this.

Book News:

Swoon-Worthy Bookish Valentine Gift Guide


Create your own flame with this Bookish Valentine Gift Guide

The Big-Hearted Book Lover:

Big Hearted Book Lover

Big Hearted Book Lover

For the Coffee Shop Daters:


For the Bright & Bookish:


For the Note Passer:


For the Girl Who Carries Her Weight in Books:


For the Girl With Lists That Have No Titles:


Girls Who Celebrate Caturday with Books:


Bookish on a Budget (Nothing Over $15):


Newsday Tuesday


Favorite Tweets:

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Favorite Search Terms:

  • see me in a supermarket: What section can I find you in? I prefer the cheeses, or the canned vegetables.  I get nervous when people flick fruit.
  • poem test compared to bowel movement: …. whaaaa??
  • minecraft pub interior: I love when I get super nerdy search terms like this.

Book News:

Newsday Tuesday


***Due to vacations, this post will be a three week catch-up post. YAY!***

Favorite Tweets:

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Favorite Search Terms: 

  • i was at the supermarket and say you hey what are you doing here you know just hunting for elephants:  I think this is an internet joke that you can find on pinterest, but it’s written like my students essays…scary.
  • a blonde with wedding party: Usually I get some sick fetish search terms and after reading this one I tried to think of all the weird things that would make you search this.  It wasn’t pretty.
  • vintage petticoat punishment in a mother’s: Here is one of those weird, fetish search terms.  How very Alice of you, anonymous.
  • is it etiquette to use guest bathroom for bowel movement: And then there are hilarious bowel movement search terms.  This is my favorite in a WHILE.  Which other bathroom would you use?  Would you walk into my bedroom’s bathroom to make sure the smell is far enough away from the living room.  I’m just not sure.  Where’s Dear Alice when you need her, or Abby, or just Cheryl Strayed.  I bet Cheryl would have a magnificent answer.

Book News:

Execution is an Ugly Word.

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

I’ve always wondered what it takes to become a death row inmate.  Every week growing up, my family attended a church that was quite liberal in its beliefs (especially for being Catholic).   And every week when it came to praying especially for those around the world, we always prayed for a man named “Jeff Meyer and those who live with him on North Carolina’s death row.”  I never knew what Jeff Meyer did, or where he was holed up, but I prayed for this name regardless.  I suppose that’s a prime example of blind faith.  A few weeks ago, we stopped praying for Jeff Meyer.  His name just didn’t come up amongst the war heroes, people who passed away, or those hooked to a hospital bed, lying amid wires.   I haven’t been able to dig up anything on the google machine about Jeff Meyer’s death, but I know that I’ve heard this name repeated every Sunday over my upbringing.

I guess this all brings me to the major point: I chose The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver on Netgalley because 1.  I watch far too many episodes of Law & Order and 2. I’ve been praying for a death row inmate for my entire teenage life and now well-into my adult life.   The Execution of Noa P. Singleton is a really strange book.  It tells the story of Ms. Singleton through the last months of her death row sentence and the story of how she became an inmate.  It’s a FRUSTRATING read.  She’s frustrating, her father is infuriating, his father’s girlfriend is a flaky waif who’s trying to find herself through semi-artistic means.   Don’t even get me started on Marlene, the mother of the victim.   That sounds really bad when you read the previous sentence, but the story of Noa’s crime involves Marlene deeply.  It’s a book full of disgusting characters.  It’s an episode of Criminal Minds in that the three main female characters are “normal” women.  They can be categorized differently: strong, bag o’ chips, damaged, but they’re all women who are succeeding in a society that has told each of them a different set of morals.

If you want a character-driven read, this is definitely it.  If you’re a psychology minor who thinks you can analyze people upon first meeting, read this.  If you’re an investigative spirit, or you’re the guy/gal who ruins movies for everyone you’re with because you tell the ending, then read this.  By the way, I’m one of you so I don’t judge.  We’re the puzzle solvers of the world without having to take a calculus class.

Death Row

The beginning part of this book was slow when Noa wasn’t opening up to the European, peachy-keen, boy-man of a lawyer.  He hadn’t yet cracked the porcelain of her story and was just tapping the glass of the prison window waiting for a response.  We were all in Noa’s head when she over-analyzed Marlene’s attempt at getting her clemency.   I think most of you know how it is to be too much in a character’s head and not enough in the environment.  The only book that has been successful with this for the entirety of a novel is Catcher in the Rye.  Somehow you want to be in Holden’s head.  I found him to be the polar opposite to Atticus Finch, but equally salty.  Noa is just a caged bird of a woman.  However, this is also the place where the author keeps her the most real.  I had to remind myself several times while reading that this woman has already served on death row for 10 years.  No wonder she’s such a black hole.  Who would want to be in the head of a murderer that’s lived in a body sized square for a third of her life.  Not this girl, that’s who.

Facts. Especially with this book.

I found this book incredibly interesting, but maddening.  These people are so sick and so twisted and so able to add calm to a situation that is nothing but.  I detest Marlene Dixon, she tormented me the most throughout the book.  I loathed her more than the killer.  She kept writing these letters to her daughter, Sarah, to make herself look and feel better.   Side story: my entire life I’ve been conscious of my maternal grandparents watching me.  It’s just my sixth sense or something.  I’ve never seen them, but boy will I ball within the second that one specific Dolly Parton song comes on.  I don’t even have to hear the words, I will be crying by the time Dolly opens her wide mouth.  A lot of the mistakes I could have made in high school were stopped because of this notion.  I thought, “but Grandpa S will see this and I will no longer be his favorite.”  I also believe I’m the favorite of the grandfather I’ve never met, but that’s just me being selfish.  If I did completely unlawful things in the hopes I could “save” my only daughter, when in reality I was breaking her twig wings, I definitely would not write her letters that make me look like an angel who was just trying to help.  That’s just my belief as a human being though.  The dead know.  They know our secrets and they know the unsaid, the undone, the truth of what happened during their lifetime.

Law System

Admitting is the first step, I know I’ve taken a weird and creepy turn on this one.

I just can’t ever, EVER like a character who can’t even make amends after death.  Can’t even be honest when the person you have left alone is finally free of your broken promises.  In fact, I’m angry.  I’m angry with Elizabeth L. Silver for writing a book when all of the characters are villains and I’m desperately trying to find the redeemable piece.  I don’t know how to write a complete villain, I don’t think anyone knows how to write a complete villain, but Silver may be the closest that’s ever come.  How do we become derailed? What is the difference between mistake and undone?




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