Gwen and Kate’s Library, Done

Josie Leavitt - September 26, 2013

Last month I had the pleasure of blogging about two sisters, whom I call Gwen and Kate, in the post They’re Starting a Library. These young women decided to share a room so that they could turn Kate’s room into a library for their family. Their mom, Deirdre, emailed me some photos of the finished room. Not only are these girls just wonderful, their library is stunning and whoever took the pictures has some serious talent.

I love stories like this. So often in the book world of late, it’s always doom and gloom. Can the indies survive? Are we adaptable enough? Are we losing customers to Amazon? There are many questions booksellera face everyday, and every day seems to bring with it another set of issue to be dealt with. But if we can pick our heads up long enough and look around, we can see some pretty amazing relationships customers have with books. We are in this business because we love it; we’re not getting rich doing this, but every day there is real joy in bookselling. It can be as simple as a child hugging a book and skipping to the car, eager to read, or someone sharing a story about a fun book group discussion, or someone telling us why we have to read a certain book. Books create passion in people and that is a great way to spend a day.
These girls, Gwen and Kate have such passion. Their desire to create a library is one of great passion. They literally rearranged their lives so that they could have their library. This is a story for the ages. We’ve had kids love books and tell us what they mean to them, but never in all our years of being in business have kids willingly shared a bedroom so that they would have a special place for their books. Here are the pictures. I’m hoping to get regular updates as the room changes and their collection grows.






10 thoughts on “Gwen and Kate’s Library, Done

  1. Spellbound

    This makes me very happy. I’ve always dreamed of having a home library with great tall shelves…ideally, accessed by a hidden door behind a bookcase. This inspires me to make that happen one day. Why not?

  2. Kath

    Love it! I had to wait until adulthood to have a study. How great that they shared a room to have their own library. Too many children (and adults) never learn how to share!!
    Great story as are all your columns. Will await more updates!

  3. Eliza

    This is awesome! It puts the stacks of books of my floor to shame. Just the other day I was wondering how their library was progressing and hoping that we’d be able to see pictures of it. Now here they are! I love how they’ve arranged the books with some facing outward, just like a bookstore. Please thank them for sharing with us. Now I want to curl up with a book from one of their shelves. Maybe Breadcrumbs?

  4. Josie Leavitt Post author

    Hi all,
    I just received a lovely thank you letter from Gwen, who asked me to post it here. I love getting letters like this and am so happy to share it with our readers:
    Thank You Letter
    Dear Josie Leavitt, co-owner of The Flying Pig Bookstore, the anonymous donor, and all the kind people who commented on ShelfTalker,
    Thank you so much Josie for writing such a delightful post about my sister and me and our great library dream. Our move went very well, and my sister and I are spending most of our time reading and doing homework in our wonderful library, and our shared bedroom has brought us very close these past few weeks.
    I’d also like to thank the amazingly thoughtful donor who gave us a $30 Flying Pig gift certificate. We spent all of it immediately on books we were very excited to read, and now our library looks much more complete.
    I must also acknowledge all the people who commented on the ShelfTalker blog, including Beth Goehring, SuzzyPC, Debbie W., Martha, Miriam Lubet, Penny, Mary Beth Naughton, Frank in Pittsburgh, Shannon Roy, Dorothy Thompson, and all the others who said such nice things.
    I have wanted to start a book blog for many years, but this was the event—both the starting of our library and the wonderful blog post—that finally encouraged me to do it, and drag my sister into it as well. So thanks to all of you, we are starting a blog called Gwen & Kate’s Library (, so we can share our favorite young adult and middle grade books with other enthusiastic readers our age, and hopefully encourage them to build libraries of their own.
    Many thanks,
    Gwen & Kate

  5. Pat DeMarco

    How wonderful to still appreciate one of the wonderful pleasures of life – the joy and love of books. Keep it alive!


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