Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Home Workspace: Lonely Planet, knic-knacs and big dictionaries

A Japanese Kotatsu: we have one of these in our living room which is a dream!
I often change my workspace at home: I have an office but I tend to work in there for a few weeks at a time before moving to a new spot in the house. In the summer I often work in the kitchen or on the back balcony. In winter, I usually work in the living room because we have a Japanese kotatsu, a heated table with a blanket which is about the most favorite thing we own (though it's hardly what one could call stylish).

Lately, I've been working in my office though. And loving it. I can turn the music up, open the blinds and get some sun, turn the heater on at my feet (where the dog usually sleeps when I work in here). True, I only work from home one or two days a week this time of year but I so look forward to it (I'd work from home every day if I could).

A small sampling of what I see when I work at my desk
Which means I am constantly facing two small bookshelves which contain travel books, a few art books, some chachkis, dictionaries, and pictures. On the wall above I have maps: of the world, of Berlin, of Paris and the Tokyo subway system. I've got Latin American phrase books and Lithuanian language manuals, Chinese character flashcards (and a box of Japanese Kanji characters which I've never opened), Dr. Seuss, photo books of Tokyo, Shanghai and Montevideo, a collection of Kathe Kollwitz prints, books of Childe Hassam paintings, contemporary Chinese art, American Indian portraits by Karl Bodmer, a guide to the Rodin Museum of Paris (from 10 years ago), copies of Poetry Magazine, old Buddhist texts, a boxed collection of Woody Allen films from the 70s, old issues of Vie des Arts magazines, a wooden mask from Indonesia, an old worn out pocket Buddha from Laos (which I bought from a woman selling things on a blanket in Vientiane for like $2), a Tintin action figure, Papa Smurf, Frans Masereel wordless novels, books of poetry by Czeslaw Milosz and Ruth Stone, and guide books from Argentina, Sweden, Laos, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Malaysia, Tokyo and Bangkok.

And that's just what I see while I work each day: off to my left are many many more books. Too many (though I give lots of them away each year), all these mementos and memories of places I've lived or traveled, friends I have, things which represent countless small moments in my life.

I love my work space and will love it all the more once the nicer weather starts and I can open the balcony doors and smell the fresh air, the sounds of city life wafting up to the second floor.


  1. Lovely post. I wish my own work-space looked as tidy and compelling...

  2. Happy to hear that you love working in your workspace. Thanks for sharing your story. :)