Every library needs two essential things: comfy, cozy places to sit and books (duh). The library in a president’s home is no exception. Let me tell you, FDR’s library is more than fully equipped. Long rows of books line the length of the room on both sides, shelves from floor to ceiling, sometimes broken by a window or doorway, but continuous for the most part. There are just as many comfy places to match the volume (heh) of books, Cushy armchairs by the windows, a settee, upright chairs to support good posture, a desk and chair if you prefer, two twin couches faces two enormous twin fireplaces on either side of the room, and even little doll chairs, so you can read to your little doll friend if you wish. There are enough reading spots to comfortably seat at least fourteen readers at one sitting (he he). Personally, I am drawn to the couches, having spent many years reading on my family’s napping couch. I look back at family photographs and see my dad reading to me when the couch was blue and I recall pushing the couch closer to our own fireplace when it was red. Cozying up by the fire, lying there reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in its entirety.
I know that ladies usually sat on the edge of their chairs, very prim and proper, but the FDR home was a place for family and friends. I like to imagine they let loose on occasion and leaned back into their chairs, curled their feet up under them and savoured a good book. Maybe Sara or Eleanor even reclined on the couch when no one else was home, reading Frankenstein while a fire blazed and the winter wind howled outside. Maybe later they got a little jump as they passed by the numerous ocean themed lithographs in Franklin’s collection, thinking of Frankenstein’s Monster setting out across the frozen sea. That’s the magic of the napping couch, you set down to enjoy a good book by the fireside and before long.