My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Ray Civello’s library

Love this – the section in the Globe that shows you the favourite room of a person they have named an important Torontonian. Ray Civello is a hairdresser to the stars, I guess, and this is what he calls his library.

Notice something missing? Sigh. Oh, and those bookshelves – yes, he calls them bookshelves – are oak, original to the house, but he painted them white to better showcase his collection of … things. And his seventeen books.


Today I wanted to go to the matinee of Soulpepper’s Spoon River Anthology, which has had rave reviews, but it’s sold out. So I will work instead. Tonight’s treat – my neighbour Monique’s Francophone dinner, her gathering of French-speaking Anglophones who eat and drink and jabber for hours in French – always fascinating, always delicious, and right next door. Quelle chance!

As a point of comparison, I’d like to show you one of the favourite rooms of an obscure Toronto writer and teacher: the library, with unpainted Ikea bookshelves, of my humble self.

This is in the spare bedroom upstairs, aka Bruce’s Room, because the living room is already drowning in books. I just took two back to the library: 100 essays I don’t have time to write, by playwright Sarah Ruhl, and Safekeeping: Some stories from a life, by Abigail Thomas, both thoughtful, well-written, and of course TRUE. And picked up two memoirs I’d ordered which just came in: If only you people could follow directions, by Jessica Nelson, and Time was soft there: A Paris sojourn at Shakespeare and Co., by Jeremy Mercer. I don’t read all the books here from cover to cover – sometimes just a bit is enough. But to me, there’s nothing more thrilling than opening a book I’ve been wanting to read. And it’s been that way since I was about five.

Quelle chance.

One more library: in Lauren Bacall’s apartment at the Dakota in New York. The second room they show has books, a fireplace, a comfy sofa and a view. A mere 26 million and it could be yours.

P.S. Just checked my bank account online – and there’s a surprise $183.99 from Access Copyright, that collects copying revenue for writers. Don’t let anyone tell you that writing doesn’t pay. Woo hoo!



4 Responses to “Ray Civello’s library”

  1. I saw Spoon River last night and it was amazing! It will be remounted next year as part of the new season, so you will have an opportunity to see it.

  2. beth says:

    I'm glad, Nadia – I'd love to see it. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. theresa says:

    My books would be happy keeping company with yours. Many, many, many — and wildly over-running their territory. Though maybe not their figurative territory, the landscape of the imagination, which is their true home and where I am happy to find them!

  4. beth says:

    It's a good thing you and I are not going to be moving in together, Theresa. And if we had a house with Kerry Clare, it would be disastrous, nothing but books in all directions. And for me, also magazines and newspapers. If it's made of paper, it belongs here. Happy travels.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

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Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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