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I’ll Be at the Library

Reading was my thing when I was a child.

Sure, other kids could play sports, join cub scouts or just go outside and play but me I could totally read!  I read fast and I read a lot.

I know!  Weird that I was sooooo incredibly popular and totally beloved by all the other children  and yet found time to spend hours and hours….and hours….and hours totally alone reading.

I read so much that my parents had to impose rules about when I had to go outside and, more importantly, turn off the light and go to bed.

I defeated their evil plan by using a flashlight under the sheet.

They retaliated by taking away my flashlight.

So I began leaving the light in the hall on and my door cracked open just enough to let a shaft of light in that I could read by if I moved the book up and down.

They unscrewed the light bulb.

Finally (and really what other option did I have?) I began defiantly using the goose-necked lamp that was on my bedside table.

The downside of the lamp was that it made an fully audible “click” when hastily turned off.  So, I began listening closely for my parents approach and I would simply douse the light by tipping it into my pillow until they passed.


Well, genius until they paused outside my door for too long one night and I set my pillow on fire.

But it wasn’t totally my fault.  My family are crazy readers.  My grandfather had a full library (complete with card catalog and Dewey Decimal labeled books) in his basement.  My grandmother read so many murder mysteries we were sure she was planning to off someone.  My dad is (or was until recently) the only male member of his senior community’s book club.  And my sister Sally is a librarian!

So, when I was casting around for new product ideas my memory went to all my fond memories of libraries and reading (but not pillow pyrotechnics).

Library Card Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Set of four coasters based on vintage library due date cards

library card coaster set

perfect for the book lover in your life! A coaster set based on vintage library cards

I kind of miss the ritual of getting your book card stamped and I thought it might ring a nostalgic bell with others too.   I’m hopoing these will make fun, unique gifts for literature lovers or a great gift for a book club hostess.Vintage Library Ephemera Wood Coaster Set

Sadly, I’ve developed adult-onset-sleep-reflex (ie, open a book-fall asleep immediately) so my reading has slowed.  I’m good at starting books though!  There are about four on my bedside table and several more in my ipad.vintage library card coaster setWhat are you reading these days?


About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

10 responses »

  1. I love love love these! I love everything you make! I have a question about copyright. Im in the uk but from what I understand I cant sell anything with something like maps, books etc on them due to copyright. Do you have this issue and how do you get around it?? Keep up the awesome work!!!

    • Thanks Jodi! And yes, those copyright laws apply here as well. I do a lot of research to determine if something is public domain and I consult with copyright expert to deal with “grey” areas as the laws are confusing and contradictory. I try to err on the side of caution, for instance these cards are my creation in Photoshop (based on real cards) and I researched the books to find titles that were in public domain.

      • Thank you for your reply. It takes a while to look for public domain, well it can take me days anyway but im sure your used to doing it. I called the copyright people here in the uk and they were less than helpful but i will persevere in my quest!

  2. These coasters are so cool!!! I love your creativity!!! What lovely memories they evoke!!!

    Wow!! Except for the fire, we have led parallel lives!! Lol!! My parents took away our nightlight when they found me huddled against the wall reading after they confiscated the flashlight….ok, several flashlights!!! Lol!!! I love that you mentioned checking out books. It totally brought back great memories!! My sister and I used to play Iibrary so I could do that whole open book, pull card, stamp card (or hold under that light thing – rememer what that was??), put card back, close book process!! I wanted to be a librarian then just so I could check out books!!! 🙂

    Reading??? Like you it makes me sleepy too quickly. 😦 But when I am not reading your blog, I am trying to read Stephen King’s “The Tommyknockers” mainly. I have more books started on my nightstand!!! Of course!!! 🙂

  3. David you have the most creative ideas. Does any library use those cards any more? Remember the smell of opening the drawers and searching through the index cards? Oh my, the good old days of going to a library with thick wood baseboards and real wood floors.

  4. The post left me laughing!!! Wow. I never thought of copyright laws. You were a much better spy reader than I !!!!
    Love the coasters.

  5. These are really cool, David! My book club might enjoy them too (I’ll let you know). We are reading “The Language of Flowers” right now, which is turning out to be a pretty good read. As I get older (cringe), I find that reading at night is no good: one has to read in full daylight with a bright Ottlite nearby…

    Have a great day!

  6. Love these, and great post!

  7. love! so many memories, too! up until a year or so ago, the kids could “stamp” a card for fun at HCPL, but alas, that option is now gone. 😦

  8. Hi , me again! Hope you don’t mind me asking for advise? If you do just say! Im wondering what you coat your coasters with as the protective finish? I have use heat resistant enamel…no joy, polyurethane varnish and they both mark from a hot mug. Do you have a ingenious idea? Thank you very much Jodi.


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