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My New Reading Chair! (and a few books)

August 9, 2010

(Why yes, this picture was taken maybe 30 minutes after I got up, so excuse the lounge wear and unkempt appearance: my excitement to show off my new chair overrode my desire to shower and look more presentable. lol)

As I said on Saturday, I found the perfect reading chair at Goodwill on Friday. I’ve been checking for a few months now, and my primary criterion was always comfort, primarily for my neck and shoulders since that’s where my fibro tends to concentrate. Other than that, I knew I’d prefer it in a neutral, and of course it needed to be clean and non-smelling (smoke was a problem with some other chairs I saw), but I was open to pretty much anything. And I was convinced that the universe would in fact send me a chair before we moved. So I’ve been popping by Goodwill every couple of weeks or so, to see if it had arrived. Imagine my surprise on Friday when I walked through the front doors, and saw my chair looking back at me! I sat down in it, and it was perfectly comfortable: I even discovered it was a recliner. Then I looked for a price tag, since my perfect chair would cost $40 or less, and couldn’t find one. So I immediately grabbed a worker to ask about the price tag. Apparently, if you want to buy furniture at Goodwill, you can take off the price tag and carry it with you around the store as you continue shopping, so the worker paged the store to see if anyone was planning on buying it. No one came up, so then I had to write my name and phone number on a hold tag, and wait 24 hours to see if anyone came to pick it up. If no one had claimed it, they’d call me and tell me the price. So I spent most of Saturday hoping a) no one would come and b) the price would be within my range. At 4:36, I called Goodwill (the 24-hour period ended at 4:30, but I didn’t want to seem too eager), and they said it was still there, that they had a gentleman pricing it, and they’d call me back. Two minutes later, I picked up the phone on the first ring and heard the price: $39.99. Yay! I might have actually squealed into the phone, and I told them I’d be there within an hour to pay for it.

Once I was at the store, I thought I might as well check to see if there were any bookshelves (there hadn’t been on Friday), and I found a little baby bookcase (five shelves, maybe 4′ tall by 2′ wide, of the cheap variety like my other ones) priced at $8. It was the perfect size for my library books & TBR spill-over, it’d fit in my room, and since it’s cheap, I wouldn’t feel bad about painting it to match my other shelves: sold! And since my Goodwill luck was obviously running high, I decided to wander over the book section. Normally, I avoid this area, since I’m trying not to acquire books right now, but inspired by home library thoughts, I decided if I found some books by favourite authors, they could come home with me (I set myself a $4 limit too). So here are the five books I found, plus three books that arrived in the mail last week (this pretty much never happens, since I very rarely enter contests or accept ARCs anymore). (And yes, I did have to use the flash, even though it’s noon: my bedroom gets NO natural sunlight plus it’s thunderstorming.)
From top-down, with my Goodwill finds coming first: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (I loved Fire and Hemlock), The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood (she’s been a favourite for years now), Seraph on the Suwanee by Zora Neale Hurston (I just read this, but that was a library copy, so now I have one of my own!), Women of Sand and Myrrh by Hanan al-Shayk (ok, I haven’t read this author before, but my library doesn’t carry this title, and it’s compared to A Handmaid’s Tale on the back), A Whistling Woman by A.S. Byatt (another author I’ve loved for years), Waterland by Graham Swift (sent to me by the lovely Shannon, John Crows Devil by Marlon James (an ARC sent by Akashic Books which I can’t WAIT to read since I adored The Book of Night Women), and The Tapestry of Love (Rosy Thornton’s latest, which she kindly sent despite me saying it’ll be awhile before I get to it, and which I wanted because I loved her debut Hearts and Minds).

So then I just had to wait until my dad could go pick them up with his pick-up, which he did yesterday evening. I haven’t completely set up my new bookshelves yet (I still need to add two of the shelves and then get the books sorted), and the chair’s rather wedged into my bedroom right now, but it shall be perfect when we move, and until then I have a comfy place to sit and read without worrying about someone wandering in and turning on a television. Bliss!

And now I’d better get back to Samba by Alma Guillermoprieto. Only I could manage to turn a post about a couple pieces of furniture into an 800+ word novel. ;)

124 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2010 12:14 pm

    That looks like a wonderful reading chair! I can’t wait to see your library/reading room when you move!

    • August 11, 2010 3:15 pm

      Thanks! I can’t wait to design it. :D

  2. August 9, 2010 12:20 pm

    Glad you found what you were looking for, Eva. My mom and I each have our own very comfortable wicker chairs we inherited from my aunt when she moved that are perfect for reading. Unfortunately, there’s only one foot stool so we continue to fight over who gets it. Can’t wait to see your reading room once your settled into your new house. Hopefully moving won’t be too stressful.

    • August 11, 2010 3:16 pm

      lol! That’s kind of hilarious Christina. :) I’m crossing my fingers moving won’t be stressful; I usually really enjoy it.

  3. August 9, 2010 12:29 pm

    So pleased you found what you wanted – that chair looks super comfortable! Wishing you very many happy hours reading in it.

  4. August 9, 2010 12:29 pm

    Those are wonderful things to be excited about and share! You look like you are enjoying that chair already :o)

    And I am very jealous that Rosy Thornton sent you her new book. I borrowed her first one and LOVED it.

    • August 11, 2010 3:17 pm

      I was quite delighted when she e-mailed me. :) You could get her paperbacks off Book Depository pretty cheaply!

  5. August 9, 2010 12:30 pm

    :D Yep, it all made me happy. Because it all made you happy. And I can’t wait to see your chair in your new reading room when you move!

  6. August 9, 2010 12:32 pm

    That is a lovely chair, Eva! You got it for $39.99? Seriously? And the picture is lovely too! One more thing I have to envy you for – you got five books for $4? Are you really serious?? Lucky you :) Goodwill seems to be an awesome place! I am looking forward to seeing the picture of your library / reading room soon.

    • August 11, 2010 3:18 pm

      Goodwill is definitely delightfully budget friendly. ;) At mine, mass market paperbacks are 50 cents, trade p/backs are $1, and hard covers are $2. Very affordable!

      • August 12, 2010 9:57 am

        Wow! That is awesome! I want to ‘steal’ that Goodwill and bring it to my place :)

  7. Kathleen permalink
    August 9, 2010 12:35 pm

    Congratulations on finding the perfect chair for the perfect price. It looks so comfy!

  8. August 9, 2010 12:40 pm

    Lovely chair. I’d love to find one just like it. And what a steal!

  9. August 9, 2010 12:52 pm

    Howl’s Moving Castle is SUCH a good book, omg. Also I’m SO jealous you found such wonderful things at your Goodwill, because mine’s full of monkey poo and not even the books are any good. :(

  10. winstonsdad permalink
    August 9, 2010 12:58 pm

    very comfy looking eva ,hope it gives you many hours reading pleasure ,all the best stu

  11. August 9, 2010 1:08 pm

    The chair looks nice and comfy. Perfect for lounging! I’m reading Howl’s Moving Castle now. Enjoy the chair and books.

    • August 11, 2010 3:20 pm

      How fun that you’re reading Howl’s Moving Castle! And yep, I’m now pretty much living in the chair. hehe

  12. August 9, 2010 1:10 pm

    But it’s… it’s… not striped!

    *shocked I am!* ;)

    Seriously looks a fab find, and a wonderful place to curl up on!

    • August 11, 2010 3:20 pm

      LOL When I started blogging, there was a striped armchair, but it was left behind at college. ;)

  13. August 9, 2010 1:18 pm

    I love your chair! I’m moving at the end of this week, and I’m really excited to set up a reading nook of some kind in my new apartment. I’ve been scouring Craiglist for the perfect chair, but haven’t quite found what I want yet (and I want to make sure it’ll fit in my new space, so probably have to wait). Hopefully I’ll get as lucky as you!

    • August 11, 2010 3:20 pm

      Thanks Kim! I’m sending my good thrifting luck your way. ;) And can’t wait to see photos of your reading nook!

  14. August 9, 2010 1:27 pm

    I absolutely adore your chair. And I’m utterly and completely envious. My search is still taking place. :))

    • August 11, 2010 3:21 pm

      Thanks Christina! Keep up the search: I started in like April or May, so it took awhile. ;)

  15. August 9, 2010 1:27 pm

    Again I LOVE the chair. I showed the picture to my mum, she also loved the chair. And you look fine :D

  16. August 9, 2010 1:49 pm

    That is a truly lovely chair! Congratulations on finding it, the bookshelf, and those wonderful books! I have to say that I have heard some amazing things about Women of Sand and Myrrh and it is on my wish list. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it.

    • August 11, 2010 3:22 pm

      Oh good; I hadn’t heard of Women of Sand & Myrrh before, so I’m glad it’s gotten positive press. :)

  17. August 9, 2010 1:59 pm

    I am envious of your new chair–it looks super comfy!

  18. August 9, 2010 2:21 pm

    That looks like a very comfy chair indeed! I don’t have a special reading chair yet. I’ll probably get one someday when I have a room just for books, ha ha. Isn’t Goodwill wonderful? (guilty of adding many books to my pile) Look at all those library books! I never check out more than five or six at once, myself.

    • August 11, 2010 3:27 pm

      Goodwill is wonderful; I’ve been addicted to it for clothes for quite some time now. ;)

      I’m far too addicted to the library, but at least getting the books out is free! lol

  19. August 9, 2010 2:32 pm

    Looks so comfy! Plus all those books for under $4! You really made out! Congratulations ;)

  20. August 9, 2010 2:44 pm

    Yay! So happy to hear about your bookish successes! I would love to have my own little reading nook someday, complete with comfy chair, but in a 700 square-foot apartment, there’s not much room for such dreams… but one day! I’m glad you found such great reading chair (it looks SO COMFY) that was smell-free! And all those books for $4! You definitely hit the jackpot!

    • August 11, 2010 3:28 pm

      Thanks Steph! And at least you can dream about it now, so when you have more space, you’ll be ready to set up the perfect nook. :D

  21. August 9, 2010 3:30 pm

    If you count each picture as a thousand words it’s really 2800 words about a couple of pieces of furniture. :p They are excellent pieces of furniture, and of course you know how I feel about Diana Wynne Jones. Congratulations on the new pretty things!

  22. August 9, 2010 3:38 pm

    It’s so funny that you posted this today! I was just thinking this morning that I’d love to see WHERE my favourite book-bloggers read their books and then I logged on here and there you were! In your new, comfy chair! So glad you found it and were able to buy it at the right price! :)

  23. August 9, 2010 3:44 pm

    You know, it was only after I had access to a whole bookshelf that I felt I had to fill it with books of my own… so be careful ;-)

    The chair looks fabulous (except for a lack of stripes)! I hope you enjoy meeting one of my literary boyfriends (though an admittedly high-maintenance one), Howl, in it.

    • August 11, 2010 3:31 pm

      I admit, stripes would have made it super duper perfect. But I still love it! ;) I already have enough books stacked on my floor to fill up this little case, so I don’t think that’ll be a problem. lol

      And now I’m super curious about Howl’s Moving Castle! I didn’t realise Howl was a person. lol

  24. August 9, 2010 3:58 pm

    comfy chair! pile of books! bookcase! huge mug of something! Girl, you are all set for reading!

    • August 11, 2010 3:31 pm

      The mug is Ceylon tea! (I meant to label it & forgot.) Yep: perfect reading set up achieved! :D

  25. August 9, 2010 4:13 pm

    I LOVE your chair! Now I’m so excited to start looking for one for myself. I told my husband about your find, and how I want to find one for myself and he goes “whatever makes you happy” which means “go ahead but don’t spend a lot of money” lol so it’s perfect!

    • August 11, 2010 3:32 pm

      lol! Go Heather go! ;) I can’t wait to see what chair you end up getting.

  26. August 9, 2010 4:18 pm

    Eva, looks lovely! I hope you continue to enjoy the chair and I want to see pictures when the shelves are painted and the books are all in new homes.

    • August 11, 2010 3:32 pm

      Thanks Dana! There shall definitely be pictures. :D

  27. August 9, 2010 4:33 pm

    Are you sure the chair is large enough? It dwarfs you! It does look perfect for curling up though and you can’t beat that price.

    • August 11, 2010 3:33 pm

      Since I tend to curl up in a ball while I’m reading, it’s the perfect size. hehe

  28. August 9, 2010 5:14 pm

    Showering and looking presentable are so overrated. Besides that, I think you probably look way better than me even when I *am* showered and “looking presentable.” LOL. Congrats on finding the chair of your dreams. It looks way super comfy. I need a way super comfy reading chair, too, but even if I got one, I’m not sure where I would put it. People have *closets* that are bigger than my bedroom…. Anyhow, hope it provides you with many hours of comfy, uninterrupted reading! :D

    • August 11, 2010 3:34 pm

      lol: you’re so silly Megan! No more insulting yourself. :p Although I do agree that showers/looking presentable are overrated. Especially now that I have longer hair, I find the whole ‘washing it/waiting for it to dry/styling it without too much damage/etc.’ a bit exhausting at times.

      Boo to tiny bedrooms!

  29. August 9, 2010 5:56 pm

    Oh, that looks really comfy :) I spent a long time looking for my perfect reading chair as was well worth the effort!

    • August 11, 2010 3:34 pm

      Definitely worth the effort and the patience! :D

  30. August 9, 2010 6:59 pm

    Congrats on the new furniture! It looks terrific.

  31. August 9, 2010 7:02 pm

    Don’t you just love it when the universe conspires to give you what you asked for? Hope you have fun with Howl’s Moving Castle. And The Edible Woman. That cover actually gives me the creeps (we have the same edition) :)

    • August 11, 2010 3:35 pm

      I do love it. Go universe! ;) The cover for the Edible Woman creeps me out too, lol.

  32. August 9, 2010 7:46 pm

    How absolutely perfect! That chair just screams “Read in me!!!” *grin* But seriously, it looks really comfy. I’ve been wanting to read Howl’s Moving Castle so I’ll admit to being a bit jealous that you were able to find it and at Goodwill of all places. Enjoy!

    • August 11, 2010 3:35 pm

      Thanks Samantha! Perhaps you’ll find some DWJ at a thriftshop soon. :D

  33. August 9, 2010 8:40 pm

    You look really comfortable in that chair. What a great deal! Looks as good as new too from the photo…Happy reading!

  34. Mome Rath permalink
    August 9, 2010 8:48 pm

    Congrats on the chair! Always nice to have a comfy place to read. And the bookshelf sounds like a great deal, too. Hope your move goes well, and have fun planning your library!

    • August 11, 2010 3:36 pm

      Thank you! So much for me to look forward to. :)

  35. August 9, 2010 9:22 pm

    Congratulations on your new chair. As a fellow FM sufferer I know comfort is hard to find. I hope you enjoy your chair for a long time and that it will allow you to read (at least relatively) pain free.

    • August 11, 2010 3:36 pm

      Thanks Dianne! I’m sorry you have FM too; it’s so tiresome. :(

  36. August 9, 2010 9:35 pm

    I LOVE your new chair and your bookshelf and all your books!! Such fantastic stuff :D

  37. August 9, 2010 10:05 pm

    I love that chair too! There is nothing like an oversized chair to impart a feeling of coziness!

    • August 11, 2010 3:37 pm

      Yep: it makes me grin every time I come into my room. :D

  38. August 10, 2010 12:37 am

    That looks super super comfy! I wish I was sitting in it right now :-)

    • August 11, 2010 3:37 pm

      Heehee: I am sitting in it right now! :)

  39. August 10, 2010 3:05 am

    I obviously need to check in on goodwill stores more often!

    That looks like a very comfy chair and I would love to own any of the books you bought.

    • August 11, 2010 3:37 pm

      I’m a thrift-store haunter; going regularly is the best way to find treasures. :D

  40. August 10, 2010 4:54 am

    Eva, it looks lovely and comfy. It’s also the perfect color to add colorful blankets and pillows according to your mood and season. Enjoy!

    • August 11, 2010 3:38 pm

      Thanks Alex! I’m loving its a little bit unusual neutral colour. :)

  41. August 10, 2010 5:00 am

    Great Goodwill finds! And that is a magnificent reading chair. It looks so comfortable. Enjoy!

  42. ana permalink
    August 10, 2010 5:10 am

    Thanks for sharing the joy. A lovely post that lifted my spirits through the roof. So good to hear that Goodwill fate was working well for you here. You really deserve it after a challenging time recently.

    • August 11, 2010 3:38 pm

      Thanks Ana! I’m glad to spread joy. :)

  43. August 10, 2010 6:28 am

    You lucky girl! Those are awesome finds. That chair looks absolutely heavenly! Enjoy it. :)

  44. August 10, 2010 6:32 am

    Wow that chair looks seriously comfy!!

  45. August 10, 2010 6:44 am

    Wow! You found that chair at Goodwill? Lucky you! Every time I find furniture at Value Village, it’s of the stinky or smokey variety, as you said, though I almost always find something in the book section. Last time I found Lullabies for Little Criminals, which I had been wanting for a couple of months previously.

    • August 11, 2010 3:40 pm

      Aww: sounds like you need to find a different thrift store for furniture. ;) Yay for used books though!

  46. August 10, 2010 7:01 am

    That looks like a great find! Congrats to you and your new reading chair! My reading chair was taken over by the cats, so I have taken over the couch recently. :)

    • August 11, 2010 3:41 pm

      Thanks Allie! Our cat’s not allowed in my room, so my chair is safe for now. ;)

  47. August 10, 2010 10:43 am

    Ok first of all, how come your Goodwill books are in such excellent shape?! Secondy, your copy of Howl’s Moving Castle is so FAT! Mine is very slim! Okay it’s a trade paperback but still! Thirdly, LOVE the chair, it looks so comfy!

    I’ve seen The Book of Night Women around but I wasn’t sure if it was good. I’ll have to take a second look, thanks :)

    • August 11, 2010 3:42 pm

      Because I only bought the nice-looking books at Goodwill, lol. I put the beat-up ones back! ;) Book of Night Women is marvelous; you should go read it now. :p

  48. August 10, 2010 10:49 am

    I’m SO happy for you! Thank you Universe for providing chair, bookshelf and great books! :)

  49. August 10, 2010 11:24 am

    I’m incredibly jealous of the chair – that might be the most wonderful thing I’ve seen all day!

    Also, sharing the Diana Wynne Jones, Margaret Atwood, Zora Neale Hurston and A.S. Byatt love (haven’t read the others). What a great haul!

    • August 11, 2010 3:43 pm

      Thanks! And yay for having so many shared author loves. :D

  50. August 10, 2010 1:23 pm

    That’s so sweet that you shelved your library books- mine tend to just lay underfoot. The chair looks wonderful! Congrats on your thrift store find.

    • August 11, 2010 3:44 pm

      Mine used to live in stacks on the floor at the foot of my bed, but I’m loving keeping them on shelves instead! Since they’re mainly what I read, it just makes things easier. :)

  51. August 10, 2010 2:38 pm

    Now you’ve made me add one more item to my list of furniture to buy when I move out this weekend. LOL! I love that chair and it feels so comfortable even to look at it! I’m going to buy one such!

  52. August 10, 2010 4:01 pm

    That looks like the perfect reading chair – congratulations! How many library books do you take out at a time?!

    • August 11, 2010 3:45 pm

      Far too many! I try to keep it at 50 library books at once, which I’m aware makes me sound mildly insane. ;)

  53. August 10, 2010 5:40 pm

    What a great Goodwill adventure! So glad you found your chair and it looks so comfy. Enjoy it!

  54. August 10, 2010 7:47 pm

    You had some awesome finds! I haven’t every found any good furniture at Goodwill so I’m jealous (but happy for you at the same time). :)

    • August 11, 2010 3:46 pm

      I hope some furniture turns up for you soon. :) There hadn’t been anything impressive for over a month, but now suddenly there’s lots of fun stuff. End of summer moves perhaps?

  55. August 10, 2010 9:45 pm

    What a comfy looking chair! Lol @ calling at 4.36 so as not to appear too eager! Second hand charity stores are such a goldmine if you just keep checking in them every now and then. :)

    • August 11, 2010 3:46 pm

      Yeah; I’m sure the workers thought of me as ‘that crazy girl obsessed with that chair.’ lol I agree: regular visits are the key to successful thrifting!

  56. August 11, 2010 6:06 am

    What a perfect, perfect chair! I love those big arms. I’m so happy for you.

  57. August 11, 2010 12:03 pm

    I am loving the new chair. There’s nothing more comfortable than settling down into a huge plush chair that’s all squishy and you can get lost in. :D

  58. August 11, 2010 3:38 pm

    That looks like the perfect chair!

    • August 11, 2010 3:47 pm

      I almost feel like I’m sitting in a Platonic Ideal. ;)

  59. August 11, 2010 5:48 pm

    You have inspired me, I’ll start haunting Goodwill here in San Antonio — I desperately need more squashy chairs. And bookshelves.

  60. August 11, 2010 8:15 pm

    I love the chair and I love the price. I think the only furniture in our house that isn’t 2nd hand are the beds and the sofa. Everything else came from an antique store at a steep discount, from a thrift store somewhere or from a garage sale.

    Most of the books are 2nd hand, too.

  61. August 14, 2010 2:12 am

    Eva! I had to laugh with excitement when I saw your post about being thrilled to have a reading chair – I am at this exact moment trawling furniture stores searching for the “perfect reading chair”. I seem to have every other type of chair e.g. uncomfortable but oh-so-chic white leather couch; uncomfortable but oh-so-chic black swivel chair; uncomfortable but oh-so-chic dining room chairs…do you see the pattern? Hence my one requisite this time: comfort! Unfortunately, it seems chic and uncomfortable are still what is in fashion everywhere I go…I also suffer from terrible back and neck problems and all I want is a squishy chair I can curl up in without feeling like I am being pushed out of it by its upright back or sitting on a board! I shouldn’t whinge too much tough as, also like you, I have just found the perfect bookshelves to take some of the pressure off my already overladen current shelves (and it gives me an excuse to get even more books to fill these as well ha ha!) Your chair looks absolutely divine by the way!

  62. August 15, 2010 11:13 pm

    I looove that picture! You look even more beautiful unkempt. The chair story, serendipitous! So nice to see you adding books to your home library..

  63. September 12, 2010 10:16 pm

    That chair looks soooo comfortable – I’ve been wanting a reading chair for a few years now, just no space yet on a place to put one!


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