Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

The Story Behind the Library

Summer 2013, my sister Kate and I decided that what we most needed in life was our own personal library.

So we made one.


Kate moved in with me, and her room became The Library. We crammed all our books, bookshelves, desks and comfy chairs into a tiny space to create our own version of paradise, hung the walls with framed pictures, laid down rugs, and added an old globe to give it a more historical look. We were going for a Downton Abbey era study with its own mysteries and secrets hidden in the paintings and behind dusty shelves.


Soon I began writing a book order list, finally organizing my mental list of books I want to read, and went to The Flying Pig (our local book store) to spend my prized collection of gift certificates. My list of books I wanted to buy was so outlandish that almost all of them had to be ordered, and a few even turned out to be out of print. I went up to the counter to have a long discussion with Josie, the co-owner of the Flying Pig, and she complimented me on my organized book order list. I thanked her, and explained our library plan to her, and she offered to write a blog post about our idea for Publisher’s Weekly Shelftalker, a blog she regularly posts recent bookstore updates on.


A week later, this beautiful article appeared on her page.


However, the story does not end here. A few hours after it was posted, Josie called to tell us that we had gotten an anonymously donated $30 gift certificate to her bookstore. Thank you so much to this extremely kind donor, and all the people who posted such nice comments.

Josie also wrote a follow-up post about our library, which you can read here

I had wanted to start a book blog for many years, but it was this event—both the starting of our library and the wonderful blog post—that finally encouraged me to actually do it, and drag my sister into it as well. We will review both young adult and middle grade books, make book lists, post cool links and book trailers, and more! We also love comments, so please let us know what your favorite books are and what your thoughts on books we reviewed are. Enjoy!



17 comments on “The Story Behind the Library

  1. Kris
    October 6, 2013

    You two are amazing! I loved reading the story about your library. I also love the book with the heart pages that you use on your hime page..very clever! Good luck in your adventures!

  2. Mrs. Muroski
    October 7, 2013

    What an inspiration, and a great resource for those looking for good books to read. I’m looking forward to following the update on your blog.

  3. hshuestis
    October 7, 2013

    Wow this make a librarian’s heart feel good!I will be sure to share this with fellow book lovers.

  4. Dave Baird
    October 11, 2013

    I’m not sure what I’m more impressed by: your passion for and eloquent description of the world of literature, or your initiative in not only creating your own library but also your own blog. Wow! Very cool stuff!

  5. Andy
    October 15, 2013

    You two are amazing! Keep it up!!

  6. Shannon A Thompson
    December 23, 2013

    Wow! So inspirational.

  7. Meglena Ivanova
    December 24, 2013

    Hi Gwen and Kate,

    :) You guys are so great and you are doing something amazing together. :) I also have a little sister and I love her so much. Keep reading and keep learning what the books can teach you. :)

    Happy Holidays!!! :)

  8. Carolina Sicotte
    December 27, 2013

    I think that what you guys are doing is amazing and, since I love to read, this is a great place for me to go when I want to read new books.

  9. Lea Jurock
    May 25, 2014

    That is awesome. I’m also madly jealous of your home library! :)

  10. Pingback: The Very Inspiring Blogger Award! | Gwen & Kate's Library

  11. classybooksxo
    July 8, 2014

    I am completely impressed by you two. The Library and blog are amazing. Years ago my brother and I built an entire wall of bookshelves in my room though they’re now overflowing but there’s been an empty room since my sister moved out and I can’t believe I never thought to turn it into my own library. It might have to be my next big project.

    • gwenkate
      July 8, 2014

      Thank you so much for the support! I love love love the idea that our library might inspire others to build their own! Good luck and let us know how it goes if you do decide to make your own library!

  12. Pingback: Gwen & Kate’s Library: Post Number 100! | Gwen & Kate's Library

  13. alwaysopinionatedgirl
    August 4, 2014

    That is sooooo cool! I have always wanted a library in my home. If only I had a cool sister like you. I’m stuck with a videogame obessesed 12 year old brother who doesn’t understand the joys of reading. X

    • gwenkate
      August 4, 2014

      Thanks so much! Yes, it takes a lot of work – and teamwork. But then again, while we worked together on the library, the blog is mostly my project… ~Gwen

  14. Pingback: The Addictive Blog Award! | Gwen & Kate's Library

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