Home > Mangia! Mangia!, Style > Sept. 30/I love my bookshelves

Sept. 30/I love my bookshelves

September 30th, 2009

My bookshelves

You can see by my living room what an important role books play in my life. I only save books I love.

On the lefthand side, the two lower shelves are for my children’s books. The shelf above that is all of my husband’s music books and scores. Then on the right bookshelf, the shelf right above the TV is for DVDs. We don’t buy them, but these are ones given as gifts to my children. So I really don’ t have a ton of books considering how much I read. I only keep ones that are meaningful.

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  1. October 1st, 2009 at 07:47 | #1

    Your sofas look so incredibly comfortable! And I love the symmetry you have in this room. Probably has good feng shui!

  2. Marsi
    October 1st, 2009 at 10:12 | #2

    I am suspicious of people who don’t have books in their homes.

    Your living room looks so cozy!

    • October 1st, 2009 at 10:31 | #3

      Marsi,
      No wonder I like you so much. I always tell my husband it creeps me out when I walk into a house without books~~~

  3. October 1st, 2009 at 11:36 | #4

    Your living room looks so comfy, I could curl up on your couch right now with one of those books!

  4. Renee
    October 1st, 2009 at 11:54 | #6

    That trench looks great on you. And I love the feeling of your living room– very inviting.

  5. Robin
    October 1st, 2009 at 13:54 | #7

    I love your living room. It looks very comfy and chic. It looks like a wonderful place to relax after dinner or during the day with a nice book.

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What is it about those Italian women? You know the ones I’m talking about: beautiful, sexy, dressed to the nines just to take the kids to the park. They have a certain something that is indefinable. It is in the way they dress, the way they prepare their meals, the way they spend their leisure time.

It is because they know the importance of la bella figura. Roughly translated from Italian, it means putting you best foot forward in everything you do. It means cutting a beautiful figura. The opposite of la bella figura is la brutta figura, which is what someone might say about the falling down drunken guy at the party or the super tackily dressed woman at church. It means ugly figure.

La bella figura is much more than your appearance. It goes much deeper than that. It is about how you act. It is about how you treat others. It is about how you care for yourself, your home and your family. Living a life in line with la bella figura doesn’t take money. In fact, it is more about how to have class without a lot of money.

Someone who exudes la bella figura will have clean, pressed clothes and be well groomed. They will not be rude or sloppy. Their fingernails will be impeccably groomed. Their hair shiny and clean and their shoes will be polished. They will not have stray threads hanging from their suit hems. They will not be driving a car in need of the car wash.

La bella figura means driving that 15 year old car and meticulously cleaning it and caring for it. It means keeping your belongings in good repair. It means taking time to clean your house and not cluttering it up with meaningless objects.

When you focus all your spare energy, time and money on the things that bring you the most amount of pleasure, then you are truly living a life in line with la bella figura. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be Italian to do so. You just have to think like an Italian.

Italian children are raised to present la bella figura in whatever they do. From the time they are small and are groomed perfectly to attend church or school, they know that appearances count. They count because it is the first thing people judge about you. That first impression does matter. Appearances are also important because when you take the time to look nice, you are showing that you care about yourself. When you care enough to look good, it shows you have good healthy self esteem. Nothing is more attractive than self confidence.

In addition, dressing nice also shows respect for others. If you invite people over for dinner and greet them in flip flops, baggy sweats and a stained shirt, it is really disrespectful to them. The same if you dress sloppy to go to church or even to the market. By dressing nicely and being well groomed, you show respect for everyone in your world.

Having la bella figura means presenting yourself in the best light possible in all your interactions.