Our society has devolved, and one of the reasons is that masculinity has become shunned. These days manliness is labeled as "toxic." Chivalry is all too rare. For many, becoming a man is no longer a goal. Manliness, no longer being treasured or valued, so the young have nowhere to go so they keep their childish ways as they age. Nothing illustrates this better than the "man" cave.
What is a "man" cave? Generally it is a place for males to rule. The most common activity is to gaze upon large televisions, watching the exploits of others playing the games of children. Perhaps the "man" cave has video games...which or nothing more than another game for children. A kegerator is almost always in place, or at least a fridge full of beer. Comfortable seating, often styled like that of a movie theater.
How pathetic..."men" hiding, finding refuge in the equivalent of a well-appointed clubhouse. Watching and playing games. How humiliating! Why would a real man go hide to do what he wants? Is he not the king of his castle? Would not a real queen be supportive of him taking his throne?
What he needs, what America needs, is a change in attitude. We need a return to a chivalrous society. We need to teach our boys how to become men. One place to start is being a good example. Replace the adolescent game room with a study.
A study is a place of thought, contemplation and to study, hence the name. There are books to be read. Letters to be written. A comfortable chair in which to contemplate. To me, leather and wood make for a stately place. An environment to inspire, that is worthy of a man of substance.
No bowling trophies or Star Wars action figures, the study should reflect the man's interests. My ideas lean to the traditional, lots of dark wood and leather. Perhaps a mount of a cape buffalo or even a buck. A hatch from a sunken ship. Things that connect you to another time. Mine has classic revolvers, a collection of grease caps from 20's automobiles, sketches of my inventions, a fountain pen collection and, of course, a plethora of books.
What kind of books should be in a study? That depends upon the man. While mine is filled with biographies and and books chronicling the Revolutionary War and the Industrial Revolution, there is no blueprint. Only you can say. What elevates you? Inspires you? Makes you better? Those are the tomes that should grace your shelves.
There is nothing to say that a study has to be traditional. It can be Scandinavian in style, with clean lines and minimalistic teak. No matter how it is decorated, it should be a place that elevates...an environment that has the tools to help you be a smarter and more substantive...a better man. Of course, the truth is that the study isn't truly about what's in the room...it is about what isn't. When a man is holding a game controller, a pool cue or a remote control, he is never improving himself. Ditch the "boy" cave... Bring back the study.