I thought about doing a vlog of my bookshelves. But I don’t have a good way to do so. Plus, I’m feeling kind of in a rush to finish some books, so time is at a premium. Among others, I still need to finish my book club book (The Painted Veil) for next week, as well as one of my Classics Circuit books (Strong Poison) for Monday’s post, not to mention Milton, who is getting the shaft this week.
All that to say I am not sharing a vlog of my bookshelves. But surely a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
We got a surprising amount back with our tax return, so I convinced my husband to put a new bookshelf on the “what to do with it” list. I have not had a new bookshelf (for myself) since the year 2000 or so, when I bought two cardboard-backed fake-wood Target bookshelves for about $25 each to store my college collection of books . (We did buy a small bookshelf for our front room when we bought our house last year. It stores our pretty coffee table books in it.) I hope it’s needless to say that my books (of which I’ve been acquiring rapidly over the years) do not fit on those two four-shelf Target things. I had books crammed in them and even then I had some of my books in a box.
The “new” bookshelf I got is actually an old bookshelf I found via Craig’s List (yeay for good quality used furniture!). It’s almost to the ceiling and it has plenty of shelf space. I will note, however, that upon getting the book shelf two weeks ago, I went on a Bookmooch/PaperbackSwap spree, using up all my points at each site. That means that, when the mail has come each day this week, I’ve had a new book to add to the shelves. I’ve discovered just how easy it is to fill the shelves. Since I took this picture, I’ve shifted some books (some of my nonfiction) on to my Target bookshelves so my fiction section will have room to grow. Is that sad? Within two weeks it’s getting too small?
How it’s organized: The top left is anthologies, and underneath that is my pretty poetry collection. (I really want all the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets. I think they are so pretty.) The top two shelves on the right are children’s books, at least the pretty editions I’ve purchased. Then the next three shelves on each side are fiction, alphabetized by author’s surname. The bottom two shelves are my nonfiction, in Dewey Decimal order for the most part. (I like to keep the books about books with the 800s, even if the official Dewey number puts it under the 000s.)
I also want to mention my Bronte pictures. When my mom went to the Bronte parsonage about 15 years ago, she got me some notecards with illustrations from Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I’ve used all the note cards but two and I wanted to keep them, so I put them in a frame, and now I can see them everyday.
Sometimes I think it would be really pretty to put all my Penguin Classics books together. I love the black spine and red author’s name. I think it looks so classy. But then I wouldn’t have all my fiction in author order, and that would bug me.
Also, at some point, I want to get rid of my awful condition books and some of those tacky mass market paperback books (hate that size!). I also want a lovely edition of Shakespeare’s plays, each play in its individual cover. I have my eye on this set; sometimes the price goes down to under $100! I’m waiting for the right moment. Much as I appreciate libraries, there is something so satisfying about seeing all my pretty books when I walk in my office. I was pretty good in 2009: I think I bought two books all year. This year, I’m going kind of on a used books rampage.
How do you organize your books?
I really must post about my “finds” more often. This list is huge!!
- Victorian London by Liza Picard. I am about to begin a major “Victorian fiction” read, so this book gets me excite. Thanks, Nymeth, for the review!
- Frangipani by Celestine Hitiura Vaite. Via Eva. I’ve been looking for something for “Oceania” for the Orbis Terrarum challenge.
- Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope. I recently won six Trollope novels via Twitter from Oxford World Classics. Eva reviewed this in April, though, so you know that I’ve been meaning to read Trollope for a while!
- This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson. Via Bibliosue. I like libraries.
- A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. Via Nymeth. I’ve been meaning to try Forster and Nymeth just loves it!
- Queen of Spades by Pushkin. Via Mel U. Would be perfect for the upcoming Classics Circuit! (Sign up is still open.)
- All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Via Aarti. Sounds like a necessary and interesting book to read.
- A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft. Via Amy Reads. Despite being from the 1700s, it sounds remarkably pertinent.
- The Odd Women by George Gissing. Via Nymeth. I really do want to read Gissing, but wasn’t sure where to start. This sounds like a great one.
- The Essential Haiku. Via Valerie. I am fascinated by haiku.
- Claire and Verity’s Persephone week. Despite my lack of enthusiasm (I liked it, but didn’t love it) for my first Persephone, I’ve added a lot to my list. The following are some of them. Most of them I want to read because of multiple reviews and/or browsing the Persephone catalog.
- The Home-maker by Dorothy Canfield Fischer
- Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski
- Hostages to Fortune by Elizabeth Cambell
- Lady Rose and Miss Memmary by Ruby Ferguson