Prepare to be welcomed on a tour of my dragon hoard of books! (I always did like the term ‘bookwyrm’ more than ‘bookworm’.)
Having seen Ferret Lissa’s collection both in person (before) and in her post recently. . . I’m actually still not entirely sure who owns more books. Definitely safe to say either Lissa or I, of the Ferret cadre, though!
(Note: upon finishing this post, I am still not sure if I have more books or if Lissa does. Either way, though, mine are far less . . . ‘contained’. Also I have spent almost a full day on this project, which amazes me.)
My library is mainly gathered in the general area of ‘my house’. The bathrooms and kitchen are the only rooms without bookshelves in them and that’s not even counting the little book-drifts that accumulate everywhere. (Including bathrooms and kitchen.)
As for my organisational system . . . well, you’ll see. There is one, but probably not what most people would call one. Or be able to identify as one. (I’m aware I’ve a bit of a problem there.) And it’s only applied in patches, thus far.
We’ll start in the living room.
This shelf is the most recently built and added to my home, which is also why it’s not yet crammed full. On it you’ll find my box of the UK Harry Potter series (at the top), some assorted manga and decorative oddments, the middle shelf (skipping over my Japanese music collection) is a stack of ‘books I’m in the middle of or about to start reading’, mostly. Several are library books. (The colouring book and the Voltron comic are the only ones that ‘live’ there.) The shelf below only has a couple of photo/scrap books and the first hint of my Arda geekery, and the bottom holds the first Schlock Mercenary collection. (I haven’t yet acquired the second one.)
This is what used to be affectionately called ‘the library shelf’. The top shelf here is library books (plus assorted papers, a book-shaped Scrabble box of my mother’s letters, and a jar of cat toys) while the one below is mostly my mother’s books and almost as she left them, as I’ve yet to go through this part of her collection. There are a couple of other library books on the higher shelves of this bookcase (it’s the same size as the first one, but it’s mostly clutter at the moment, not books).
These were both Christmas gifts, and like the ones below, are stacked on my jewellery-making worktable.
I’d say they’re there because they’re recent acquisitions, but that’s rather relative. . . The bottom of the stack was given to me at Christmas 2014. The top was acquired at the last Ferrets on the Road trip (which has not yet been written about here).
Final part of the living room books! (Barring the four more stacks of ‘a couple of books’ I didn’t photograph.)
All of these are library books, which should technically be on the library shelf. (About half have been read, half have not; they aren’t separated.) You may spot another Tolkien hint here; this one is Tolkien on Beowulf. Along with the other Old English Literature books piled here, they may be a remnant from writing my Required Reading post awakening my old literature geek roots. (You may also spot my dog; that would be because this table is knee high and his bed is beside it.)
On to the bedroom and the wall of books!
These are largely books I have had since I was a child (and until this afternoon the bottom three shelves were of limited accessibility, which is why many of the books were pulled off and never returned there). A lot of educational science, history, etc. here. (Also apparently I still have the ACT prep books I never read.)
Beside it you can see part of the next shelf.
The bedroom shelves are actually where you’ll find the most organisation, though it may not always seem like it at first glance. (Also, where you’ll find the most bookcases and the most evidence that I am in need of more bookcases. . .) Fantasy dominates here, of course, including a lot of Mercedes Lackey (not all shelved together, even though many of them are in the same world, largely for reasons of size) and a little Tolkien section. Also here is one of my three copies of the Silmarillion. (This one is oldest, and has a personal letter inside.)
A lot of my organisation is ‘this book/series/author makes me think of this book/series/author, so I’ll put them side-by-side’. It’s utterly nonsensical unless you’re me. It’s probably the worst. (Also, if my brain experiences a paradigm shift? I will forget pieces of it and have to reorganise. It rarely happens, but it has happened.)
This used to be my nightstand, which is why it has 16 books on it. (There might usually have been one or two hiding in the bed itself, too. I totally don’t have a problem – because how could my book-attachment be a problem?)
Beside it there’s a comic longbox, and then the final bookshelf of my bedroom.
This bookshelf is about six inches from the foot of my bed, which makes it very hard to photograph. This is a lower shelf, with my blank notebook stash and many of my comic compilation books (mainly Calvin & Hobbes), which I like to read before sleep. (You can sort of see a couple of books on the bottom shelf. There aren’t many more there, mainly it’s more novel-plotting supplies.)
This is the top of that bookcase! More fantasy! More Mercedes Lackey! My original set of the Harry Potter novels! Some fandom-reference books! Also a collection of aimed-at-kids books on vampires, fairies, and wizards. (Great before-sleep reading.) Some of my light-reading paranormal romances live here also. (And the white-spined book at the front? It’s the proof copy of my NaNoNovel from 2010.)
And then there’s the box and stacks of books in my bedroom floor, near the fantasy-filled short bookshelf.
The bedroom also houses a further small collection of books stored in a bureau drawer.
On to the back room, in which there is only one bookshelf!
It’s over 7 feet tall, solid wood, with heavy glass doors. It has moved twice in my memory, and is probably never moving again unless I leave this house. There’s another shelf of Britannica at the bottom but it’s behind things. . . (And piled on the top are photo albums. I think I need a ladder to reach them.) On this shelf while tidying I also found one of the Wishbone classics, but regrettably not Be-a-Wolf, and also a book (Night Flying, Rita Murphy) I had decided to look for to reread only yesterday! The top shelf I believe is mainly writing reference books behind the clutter. (I . . . obviously use those often.)
(There are more books scattered in this room.)
Back through the house to the office! Only one bookshelf here, too.
On the top, a bunch of Harvard Classics, a teeny old book of Epics of Rome, fancy notebooks, and the Qur’an. Below, some kids books, a gay sci-fi romance graphic novel, all five books of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy in one volume, and more old books along with dictionaries and reference books.
You can also see Luck in the Shadows (and its sequel) which I was gifted by Eris a while back and which I have not yet read (sorry dear).
My favourite copy of the Silmarillion, the original Sherlock Holmes, a dress with bookshelves on it (whoops), assorted mythology, history, mysteries, cookbooks, poetry journals, two bibles, and some textbooks. (Also, some pictures of the inside of my brain – I have my MRI films – which I naturally keep beside the book on Escher.)
Balanced on a kitchen stool between the kitchen and dining room there is this box of books.
(The fabric covered book is a dictionary that belonged to a Mae Maxwell in 1930 in San Francisco.)
The dining room has a bookshelf but it isn’t really supposed to be in here. Someday perhaps it will move back to its home in the living room.
Mostly it holds books that were supposed to go somewhere else. Whoops. (The bottom shelf is full of other things, and a few reference books.)
Behind it you can sort of see this stack.
Which I have just noticed inexplicably has three of my books in the middle. They’re more of my mother’s books. As is this next heap, which . . . has been waiting on my attention to go through since the bookcase they were on collapsed.
We’re almost to the final books in my collection! And to meet them we have to go out to the garage.
This used to be my bedroom bookcase, when I was little, and it holds a lot of my favoured children’s books.
Also in the garage there’s this tub full of more children’s books. (Between the shelf and the tub – into which I could fit, if it weren’t full of books – these are still only the books I didn’t want to part with as a teenager. There were many, many more kid books that passed on to my niece or other children.)
. . .wow, I knew I had a lot of books but I am still . . . amazed, a little. I apologise for the degree of my rambling as I try to explain my nonsensical book hoard’s organisation and origins.
Silly bonus: you may have seen a few book boxes like these around the edges of the bookshelf photos, as I’ve a terrible fondness for them!
There are about ten more stacks of books I didn’t photograph because they have 2-7 books each and are just scattered (book-drifts) wherever they’ve settled.
I have a few books. Possibly. And I love to talk about them, so thanks for listening if you’ve made it this far!