31 March 2008

Book Books and More Books

The first comment that Niobe ever left on my blog was about books:

Is there an option for expressing the opinion that books are massively overrated and something that I would never willingly allow to darken my doorstep (let alone any other part of my house)?

Even though I'd never seen her blog, or noticed her comments elsewhere, or otherwise "met" her, I knew that she loved books and was just being deeply ironic.

Since then, she's posted many pictures of the books overrunning her house - most recently last week, when she challenged me (and others) to show what's on our shelves.

M's room has a tall, skinny bookcase, full of kids books, which is attached to the wall so it doesn't fall over when she climbs it. We still have a handful of board books for nostalgia, but the other night she asked me to read The Reluctant Dragon, also known as the "blue dragon" - a book with considerably more words than pictures.
The Scrabble books have a place of their own, all together, because I am playing nearly too many Scrabble games on-line and via email!
Right near the couch are a few gardening books, in case I need to consult Dirr or Ruggiero or Armitage at a moment's notice. There are more gardening books elsewhere; these were later arrivals and don't fit on the shelf where the others reside.
Here's a tiny selection of cookbooks, with Joy, James and Julia right there in the middle. That particular copy of Joy was my maternal grandmother's - it has little notes of hers in pencil in the margins.
Lastly, and sadly, here's one of the many boxes of books that are still living in the cellar. Yes, we have no bookcases. Buried in those boxes are things I need - my dictionary, a one volume edition of all of the Mapp & Lucia books, an extra copy of Mistress Masham's Repose to give to my niece, etc. Sigh. Not only would getting the books out into the open air be good for my soul, it would free up so much space in the cellar. Someday, someday.

What's on your bookshelves?


Rima said...

Man, I love these "what's on your bookshelf" posts. My dream is to have a home with built-in bookshelves all over the place. Then I will know that I have arrived.

Melissa said...

i have sooo much shakespear and history books and of course harry potter :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Even though I mostly use the internet for recipes these days, I have one bookcase just full of my mom's cookbooks, of which there are many. I love to look at them.

Mayberry said...

I'll have to take some pictures. Like of all the French novels I have left from when I was a French literature major. And the fact that I insist on alphabetizing my (English) novels.

Mrs. G. said...

All I can say is we have way too many! And they aren't as neatly arranged as yours.

1A said...

I can't post pictures on my blog right now, but this is just one of my many, many, many stacks.


And ... as I was clicking on a not-so-messy picture of books, my blog died again. Sigh.

Aliki2006 said...

I love peeking into other people's bookshelves! I've been meaning to take some pics of OUR overflowing shelves as well.

niobe said...

I'm so flattered that you remember my very first comment.

needleinahaystack said...

my husband and I have enough exercise and diet books to lift instead of weights. We should weigh them.

Julia said...

If I can conquer the migraine that has me hiding in the bedroom with the laptop (it's the kind where if I find a way to properly support my head, don't move, and have no light sources except for the screen in the room I am relatively ok), I will post mine tonight. If not-- Thursday.
Yours are fascinating. Especially the scrabble books.

NotSoSage said...

Honestly, I love these posts. I feel like I'm getting to the most intimate parts of blogger's lives...a touch less invasive than peeking in their medicine cabinets (and, frankly, more interesting).

We are just starting our own collection, but I can tell you that we probably have a complete set of Rushdie - fiction and non-fiction. Joe is chomping at the bit for next month's new one, even though he was disappointed by the last.

Kyddryn said...

I would take a photo of my bookshelves if I could get into the library (I'd have a guest room if I didn't insist that the books have their own room), but I can't get in there just now...too many books on the floor.

One day, I shall build a house with a proper library - built in shelves (perhaps glass-fronted) a few cupboards for games and photo albums, a fireplace, a desk and some comfortable chairs...sigh.

I have every book I've ever purchased, including my childhood favorites and college tomes. I may need an entire wing to hold them all. Better get cracking on the lottery win.

Shade and Sweetwater,