Saturday 5 December 2009

Books and more books

So Peter over on Kyusireader is conducting a 'bookshelf project' and has up some pretty impressive photographs of people's book collections. What a lovely eclectic mix, some all neat and tidy and others just piled up in a wonderful jumble of reading pleasure. So I decided to take photos of the current state of my own collection.
As an aside I'll just fill you in on the background. Most of the books were, post divorce, stacked on an old and increasingly tatty stained pine shelving unit. Then we were flooded in July 2007 and the books were hurriedly stacked in the boys bedroom. They were subsequently put in boxes under the bunk beds when Jacob moved to live with us and some were moved to the loft (during this time we were still without carpeting and repairs were non existent). Then we moved out while repairs were done. We moved back after 5 months (just over a year after the flood) and the books remained in the loft while bookcase plans were made. After a visit to Ikea mine and Dunk's relationship underwent it's first real test as were put the two bookcases together. You can't see in the picture but one of the shelves is unfinished on the front edge. We put it together before we discovered this ... we thought we had done it wrong and so pulled it apart again ... and found that it was not us, it was Ikea's fault. I arranged for a new piece to be sent but by this time I just wanted to get the job done so put all the books on them anyway. So there is a nice new shelf in the loft, for some occasion when we might move house and I feel so inclined to deconstruct and reconstruct the bookshelf.
First picture is the fiction/poetry/biography shelf (and my politics stuff on the bottom shelf). My only system was honestly based on size, the gap at the top was tiny so only certain books would fit there. Both shelves were pretty much full so new acquisitions have been stacked on the front. The photo you can see clearly is my mum, the home made paper chains are from last Christmas, the pale blue thing is a toy M made at school, the envelope rack I made at school, the pile of fluffy stuff is the camel hair I still have not spun and the hat was Tish's for her Borneo trip. The lovely lamp on the table was made from an elm tree that my parents had to have taken down from their garden at Lewdon Farm (they don't live there now by the way), and they had lamps made with some of the wood.
The other side is the non-fiction shelf. Now I think the books on the other one are pretty much all mine, but probably at least half of these are Dunk's. He has another bookcase in our bedroom which is almost entirely computer books but I am not including them here. This one does have a plan, but you still get the size problem so the big ones go on the bottom shelf. We have education stuff, philosophy, history, music, art (all very vaguely), a small knitty/crafty bit, and then a miscellaneous bit for anything that didn't fit elsewhere. There are more paper chains, the little wooden box M made at school and the wooden calendar came from my dad's office in Liverpool when I was about 13. It was something he acquired when they redecorated and because I was the only person who ever changed the date he gave it to me, so probably another of my most long standing possessions.


  1. Hi, Martine! Thanks for the shoutout!

  2. I laughed when I read that the top and bottom shelves were only defined by the size of the book. I bet that is the case in many bookshelves - certainly in mine. All the careful attempts at categorising go to pot when you come across books too big to fit and the bottom shelf becomes a miscellanea. Meanwhile the top shelf only fits little books so poertry nestles next to a tiny Latin dictionary, and so on.

  3. I spent eleven years working in an academic library so, in retirement, I have absolutely no classification system at all. This way, I run my eye over almost everything when looking for something in particular. A nice way to stay in touch with old favourites.


Thanks for stopping by. Thoughts, opinions and suggestions (reading or otherwise) always most welcome.