I think most people are a little nosy when it comes to other people’s domiciles, (in western PA we call it being “nebby” or a “nebnose”). Maybe that’s just me trying to make myself feel like less of a creep. But there must be a reason that looking in someone’s medicine cabinet is such a well-worn cultural trope. In this spirit, I’d like to take you on a tour of my home library, so that you can know me better.
As a confirmed lover of cataloging and organization in general, my home library has many different sections. I once helped a friend organize her books by color, and it was lovely, but not something I’d want for myself. Here’s the main book hoard:
It’s true that I have run out of room, and it’s true that my cat refuses to play with that purple contraption in the bottom right corner.
What sections will you find on this bookshelf?
1. personal memoir
2. general adult-marketed fiction, mostly contemporary
3. books in spanish
4. children’s fiction
5. YA fiction
6. favorite fantasy series
7. fiction from college years (Thomas Hardy, mostly) and non-contemporary authors: Malory, etc.
8. graphic novels
10. picture books
11. short stories
12. art books
13. McSweeney’s publications
Here, snoop closer:
But wait! I also have 3 other places where I store my books (not to mention the whole other bookcase in my childhood home)
I know, though, that this is NOTHING compared to Rebecca’s bookshelves, or other people I know. I had to make myself stop buying so many books, out of sheer practicality.
I’m kind of attached to my Norton Anthologies.
I bought many poetry anthologies in college, until I figured out that I prefer to read poetry in book form. So now I pre-screen any poetry books before buying.
I enjoy cooking from recipes. It makes it easy to shop – I can be easily distracted in the grocery store. The Mario Batali book has a bittersweet chocolate tart recipe you wouldn’t believe.
I subscribe to 2 magazines and regularly read one (The New Yorker). The other (The Believer) I save, not only because it’s pretty, smells like wonderful ink, and has collectible illustrations throughout, but because I have no time to read it and someday I hope to have that time.
Although I’ve weaned myself from used booksales, I still love to buy impractical and often outdated reference works. Piloting, Seamanship and Sailboat Handling is one of those books. Also, the book on Wall-ear Berlin, how to Haunt your House for Halloween, all those sewing books I’ll never use because sewing makes me cry, Freewheeling (road bicycling… I don’t even know). But How to Think Like A Cat proved to be extremely helpful when I found my cat and rescued him from certain death.
And why haven’t I read more of these books? Because I always have piles
of library books all around me.
What are your shelves like? Want to show us? Do a guest post! Judge my books in the comments!