It has been eight years since I had a proper bookshelf. While in college one of my best friends gave me this beautiful shelf she had. I coveted that shelf every time I went over to her place. I can’t really remember why she was getting rid of it. I just remember getting to take possession of it. My last year of college I moved back home and gave all of my stuff away, including that lovely shelf. Since then, I’ve been using closet space to store my books. At my dad’s house, my closet had four box-like shelves that I stacked books in a la Izzybella. When I moved into a place of my own I had one long gigantic shelf in my closet that I stacked books. It was quite beautiful. But now, I am the happy owner of a proper bookshelf. It is the centerpiece of our living room and I could gaze at it all day long.
A few shelves on the left store B’s extensive movie collection. The rest of the shelves contain my books. The rest of my books are in an armoire. We also have some treasured items sharing the shelves with the books.
I have a little thing for faeries. I even have a tattoo of one on my calf. Now I am not a collector (of figurines), but over the years I’ve acquired faeries from lovely people who know I love faeries. I love them and think I have just the right number. I grouped them with my faerie books (which I do collect) and just like that I created a mini sacred space on my shelf.
I like to stack my books horizontally. I do this because a. I can read the titles without craning my neck and b. I am able to utilize more shelf space this way. I group my books by author (when I have a large number of one’s oeuvre) and my by genre. This is the shelf devoted to plays, poetry and Sylvia Plath. Most of the poetry is hiding in the back, but one of my favorite collections, Life Sentences by Nina Cassian is peeking out on the side. I am a huge fan of Sylvia Plath. I have every single book of poetry published saver for The Collected Poems, which I lent to one of my best friends, but she loved it so much she kept “forgetting” to give it back. Before I moved I officially gave it to her. I also have every biography written on her, her unabridged journals, her husband’s book of poetry about her. I think the only thing I am missing is a book of letter correspondence between her and her mother.
Alice Hoffman is hands down my favorite author. I don’t have all of her books, but I have quite a few, hence I’ve grouped them together, with a couple hanging out on the hardback shelf because they were too big to fit with the others. In high school Francesca Lia Block became another favorite. I bought nearly all of her books rather than check them out. I read Girl Goddess #9 first and fell in love at first read. She is grouped with Hoffman because I feel they have similar writing styles. They both employ magical realism and have such lyrical, poetic prose.
This shelf has all of my hardbacks, which aren’t many. I am more of a trade paperback girl. This shelf contains all of the Harry Potter books because I bought them (mostly) as they came out. This shelf also contains the Rosalind Miles Guinivere trilogy, Celia Rees’s Witch Child books and other random hardbacks/chunkster paperbacks that don’t fit anywhere else. I also have a few fun trinkets hanging out here. From the left: a pregnant torso (with baby included!) keychain that broke, fetal pig from high school anatomy class, butterflies that my sister gave me, and a Lizzie Borden bobblehead souvenir from the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.
That is a few of the many shelves that comprise my beloved bookcase. I leave you with one last shot taken from of the top, which houses family photos, a wedding picture, and our wedding masks.
What do your shelves look like? Do you house little treasures among your books? Do you group/stack them in a particular way?