A Bookshelf Tour (Part 2 of 3)

Back to the bookshelves! (I always enjoy creeping other people’s shelves, so I hope you’re liking getting a glimpse at mine. Fair’s fair.)

When we left off I had shown you my reading spot (above) and my primary bookshelves – and hinted several times that I need another shelf, which I do. I’ve got a bit of overflow shelving in place, but it’s filling up quickly. Starting with the little wooden bookshelf over on the right.

I wanted a bookshelf that looked like a (small) tree, but it turns out that’s not a thing that really exists – or at least, not in the size and price point that I wanted. I found this modern tree-inspired shelf on Amazon, and Steve kindly put it together for me… but I’ve already pretty much filled it up. From the top: some vintage books (D.E. Stevenson, Elinor Brent-Dyer, and Mrs. Miniver) and some vintage-looking Beverly Nichols that didn’t fit on the nature and travel shelves but don’t appear too terribly out of place here. And then two shelves crammed almost-full with Dean Street Press books. These are going to need their own shelf soon. I’ve enjoyed every one of these mid-century middlebrow novels that I’ve read.

Immediately under the Dean Street Press books – a hodgepodge of books, mostly recent acquisitions (relatively – within the last year anyway) that I just stuck here until I could organize them better. Some NYRB Classics, 3/4 of Melissa Harrison’s seasonal quartets, a handful of Handheld Press books I want to read soon, Diana Cooper’s three-volume memoir, and more. I guess the unifying theme here is that these are mostly cozy reads, with the exception of Black Narcissus?

Finally, the bottom shelves are mystery overflow: some Agatha Christie, some Ngaio Marsh, and a shelf-full of British Library Crime Classics. Someday I’m going to have an entire bookcase full of classic crime. Things are really trending in that direction.

Opposite the other bookshelves (behind the couch, ish) I have a poorly organized cupboard full of candles and other overflow book storage. It’s mostly hardcovers – some new and some vintage, plus a stack of golden age mystery novels I’ve had since high school, and another stack that I borrowed from my friend Susan and need to return. There are a few treasures in here, though – namely my early Elizabeth von Arnims, first edition L.M. Montgomery novels (and one Edith Wharton novella), and a beautiful gilded copy of Tales of the Alhambra that my grandmother bought for me in Spain, years ago.

Finally, the coffee table – which used to be styled, what do you think of that? – has turned into piles of books that don’t fit on the shelves where they belong. There’s Birds of Virginia (which I usually keep by the kitchen window, so I should put it back there sometime), a stack of vintage children’s novels from Girls Gone By, more classic crime and a few other Dean Street Press books waiting to be read soon. Don’t mind the kids’ books, which they never clean up.

You can see that I really do need another bookshelf! Or maybe a few more bookshelves. And a dedicated library to put them in. I’m low maintenance, guys! Next week: the family bookshelves, which (spoiler alert) are mostly mine, although I have generously granted Steve a couple of shelves to store the books he almost never touches.

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