May 11, 2011

From the Shelf

I love books. I love buying them, I love reading them, I love smelling them, I love looking at them. They are, hands down, my favorite things to purchase. However, I am also cheap. Really cheap. I think all the Scottish blood from my mom's side of the family was somehow concentrated in me, for it is rare that I will buy a book for over $4 - to the point where, at birthdays and the like when I give books as presents, my family asks, "Did you pay more than three dollars for it?" Condition isn't very important to me, except in gift-giving - I prefer my books used - so I have a rather battered collection of books on my shelf. And the nice ones? Oh, those are the ones that friends and family have given me.

Shelf One - Left Side: I have a lot of C.S. Lewis, and not nearly as much as I want. The Parable of Joy by Michael Card, on the far left, isn't really mine; I just absorbed it into my stash. Letters of C.S. Lewis came out of a house that my dad and brother bought and renovated, and The Screwtape Letters and The Joyful Christian were presents. I'm not sure why I still have I Kissed Dating Goodbye; I'm not very fond of it. The Four Loves I bought, back in the day before I knew of the wonderful site called Alibris and bought books from Barnes & Noble. The other books I either bought, acquired for free (no, I didn't steal them), or were presents (like the Norsk dictionary over on the right.)

Shelf One - Right Side: Most of these are historical fictions, as the histories are getting squeezed out to go on my other bookshelf. I've been building my collection of Sutcliff novels for the past few months; Frontier Wolf is missing from this picture because I'm still reading it. I actually spent over $7 each for that, The Shield Ring, and The Mark of the Horse Lord, which just goes to show how much I wanted those Front Street editions. (And don't get me started on all the trouble I went through to get Mark.) Let's see... There are still some research books there, but The Influence of Sea Power upon History is in use. Couple of Costain novels, but I didn't care for Below the Salt and so haven't gotten around to reading The Black Rose.

Shelf Two: Did I mention that I like C.S. Lewis? Many of the books on this shelf were gifts, including the three on the left: The Thirty-Nine Steps, The Pilgrim's Progress, and The Chronicles of Narnia. (Yes, I do still have extras of The Chronicles. I can't seem to get rid of them.) Those hardbacks of Out of the Silent Planet, That Hideous Strength, and the three Chronicles books were from the same house as Letters of C.S. Lewis. The Silmarillion my dad bought for me. I have most of L'Engle's Time Quintet, but I didn't care for the last one and so never bothered to buy it. The green book to the right of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is The Gammage Cup; I rather wonder how I managed to keep Jenny from taking it with her when she moved out. Over on the right are mostly "girly" books, like Little Women.

Shelf Three: Lamplighter Publishing books on the left, random-assortment-of-classics-which-would-not-fit-on-my-designated-classics-shelf on the right. That copy of Ben-Hur I'm only holding until a friend comes in June and I can give it to her. Most of the other classics I picked up cheaply at booksales or on Alibris. The Lamplighters, which tend to be expensive, I mostly acquired as presents.

Shelf Four - Left: In case you couldn't guess, that Barnes & Noble copy of The Iliad and the Odyssey was - yes - a gift. The lovely edition of Ben-Hur I got from Jenny's mother-in-law; Beowulf was one of Jenny's 3+ copies, and she deigned to let me have it. Shakespeare's works I absorbed into my own collection, as with that hideously orange copy of Wuthering Heights. The Woman in White and Bleak House were both gifts, hence their new condition. I did actually buy Gone with the Wind...for ninety-nine cents. Yes, I'm cheap.

Shelf Four - Right: This Oxford Illustrated set of Jane Austen's novels, a birthday present from my dad, is probably the nicest collection of books I own. (Pride and Prejudice is missing from the photo because I was rereading it at the time.) The copy of Daddy-Long-Legs I picked up at a used-book store; it has a lovely smell. The other cloth-bound books were mostly absorbed from other shelves in the house. Mother West Wind's Children, the blue book, was a childhood favorite.

Shelf Five - I don't have a good photo of this one, but that's all right: I can't reach the shelf without the aid of a step, so it's primarily made up of books that I don't care about very much. I do have three old G.A. Henty's, Les Miserables, Chaucer, A Tale of Two Cities, and some more Shakespeare up there, banished to the top shelf because they wouldn't fit on any other.

Bookshelf Number Two - This is actually an entertainment unit, but who cares? If it can be used for holding books, it will be. This holds my mysteries, histories, and a random assortment of other books that would not fit on my big bookshelf, but were too good to go into storage, such as the Anne of Green Gables series. Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Dorothy Sayers, and one Mary Stewart novel make up most of my mystery collection.

Those are the books on my shelf. What about yours?


  1. Wow, quite an impressive collection! I might copy your idea and post pictures/lists of my books on my blog. (If it's okay with you, of course.)

    If you don't mind me asking, what did you dislike about I Kissed Dating Goodbye?

  2. Oh, it's quite all right! I love to see what other people read, especially writers. It gives a lot of insight into what kind of works they produce.

    I didn't like the minor role the parents played in I Kissed Dating Goodbye. It is a very modern idea that parents are not involved in the courting process until a late stage, and I don't agree with that. I didn't dislike all of the book, though.

  3. Hmmm, the most predominant authors on my (fiction) shelf are: C. S. Lewis, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, J. R. R. Tolkien, Martha Finley, and L. M. Montgomery. And then lots of random ones. :)
    Like you, I'm pretty sure I didn't pay more than $5 for any of them - definitely not without a gift card.

  4. Your post actually made me decide to do this one, Melody. Like you, I rarely spend much money on books; but unlike you, I buy books about once a month. Our library doesn't have many options!

  5. I must say I enjoyed I truly enjoyed to read this, Abigail. What a brilliant idea to have pictures as well. At first, I just looked over the pictures (yup, me in a nutshell) and then I read the post properly. It was not until then I noticed the dictionary. I’m sure the sound I made sounded like a lost sheep. You must know it made me smile to see it there. ^.^

    I believe I’m in a bit of the same way; the book should be cheap. It almost did hurt when I bought a book for 20 dollars, even though Mama and Papa paid it. (It was a Birthday present, and they wanted me to choose a book. However, it was The Cross Triumphant. It’s so pwetty there it stands!) I do wish I could have a similar bookshelf like you have, but poor Archie is full of stuff. Two shelves are Narnia shelves (yeah, I collect…) and one is where I have my books. There is a forth shelf where I’ve got a few books though, but they’re books from I was a little girl. The rest of the books are upstairs because Archie can’t carry many more.

    Brilliant post, m’dear. ^.^

  6. Yep, the dictionary is there, and the red envelope on top of Shadow of Colossus has the Norwegian coins you sent me. And there's the angel-candle, too. You are featured on my bookshelf a lot!

    I loved the pictures of Archie that you showed me a while back. The Lamplighter books (Cross Triumphant, etc.) are expensive, but they're very pretty, too. Jenny has a lot of the best ones - The Cross Triumphant and The Spanish Brothers are my favorites, and she owns those. Ah, well...


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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