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?