March 8, 2012

A Shelfish Update

Way back in May of last year I posted photos of my bookshelf. Naturally those pictures are now outdated; I looked through them the other day and was amused by both the differences and the similarities. I have an aversion, you see, to rearranging my books once I've found The Way. I get used to seeing them in just That Way, and they, for their part, start to look so comfortable that it seems rude to move them. However, I have made a few alterations over the course of ten months...

For instance, I've started to use the bottom shelf of my white bookcase. I hadn't before simply because dust collects down there faster than it does on the other shelves, but since I was out of room in the entertainment-unit-bookcase, it had to happen. To tell the truth, I'm rather fond of the result. Right now I have my general histories on the left part and most of my nautical books on the right; but when it comes time to put away the ones I have out for White Sail's research, I'm not sure what I'll do. [Note: The gap in the left section is where a biography of John Newton goes. He's currently out on loan. Such a sociable fellow!]

Poor Piper and Tozer, shoved willy-nilly on top of the rest! One of these days I'll rearrange this section and make it look nicer. I've picked up a number of books since May, including The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity, and a few Puritan Paperbacks. I was reading The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment last time I did a shelf-post, but I have since finished it. I also bought Of the Imitation of Christ, which I am currently reading.

Things are much the same on the other side of this shelf. Frontier Wolf is completed and back beside its brothers; The Tall Ships also has some company: The Salem Frigate and The Sea Eagles, both by John Jennings, both yet to be read. Dew on the Grass, one of the stacked books, is about a little girl growing up in Wales, so it provided me with a little inspiration for Sunshine and Gossamer. Inspiration or no, however, it is a darling book before you even crack the cover. I love cloth bindings.

If you look at the bottom shelf in this picture and compare it to what it looked like last May, you'll find that every upright book is exactly the same. It hasn't changed a bit in almost a year. How pathetic am I? However, the stacked books are a bit different. I have Liz Patterson's The Mark of the Star, a copy of The Hobbit with Smaug looking far too adorable on the cover, and Tolkien's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (etc.). I picked up On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, which just so happens to coordinate wonderfully with Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Heartless and Veiled Rose (and Moonblood, as soon as I can acquire it). My copy of Howl's Moving Castle is blue as well, but it was on loan to Jenny when I took this picture. It's back on top of Heartless now. And, last of all, I have two novels in Mary Stewart's Arthurian saga, The Crystal Cave and The Hollow Hills. I think she likes alliteration.

The Lamplighter books on the shelf above are also the same. I've gotten a few more classics, however: Little Dorrit, The Master of Ballantrae, and a gorgeous hardback of one of my favorite books, The Last of the Mohicans. Now the only trouble is working up the courage (and gathering the tissue boxes) to reread it.

Again, the second-to-top shelf is much the same. Wuthering Heights morphed, as you can see, from a hideous orange thing into a very nice Barnes & Noble edition - who knew that books have so much in common with butterflies? The little book on top of it is Oliver Twist; the two stacked books a little to the right are The Black Arrow and A Tale of Two Cities (which I just finished reading this week - more tissue boxes!). I also got The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, but I haven't read it yet.

Just as I've had to start using the bottom shelf, the top shelf has been requisitioned as well. I'm too short to reach it easily without a stepstool - the furniture-maker was tall! - so I don't have many books up here: Treasure Island, The Count of Monte Cristo, G.A. Henty toward the left. I was keeping the paperback A Tale of Two Cities until I found out whether my clothbound edition was readable; I might get rid of it now. For a while I had three copies, although one was abridged.

Here is the top shelf of my second "bookcase". (I do still use it as an entertainment unit, it's just that the entertainment it houses happens to be books instead of movies.) Having moved my histories to the white bookcase, this shelf is no longer full: there are Peter Pan and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, and then Green Dolphin Street, a birthday gift from the splendid Anna. On the right I keep my audiobook of The Hobbit, plus two books that couldn't be crammed into the fantasy section of the white bookcase. The bottom shelf of this unit remains much the same, just with a couple new Agatha Christie novels and without Sayers - she went to Jenny's house.

And that is my shelf-ish update. Have your shelves altered much in the past year, or do you like to keep everything the same? I am hopelessly leery of change.


  1. I keep everything the same. But I do add books!

  2. Ah, you have The Mark of the Horse Lord! I've wanted to get that one for myself, but it must be out of print and somewhat rare, because it's a little more expensive than a normal paperback. I'll have to cough up the money soon though!

    Lovely shelves!

  3. A lot of Sutcliff's books are hard to find. It took me quite a while to get The Mark of the Horse Lord, since I wanted the Front Street Edition. is a good place to check; it searches all internet booksellers and brings up matches for the book you want. You might try that and see what you can find.

  4. I'm afraid I like to keep everything the same, too. When I get new books, it takes me forever to put them away because it often means the inevitable- rearranging. :-P
    I have stacks of books on my floor due to this...and the fact that I don't have much shelf space that's book compatible.
    I also tend to be the same way with my DVDs...except I do put those away sooner.

  5. It was lovely and fun to see your shelves, Abigail. I like to keep things as they are as well. However, when new books arrive I have to make living space for everyone (every-book to be precise)... so the poor dears have to be rudely jarred out of their comfortable homes and reorganized. During the last Christmas/Birthday season I got at least 7-8 new books, and I had to reorganize my whole shelf-space!

    I've read a few of the Puritan paperbacks... they're really good!! I'd love to read and get The Hobbit book sometime soon. Is the audio book well-done?

    Recently, I came across someone on YouTube who is making the Lord of the Rings books into audio books unedited with sound affects and music from the movies. It is really great and so very professional! Here is the link if you're interested =D:


  6. Rhoswen - I like the process of rearranging, and I often like the finished result as well. It's the gearing oneself up for it that I find difficult! I think I'll have to do it soon, though, because my books on Christianity need more space.

    Joy - The Hobbit is a great book; I highly recommend it. The audio version I own is read by a Rob Inglis, and he does a very good job - although his "singing" leaves a bit to be desired. He has also done audio-recordings of the rest of The Lord of the Rings, but I haven't listened to them.

    Thanks for the link! That's a huge endeavor, privately recording such long audiobooks. I'll have to check it out.

  7. My bookcase and books have been much altered in the year. I've moved to a different house. Bookcase looks a bit messy at the moment though because some of the books are still in boxes. (Poor lonesome books. =( Lovely post though and very nice pictures.

    I love my bookshelves, too - I Have four, all stuffed =) =) I'm quite proud of my library, though I envy a few of the copies on YOUR shelf! Thank you for inspiring me to annoy people with yet another post of my updated bookshelves. XD


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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