What’s On Your Bookshelf?
I just love books. And bookshelves. Whenever I am visiting family and friends, I am somehow drawn towards their bookshelves.
A bookshelf is as particular to its owner as are his or her clothes; a personality is stamped on a library just as a shoe is shaped by the foot. – Alan Bennett
Bookshelves tell stories of their own. They can be neat and organized or disheveled stacks of books. They can have books organized by genres or colors or with broken or unbroken spines.
Some people have their books displayed in the living room and some have books tucked everywhere – shelves, side tables, coffee tables and even on the floor.
You feel a profound connection with someone based on the books you see on their bookshelf. What I like the most from looking at the bookshelves of my friends is that it gives me so much new reading fodder.
Books are our pride and joy and we love showcasing them. Today, I have invited my bibliophile friends to give us a sneak peek into their bookshelves.
As someone who buys books regularly, arranging them neatly is of utmost importance to me. I clean my bookshelf on a regular basis and change the arrangements on it as per my current state of mind. I normally arrange them author-wise, so that I know where to look when I’m looking for a particular book. I also am a sucker for symmetry, so I arrange them as per their heights at times. As much as I’d love to arrange them according to color, the asymmetry of it might cause a sore to my eye. As of now, I have them arranged based on read and unread. The top-most shelves house my unread books, so that I can go to them easily before I buy a few more.
While most of my books are concentrated on the bookshelf, I love to showcase and display my collection of books by stacking them in other areas of the house in an interesting fashion. For example, my coffee table always houses a couple of books that I’m currently reading.
Since my bookshelf is placed in our study, not many people get to see it. So, when we are having people over, I display a small collection of them on the bar-cabinet. Mostly they are food magazines and recipe books, because food is a universal topic that most people will enjoy. If I know there will be kids around, I include my Asterix collection or my Harry Potter illustrated books.
Like plants, books add a great vibe to a home. The choice of books speaks volumes about the person who owns it. Do not limit them to a shelf. Get them out, celebrate them.
Reema Michelle D’souza
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to have my own little library. I started building my collection of books after I got a job. The collection slowly began to grow and I had no place to keep all of my books as I was living in a tiny room shared with another girl in a paying guest accommodation. I had a few books stored in cardboard boxes kept under my bed. And then there were books on my bed. Books everywhere! All I wanted then, was to have a lovely bookshelf of my own!
So when I was to finally move out of a PG because I was getting married, I told my then fiance, now husband to look for a house that would have enough space for all my books!
We moved into a house that had these shelves in the bedroom and I knew that this would be my bookshelf! I have arranged books according to colors because I wanted make the room look better! Two birds in a single shot!
I still have books stacked up on tables. But this little shelf of mine should do, at least for now!
It may sound weird but although I always loved reading, for years I gave little thought to getting myself a bookshelf.
When the children came along the number of books we had, exploded. Finally one day, the Husband decided we needed a proper place to store them or else, he threatened, ‘they’d be cartoned away’.
That galvanised me into action and that was how this bookshelf came into our lives. It has been with us for almost a decade now and I still love the way it is designed. I’ve got a thing for pinning things up and the soft board is perfect for that plus there’s storage space behind and under the soft board for my craft supplies.
Also, the three vertical sections can be separated if one wants. I love that flexibility.
When we shifted last year I resolved to arrange my books in some kind of order just so it makes it easier to find them. With my terribly unreliable memory I keep forgetting which books are where and I have somedays spent hours looking for one that I know is ‘in there somewhere’.
Unfortunately I have been only partly successful. I began arranging them according to genre and so I had sections for mythology, biography, thriller and romance etc. But then I wanted books by the same author to be together and people like Chitra Divakaruni complicated things because they wouldn’t stick to a genre!
And so I continue to navigate through my happy chaos hoping that one day I will arrive at a perfect system.
Over to you now… Do you collect books? How do you organize your books? What’s on your bookshelf? What’s your preference – hard cover or paperback?
April 2, 2020 12:05 am|
I cannot begin to describe how jealous I am seeing these shelves… mine is filled with boring medical books that always bring me down when i look at them!
April 2, 2020 12:21 am|
I’m with you in this, Shilpa!
April 2, 2020 12:23 am|
My goodness, your friends have such beautiful bookshelves! Mine are a clutter I may never resolve. I put things wherever I can find space for them, so there may be a “most recent on top” type of organization, but not much more than that.
April 2, 2020 12:39 am|
I have books arranged in my bookshelf according to the genre.
There was a time when I used to buy many books.
Now not so many that have to be kept on the shelf, because they are e-books and they are in my Kindle.
April 2, 2020 12:41 am|
wow such a beautiful bookshelves and I loved each one. I am with Dr. Roshan..had large collection of medical books and homeopathic therapeutic..feeling inspired after reading this post. would love to arrange my books as well beautifully.
April 2, 2020 1:08 am|
Your neatly stacked books are making me feel guilty as though i do clean my book shelf but still not very regular at it. Probably now will.
Also loved your ideas of displaying them at various places as per the ocassion.
April 2, 2020 2:14 am|
I like to arrange books height wise. Ido like to arrange them in different manner. a few standing and a few laying flat. It just gives me a feel of something fancy..
April 2, 2020 6:36 am|
Your book shelf looks so fancy. It’s a dream for me to have such a shelf
April 2, 2020 7:17 am|
I wish to add my bookshelf to your enviable list here. Interesting aspect of reading Shilpa. I couldn’t have thought about it!
April 2, 2020 7:18 am|
You have lovely bookshelves! A lot of our books are in storage because we tried to sell our house last year. So we need to get them back out and put them back on our bookcases. We have both paperback and hardcover. I just think a series we own should be all the same whether all paperback or all hardcover. It just looks nicer that way!
April 2, 2020 7:57 am|
Love books and bookshelves. Since Diwali, my books are resting inside my bed box but right now, I am slowly taking them out. I love spending time with books, organizing them and going through the collection. I prefer to organize on the basis of genre.
April 2, 2020 7:58 am|
Interesting how you got your friends to share these.
April 2, 2020 10:43 am|
I actually ‘judge’ people looking at their bookshelves. And I hate those houses where I don’t find any bookshelf. I am so happy to see a few of my fav bloggers showcasing their bookshelves here. And like Dr. Roshan, am also feeling jealous. I love Soumya’s balcony, please convey to her.
April 2, 2020 11:48 am|
My books are on my phone 🙂 I packed away my books a long time ago – they are around but in a box in the garage.
April 2, 2020 12:44 pm|
That’s a lot of books and book shelves. Though I’ve been reading since childhood, I was never allowed to buy books as my parents thought that it’ll consume a lot of space and that it didn’t make sense to keep books that you’ve already read with you. I grew up believing that. So I really don’t crave for a bookshelf at home. And then the blogging world happened and I was exposed to this huge craze of bookshelves! I love seeing people arrange them in various ways. But currently I don’t have a bookshelf.
April 2, 2020 1:19 pm|
I have lots of books. Now even my daughter has started adding her books in my book shelves. I keep arranging them time to time because when my daughter pulls out a book she actually lands up pulling out 3.
April 2, 2020 2:42 pm|
How beautiful shelves your friends have ?? And how many books do they read ?? My God ! I m impressed n inspired
April 2, 2020 4:11 pm|
Love to see the book shelf of all my favourite bookstagrammers. I dont stock too any books . I read then donate them to the library, And offlate I read extensively on my kindle
April 2, 2020 4:27 pm|
I love browsing through the bookshelves of others and this post was a real treat! I’m currently reading a book by Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk.
April 2, 2020 4:52 pm|
Right now there is utter chaos in my three bookshelves as I have been trying to give away books and reconcile the ones I will keep. Plus the piles of TBR and book challenge ones that I cant seem to order into place yet.
I love the bookshelves of all three of your guests- so much color and buzz there. Love the little knick knacks that add so much verve 🙂
April 2, 2020 4:59 pm|
Loved to read your post as well as the eye soothing bookshelves!! Every corner was looking great! Nice one.
April 2, 2020 6:26 pm|
If I have to draw a parallel, I would say bookshelves are as unique as the thumbprint of the owner!
It was interesting to have a sneak peek into three different house and find out more about their bookshelves.
Coming back to the bookshelf at my end, I would say I can not afford luxury of huge stack of books owing to the nomadic style of living. Even the bookshelf is bought all together new when we shift our base. I end up donating books to the local library or some school and then move on to build a new bookshelf at a new place.
April 2, 2020 7:05 pm|
Yes, the most important thing is symmetry!! All your friends have such lovely bookshelves and really liked your idea of bringing together these guest posts.
The only thing I cannot get myself to do is to place books on the coffee table…need to learn that art.
April 2, 2020 7:15 pm|
Loved each of the bookshelf here Shilpa. Even I am a huge lover of books and love collecting them. Waiting to have a special shelf made for them. Currently doing away with the TV unit and whatever space I find in the house.
April 2, 2020 7:21 pm|
How we love books!
I have so many that there’s no more space to store them.
This lockdown, am trying to organize and read some 🙂
Stay home. Stay safe.
April 2, 2020 7:47 pm|
My all your blogger friends really have a good eye for arranging shelves. Mine is one holy mess. I used to arrange books according to genre and knew where everything was . Daughter came home and rearranged it according to some system only she knows and I can’t find a thing . I’ve now started reading books from the library and ask the librarian to bring them down for me .
April 2, 2020 8:18 pm|
Amazing bookshelf. Lot’s of interesting books. Got inspiration from you to organize my bookshelf in future.
April 2, 2020 9:10 pm|
Every little thing someone does tells a lot about one’s personality, including the arrangement of books. Completely agree with Alan’s quote.
Nowadays, virtual bookshelves are replacing the real ones.
Btw, this post of yours isn’t visible on your home page. I’ve been looking for your new post since morning. Got to know about it through someone’s tweet. Kindly look into it. 🙂
April 2, 2020 9:39 pm|
Super post buddy. I have a white book shelf and can’t tell you how much I love it,it is full of my most fav chosen few books and when I am stuck here in Vadodara I miss it so much
April 2, 2020 10:22 pm|
This post revived the longing I have for book shelves, I have been after my husband to get a new one for me. Just waiting for that fortunate day 😉 Right now my books are kept inside TV settee. LOL I also have my favourite collection of fiction and thriller books.
April 2, 2020 10:31 pm|
I love bookshelf photos. And those from my favorites are a cherry on top. Thank you for doing this, Shilpa. Our library is a consolidation of books from four generations of bibliophiles, will share it someday.
April 3, 2020 2:31 am|
Wow to have a bookshelf at my house has always been my wish… I had one also for a very long time…. Till my books grew in number and the old ones kept eating dust… And then we moved houses and I had to turn it to just a shelf of show pieces… I do miss my book shelf
April 3, 2020 7:28 am|
My daughters were voracious readings growing up so our collection of books exploded. We did a purge a few years ago but still have many books left. We organized them on bookcases in the basement and it has worked great. Weekends In Maine
April 3, 2020 6:48 pm|
I love love love looking at bookshelves, and this post with all these bookshelves give me so much comfort. I dream of having a long hall lined with walls that have bookshelves from the ceiling to the floor.
April 5, 2020 8:34 pm|
My bookshelf is the envy of others. It is neat and tidy the day I arrange it. After that, it has its rough days when I take out a book and the neighbouring book tilts a little.
Weekends are when it gets busy.
Loved all the images and the talk on it. Keeps me smiling as I try to zoom in and read the names of the books
May 5, 2020 10:49 am|
I used to have a lot of books but I had read them all hundreds of times and when I relocated after I got married I gave most of my books away. I needed to make room in our tiny place for a baby 🙂
Now I often use the library instead and when I do buy books I swop them for other books with some avid readers in our area so I don’t really have much of a book collected. I do have a few bookshelves though – the one in my kids room is bulging!
I’ve recently started reading using Google Play Books since I am away from home and away from my books. I am finding it so handy!
May 5, 2020 3:33 pm|
These are some really lovely bookshelves that you have showcased. Yes, books are a great way to get to know peoples’ likes and dislikes and whether one is on the same page. Even my collection has evolved with time necessitating a bookshelf and later additions too.
May 6, 2020 11:14 am|
🙂 I dare on answer what’s on my bookshelf because our house is overflowing with bookshelves…in every room. Utter chaos. Used to be quite organized but not anymore. I grew up in a family that had a library on one entire floor – it functioned as a regular library – every family member had to enter the books they borrowed. Duties were allocated for procuring, maintaining, and arranging the books and there was also a front desk that was manned, register and all. I see a post brewing here!
I enjoyed reading this post. Neatly arranged bookshelves, in my dreams.
May 6, 2020 11:15 am|
I dare not. Not I dare on. Ugh.