Today I’m sharing my bookshelf, as part of a link-up of bloggers who love books. Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy wrote that she loves to see others’ bookshelves, that it helps her find common ground with the people in her life. I’m excited about participating in this link-up because I agree that what people read, and which books they hold on to, says a lot about them. I’m looking forward to checking out the submissions!
Personally, I hate letting go of a book. I want to SAVE THEM ALL forever. I have this fear that I’ll want to quote something I read and won’t be able to find the right book. As if any day now I could be asked to prepare an essay on literature or history to save my life or the lives of others. I know it’s not a realistic worry, but I still struggle to let them go. I want to own all of the books since my brain cannot hold all of the knowledge.
The most embarrassing part of that struggle is that many of the books I’ve picked up over the years because I wanted to “read” them and “know” the contents, I haven’t actually gotten around to reading. I want to have all of the important books, but I will often choose to spend my free time watching a movie or going shopping. The books I want to know and understand are meaty and intense, but my brain gets used up at work and these books that I want to soak up and study and understand just sit, unloved, on the shelf.
Since we’ve just moved, my bookshelves make absolutely no sense. I’ve packed the books in any-which-way just so they aren’t in boxes. It’s amazing how many books can fit on a shelf if you don’t care at all how it looks. Here’s a snapshot into my bookshelf:
The top shelf is crammed full. As I unpacked, I stacked books on the top shelf first, so most of my favorites are on this level. These books are nearly all mine, if we ignore H’s Michael Crichton sitting in the bottom right corner. Some highlights from this shelf include:
- Christy, Catherine Marshall. Favorite childhood book.
- My dad’s copy of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand.
- Two books from my freshman Honors course, neither of which I have finished: Consilience, Edward O. Wilson, and The Great Chain of Being, Arthur O. Lovejoy. I’m actually a huge fan of The Great Chain of Being even though I haven’t completed it, because it traces the history of an idea back to a place I didn’t think it would go. It’s dense and boring, though, so hard to consume. I read it a lot while flying back and forth to Minnesota to visit H last summer.
- Canterbury Tales, a few history books from college, Zadie Smith’s On Beauty.
- A bright yellow copy of Sarah Bessey’s Jesus Feminist. Loving it.
This shelf has a pretty strong mix of H’s books (do you see the Book of Basketball? The Life of Reilly?). It also has some Harry Potter, a Marketing Textbook, and the last Twilight book. In the top left corner is the biography of Chuck Norris that a sweet friend gave me as a gift. Because Chuck Norris is awesome.
- Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure.
- Gerald Rosenberg’s The Hollow Hope.
- Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
The third shelf is an interesting mix of elements of my life. You’ll see several philosophy textbooks (something I want to study further so didn’t sell back after college), two favorite history textbooks, a Norman Shield from my days as a sorority Chapter Advisor, and the Hunger Games trilogy. Also stuck in there:
- Harmon’s Handbook for Literature.
- Pat Robertson’s The Ten Offenses. Opposition research.
- Yann Martel’s Life of Pi (I love this book, and the movie was beautiful!).
- Jon Meachum’s The American Gospel — a recent favorite, which I highly recommend.
Well, that’s it! If you’d like to share your own bookshelf, or if you’d like to read through all of the posts and find some new favorite books or favorite bloggers, check out the link-up at www.modernmrsdarcy.com. [I'll update this link once the link-up goes live.] UPDATE: Link-up Here!