Only the true book hoarder can understood the joy of a new bookcase. My ‘new’ one is old, very simple, not particularly attractive in and of itself, and has been lying somewhere else in the house for years. But – it is space for books. I have some empty spaces on shelves. I don’t have to squeeze new purchases tightly between other books, hoping that the whole bookcase doesn’t collapse throught the strain.
People see my room in Oxford and comment on how many books I have – to which I can only smile wryly, and think “If only you knew…” I have maybe an eighth or a tenth of my books in Oxford, and the rest are housed in Somerset… with double-stacked bookcases toppling out onto the landing. The bookcases are acquired gradually, generally from Argos or nabbed from my parents – one day I hope to have lots of lovely old shelving, or at least matching, but for now I’m settling for practicality! Anyway, I thought I’d give you a little tour of my bookcases…
Here’s the new one, and it’s got the end of my fiction – shelves alphabetically by author, to make things as easy as possible to find for my parents when they get emails from me, asking them to post me something.
…and from M to P, I think. Hidden behind these rows are my Agatha Christies and some other odds and ends… in fact, I can’t remember, I should check… Oh yeah, Colin, I (erm) ‘borrowed’ your Mr. Funny bookend.
This is a new scheme – I’ve wanted to house my Viragos together for a while. There are quite a few in Oxford, which would probably finish off this tall bookcase, but for now it’s accompanied by some old Penguins and (below the picture) R-T authors. This shot goes to show that publishers shouldn’t relinquish those classic, gotta-have-them-all designs…
Here are all the Angela Thirkell novels, kindly given to me when someone who’d lost their parents wanted to find a suitable home. Also featured are Dickens and Trollope (all the Barsetshire authors together) and the bottom shelf has the books my Grandad owned. Yes, one shelf. I obviously didn’t inherit my book-hoarding from him…
I don’t think this bookcase could hold one more book if it wanted to. This is all my biographies, autobiographies, plays, and poetry – and is at the top of the stairs. I’m slowly taking over the house… Notice the caving shelves, unsuccessfully held up by a wicker basket.
And finally, back in my bedroom. The shelves attached to the wall are the special ones reserved for books by A.A. Milne, Richmal Crompton, and E.M. Delafield. In our old house it was above my bed, and once fell down on me in the night… ouch. The bookcase on the floor is something of a miscellany – children’s books, non-fiction, theology… and everything that doesn’t go anywhere else. Also in shot: neglected violin and languishing GCSE art project.
Hope you enjoyed it, sorry the photos have been a bit poor, but at least the Virago one is pretty good quality for your zooming-in desires! Why not give us a tour around your own bookcases!
(EDIT: I’m afraid I thought the pictures were big enough, but turns out they’re not, and I’ve not got the enormous originals… will take new photos when I can, and upload those…)