Tea or Books? #40: how do we arrange our bookshelves, and two E.H. Young novels

Alphabetical or thematic shelving? Miss Mole vs Chatterton Square? Episode 40 of ‘Tea or Books?’ continues answering the important questions that others don’t dare to.


Tea or Books logoIn the first half of this episode, Rachel and I address the pressing issue of how books are ordered on our shelves – alphabetical order, arranged thematically, or something else completely? We have fun with this one (thanks for the suggestion, Imogen!) and would love to know what any of you do with your shelves.

In the second half, we turn to the novelist E.H. Young and pit Miss Mole (1930) against Chatterton Square (1947), and I use the word ‘obfuscatory’. Buckle in. And suggestions for other Young novels to try would be very welcome!

Visit our iTunes page, leave us a review through iTunes if you’d like, and below are the books and authors we discussed in the episode. Fewer than usual!

Letters to Max Beerbohm and a few replies by Siegfried Sasson
Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon
A Curious Friendship by Anna Thomasson
M.J. Farrell
Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon
Hackenfeller’s Ape by Brigid Brophy
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill
Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet
A Wreath of Roses by Elizabeth Taylor
A.A. Milne
Elizabeth von Arnim
Miss Mole by E.H. Young
Chatterton Square by E.H. Young
Ivy Compton-Burnett
E.M. Delafield
Matty and the Dearingroydes
by Richmal Crompton
Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day by Winifred Watson
William by E.H. Young
The Misses Mallett by E.H. Young
The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard
A Man of Property by John Galsworthy

3 thoughts on “Tea or Books? #40: how do we arrange our bookshelves, and two E.H. Young novels

  • June 5, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    I’m afraid I use a mixture – thematic first, then alphabetical throughout…. I can mostly find my books but not often, alas. I’m sure if I had more space I could be more orderly, but there tend to be books all over the place at the moment!

  • June 6, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Thematic first, alphabetical second! I have a small number of book genres that I shelve by, and then it’s alphabetical within that. I never have any problem (knock wood) finding the books I want to find, unless I’ve misplaced something. Also I make my LibraryThing tags match to my shelving genres, so I can always check LT to see where I’ve shelved a certain book.

  • June 6, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    By genre, alphabetical in each section (except for the bumph section, which goes in any old way).


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