Shelfie by Shelfie // Shelf 1A

Last fall, Bibliobeth started a new book tag, Shelfie by Shelfie.  You can see her original post here – and I’ve nabbed her image as well.  :-D  The concept is that you take a picture of a bookshelf, and then answer ten questions about the books on it.  I have about a billion bookshelves, so I thought that I would give it a go!

Luckily, my husband is pretty awesome at building shelves, and about three houses ago we had a really long, wide hallway that seemed perfect for bookshelves – and it was.  Except we were renters, which meant we were moving pretty much annually at the time.  The shelves have come with me for every move since then (and since we own this house, here’s to hoping they stay where they are for many years to come!), but haven’t always fit together in the same order as they did in that original hallway.  Still, they are pretty awesome, designed for both books and knickknacks.  So I’ll post a picture of the overall bookshelf, and then focus on just one of those shelves – hence the 1A.  ;-)

You’ll have to excuse the clutter – we’re still doing renovating (neverending) and this room is the current catch-all.  I’m sure taking these pictures will also inspire me to organize the clutter a bit, right??  (ha!)

Okay, here is today’s shelf – on to the questions!

 1 – Is there any reason for this shelf being organized the way it is, or is it purely random?

The majority of my fiction books are shelves in alphabetical order by author’s last name, with some exceptions here and there.  I look at amazing pictures of people shelving books by size or color or other aesthetically-pleasing methods and I’m jealous, both of their creativity and the fact that if I did that I would never be able to find a book again because there are just TOO MANY.  :-D  So yes, alphabetical – and this shelf takes us from Adjordan to Alexander.

However, there are some exceptions to my alphabetical rule, and the three books under the moose are an example – those are three of the four Bayern books by Shannon Hale (the first one seems to have wandered off to introduce someone else to the magic of this series).  Sometimes books just fit in certain spots in the shelves!

2 – Tell us a story about one of the books on this shelf that is special to you; i.e. how you got it, a memory associated with it, etc.

I think I’m going with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (by Joan Aiken) for this one.  I have so many memories of reading this with my Mom!  We used to read it together every winter, and even when I was too young to really ‘get’ the story, I still loved the feelings it invoked.  This is the first book I can remember reading that really had an ‘atmosphere’ – just reading it made me feel cold and made the room seem a little darker!

It’s a tough question, though, because I also have a deep attachment to all of the Louisa May Alcott books, especially Eight Cousins and its sequel, Rose in Bloom.

3 – Which book from this shelf would you ditch if you were forced to and why?

Well, it seems like the logical answer would be “one of my many copies of Little Women,” especially since the two copies on that shelf are not actually the only copies of that book that I own.  But that’s not the answer at all, because every copy of Little Women that I own has its own story and its own special place in my heart!  :-D  I suppose I would ditch one of the two Ginny Aiken books, mainly because I haven’t actually read them yet – picked them up at booksales somewhere along the line – so I don’t have an emotional attachment to them (yet).

4 – Which book from this shelf would you save in an emergency and why?

Probably Rose in Bloom, which teaches me something new every time I read it.  That particular copy, as you can see from its rather battered condition, has been with me many a year.

5 – Which book has been on this shelf for the longest time?

I’m going to interpret that as “Which book have I owned the longest?” since they’ve all been there since I moved here.  I’ve had most of these books a long time, but the red copy of Little Women (illustrated by Jesse Wilcox Smith – gorgeous) – I received from my mom for my 13th birthday, so it’s been with me for over 20 years!

6 – Which book is the newest addition to this shelf?

It’s actually the skinny blue book to the left of Jane Fairfax.  The blue book is a sequel to The Cat-Sitter Mystery (which I’ve owned forever, maybe even longer than Little Women), The Copy-Cat Mystery, which I just recently purchased when I was rereading The Cat-Sitter Mystery – I didn’t even know there was a sequel until this year!

7 – Which book on this shelf are you most excited to read (or reread if this is a favorite shelf)?

Wow, this shelf actually has a lot of favorites, as I really love Louisa May Alcott’s works, and the Bayern books are fantastic – Dominion was also a gripping read, of course Wolves of Willoughby Chase is always perfect, and the last book on the shelf is actually the third book in Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain, which I also dearly love!  But if I really, really had to choose, probably Little Women as it has actually been quite a while since I’ve read it, and it’s a book that means a great deal to me.

8 – If there is an object on this shelf apart from books, tell us the story behind it.

These actually do tend to be knickknacky shelves as well, so there are indeed non-book objects…  the jar contains rose petals from various momentous events in my life; the stuffed bunny was a childhood favorite; the white dish has a cow on it because I collect cows; I also collect giraffes; the glass jars seem to have just appeared from nowhere as I honestly have no recollection as to where they came from or why I have them (apparently I just like dusting things); the framed motto was a gift from my mom; and the moose (which is incredibly soft!) was purchased on our trip to Colorado in 2015, when Tom and I saw our first wild moose!

9 – What does this shelf tell us about you as a reader?

Umm…  well, probably that I like things to be somewhat orderly, I have a love for Louisa May Alcott, and I don’t mind owning more than one copy of the same book.  :-D

10 – Choose other bloggers to tag or choose a free question you make up yourself.

Hopefully many of you will choose to participate in this fun book tag – and make sure you tag Bibliobeth (and me!) when you do!

For a free question – Which of these books do you think everyone should read?

I think I am going to go with An Old-Fashioned Girl for this one.  Polly’s adventures have gotten me through a lot of my life, and especially gave me encouragement and challenged me when I was single.  I love how she is independent and industrious, but still so kind and womanly.  And of course Polly ends up with a Tom as well.  :-D

The TBR Book Tag

So I don’t usually do book tags, but Erika in Bookventureland completed this one, and I really thought it was interesting.  I would love to see what other people’s methods are for compiling/tracking/dealing with their TBR are??  I was just thinking about this because I know that some people try to keep their list at a manageable (haha) level, while I tend to be someone who just extravagantly adds books with absolutely no self-restraint.  So no specific tags, but I would really, really enjoy reading other people’s thoughts on this one??


  • How do you keep track of your TBR pile?  So I never used to have a list at all.  Then, when I started blogging over on tumblr, I got a notebook and would just sort of write down books I thought looked interesting, mostly books by authors I had already read.  When I got serious and started blogging here on WordPress, though, I suddenly started following a BUNCH of other book bloggers, and I had to deal the fact that there are SO MANY BOOKS.  Point is, now I have an Excel spreadsheet.  The main tab is the basic TBR – all books that are either stand-alones or only have one sequel.  Then there are tabs for mystery series, random series, nonfiction, books the library doesn’t have but I still want to read, and authors I look for.  I’ve gotten a lot better – now when I add a book to the list, I also put down whose review inspired me and when I added it, which means that if, someday, I get around to reading the book, I’ll know who to thank!!  :-D
  • Is your TBR mostly print or eBook?  I get almost all of the books I read from the library, so the vast majority are print.  While I like my Kindle for random chick lit or something light that I can just grab whenever and then not go back to for a few days, I prefer my daily readers to be in print.  There is just something about having the actual book.  I especially feel that way about books I own.  The books on my shelf tell a whole other story just by virtue of when and where I purchased them, where and when I’ve read them, etc.  The way they smell, the way they feel, the way the book falls open, notes in the margins, underlines with dates – some of my favorite books bring back an entire flood of memories just by taking them off the shelf.
  • How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?  I just started using a random number generator, actually.  Fate now determines which books are next …  I use the number generator and then read that number book from the list!  It’s actually working brilliantly, and much better than periodically putting the list in alphabetical order and then reading from the top down, haha.  The other thing that I do that is probably weird but I can’t help it, is I read the books in a sort of round-robin method.  So I’m always working my way through a mystery series and a non-mystery series, and I’m also trying to read every book that I own (since there are a lot I either haven’t read in years or have never gotten around to reading).  So basically I read a mystery, then a book from my personal library, then a book from a series, and in between each of those I read a random TBR book.  That’s also why my reviews are kind of random – recently I’ve been reading Donna Leon’s Brunnetti mysteries and Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, plus I’ve been in the “K” section of my personal library (Kjelgaard, specifically).  :-D  …sound familiar??
  • A book that’s been on your TBR longest?  This is hard to say because I didn’t start putting dates next to when they were added until very recently.  I definitely have books that I actually own that I haven’t read yet.  Someone gave me Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible like ten years ago and told me I would enjoy it, and I’ve never read it, lol.
  • A book you recently added to your TBR?  haha, if you read yesterday’s post for the August Rearview, you’ll know that I recently added way, way too many. :-D
  • A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?  15750874The Glass Arrow.  What.  So pretty.  I’m actually super attracted to cover art, and 100% judge books by their covers with no regrets or embarrassment.  No excuse for an ugly cover. I’m way more attracted to artsy viney covers than I am ones with people on them.
  • A book on your TBR you never plan on reading?  This seems like a weird question to me, because I’m not sure why I would add a book I don’t want to read…  part of my method, though, is to add books that sound even just a little bit interesting.  Because I read them from the library, I frequently will get them, look them over, and sometimes decide to not even start them…  even though I very rarely DNF a book, it’s not at all unusual for me to just not ever start them to begin with.  Incidentally, that’s part of the reason that I don’t really try to get galleys or ARCs, even though it sounds like something I would like.  I really enjoy having the freedom to just read random books whenever I feel like it, and to not bother if I don’t.  The library has basically every book I want to read, so getting free ebooks isn’t really enough of an inspiration for me to go through the hassle of ARCs, lol.  Sooo lazy.
  • An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?  I guess this ties into the last question…  not a lot of unpublished books, unless they’re ones that are coming out really soon that someone else just reviewed.  Although it would be really, really, REALLY nice if Robin McKinley would someday get around to writing a sequel for Pegasus.  I freaking loved that book AND IT HAS NO CONCLUSION she’s just like, “Oh yeah I’ll get around to finishing this story someday; in the meantime, why don’t you enjoy the first half of the book?  Oh by the way, I’m not actually sure how this book should end so I’ll write a couple of other books in between.  Oh and I think this may actually be the first book of a trilogy so even if I ever publish the second book, you’ll still have to wait for the third one to find out how the story ends.”  NOT COOL, ROBIN MCKINLEY.  I TRUST YOU.  PUBLISH THE SEQUEL.  I NEED IT TO LIVE.
  • A book on your TBR everyone has read but you?  ha.  Like everything.  I’m always behind on new, cool books.  Probably because I add them and then their random number doesn’t crop up for two years, lol. Ah well, it just means I can get it faster from the library.  ;-)
  • A book on your TBR everyone recommends to you?  Alllllll of themmmmmmmmmmm
  • A book on your TBR you’re dying to read?  Wow, so many.  Just posting the books I added in August made me excited about them all over again. It’s pretty rare that I reserve a book at the library that I’m not excited to see.  I’m a book addict.  It’s a problem.
  • How many books are on your GoodReads TBR shelf?  I actually basically don’t use GoodReads, even though everyone else does.  I just have too much going on.  I feel like I should post my amazing reviews on GoodReads and Amazon and other places, but I’m just tooooo lazy.  My spreadsheet, however, is sitting at 517 at this exact moment, which is only the stand-alone books and does not include 71 series, 31 mystery series, 48 books that weren’t at my library so I may try to find them some other way, and a list of authors who are actually still alive so I periodically check to see if they’ve published anything new.  Did I mention I have a problem??  :-D

Seriously, I would love to see other people’s answers to these questions, so be sure to let me know if you decide to answer this one!!