This arrangement would drive me crazy on a practical level, but it sure is pretty.
We have a loose system for shelving our books…probably wouldn’t make much sense to anyone else, but works for me. I am usually able to lay hands on the book I want—not always, because if one of the kids was reading it recently, it’s probably under a bed.
Laurie loaned me her CueCat and Jane & I have been slooowly working our way through the bookcases. (Where "slowly" means "did it obsessively for the first week and then forgot about it for the next two months, but remembered again and keep meaning to finish before Laurie needs it back.") We’ve entered around 300 books at LibraryThing so far. And then I started getting invites to GoodReads, so I imported the library to there. Anyone have thoughts about the one vs. the other?
There are two bookcases in our living room and two in our dining area, which is the short leg of the L-shape that makes our main living area. The shelves in the living room hold—just as they did when I wrote about "The Living-Room Shelf" so long ago for Cay Gibson’s book, Literature Alive!—some of our most beloved books, the ones we turn to over and over again. Fred Chappell is there, and E. Nesbit, and Hilda Van Stockum, and George MacDonald, and lots of Penguin Classics. Most of our poetry books. The big Macauley books—The Way Things Work, Ship, Cathedral, City.
(Speaking of Macauley! I’m going to be hosting his Robert’s Snow snowflake here during the Blogging for a Cure event. Go read all about it at the amazing Seven Impossible Things. I’m also hosting illustrator Timothy Bush, whose hilarious and perfect James in the House of Aunt Prudence is one of our family’s favorite picture books, and thus rates a spot on the living-room shelf.)
Scott has a zillion composer biographies, and most of those are in the living room, too. Also my beloved Charlotte Mason series. The rest of my education books are on the bookcase behind the kitchen table. Above that shelf is non-U.S. historical fiction for children, and below it are all the nature study books, field guides, Linnea, One Small Square, and so on. Then come a couple of shelves of miscellaneous educationally-useful things. The other dining-area bookcase holds all my religion books. (C.S. Lewis and Chesterton take up a whole shelf of their own.) There are puzzles and games on the top shelves, and I keep my pretty Small Meadow Press binders there too, because I like to look at them.
I keep thinking it would make an interesting (to me, at least) series of posts to talk about what’s on each shelf in the house, one at a time, and who has read it, and what we think about it, and why it made the cut when we were purging for the move. There’s no dead weight in our book collection now, that’s for sure.
If I scanned barcodes as I blogged, I could maybe get that CueCat back to Laurie sometime before our kids grow up.
(Seriously, Laurie. If you need it back anytime soon, just holler.)
Books We Love, Part Three
Room by Emma Donoghue
I Think I’m in Love…
What Santa Brought
Decoration Day in Deep Valley