Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Love Affair with Books

This article showed up in the Independent recently. (Well, not that  recently) and focused on Marie Kondo's rather ruthless book purging methods. But that was just the start. "Going Against the Book Decluttering Craze: The Book Horders Who Defy Marie Kondo" digs deeper.

What do your books say about you? When you look at someone's library, what do their books tell about them? And what do we do with books we no longer need or want.

One things my bookshelves say about me is I have a hard time letting any of them go!

I know a little about this because I have books two-deep on more than a few shelves. And don't think I don't weed out the books. Those are the keepers.

And what's on that keeper list? You can pretty much break it down into a few categories.

Books on England (especially London, but all England) and Paris.

That includes guide books but it also includes fiction and non-fiction about those places. It may well include a biography or two or a book set in one of those areas. A number of those are related to World War I and II (which could be a category by itself. A few of the titles? "The Red Notebook," "The Nightingale," "Paris" (by Edward Rutherfurd), "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" and lots of maps, history and guide books.

Just a tiny part of the England and Paris shelves. The "tall" books are in a separate spot and these are two-deep, too.

(There's also a smaller travel section with some American destinations as well as Japan.)

So, what does that say about me? I love travel, I love those particular destinations, I love history and English literature.

And do I go back to them often? You bet. Especially the map and guide books but others as well.


My favorite reading category! What do I keep? Mostly series. Pretty much every Agatha Christie, most bought used, paperback and probably at a dollar apiece. All the Louise Penny, Deborah Crombie, Jacqueline Winspear and Susan Elia Macneal series and growing series by Christopher Fowler, Susan Hill and Cara Black series. And a few other favorites.

Mostly mysteries, mostly stacked two-deep.

That category includes the ever-growing Maigret mysteries, the British Library Crime series (all reprints from the 20s/30s and wonderful) and a few singles. Pretty much all of those, apart from the Penny books, are set in England/UK or Paris.

I adore the classic British Library crime series! The covers are fabulous, too!

I love a good puzzle. Especially in two of my favorite countries.

Royal Bios

OK, I'm a royal geek. I collect their commemorative china and books about them. I think I have biographies (authorized and not) for every monarch or major royal from Victoria through William and Harry, along with some Elizabeth I and Henry VIII (and his wives). A few are a little sleazy and I am a little more likely (not always) to pass those on. Most are fairly or very well researched, with good sources, bibliographies and notes.

These are stacked two-deep too, and it doesn't count the 'tall" books!

Seeing a theme here? And yes, I refer back to them. Often (and with just about every episode of "The Crown."

Art and Special Interest Books

Some of these fall under the umbrella of "coffee table books" but I kind of hate that term. I look at those books, read them, refer back to them. Some of them have wonderful text, like the books by Vivian Swift and Susan Branch or books about Beatrix Potter. I read them and refer to them and practice art by looking at their images.

Some of my favorites. Artists who inspire me!

Others might involve architecture (classic movie palaces and theatres), Shaker style, miniatures, puppets. Although I passed on much of my astrology collection, I still hold onto several of my favorites. Many of my art history books were lost in June's basement flood but those that were safe then are safe now -- Andrew Wyeth, Hirschfeld, Georgia O'Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, VanGogh.

If this shelf wasn't behind a Christmas tree at the time, you would have seen a lot more!


I don't hold onto a lot of fiction anymore but there are some with which I'll never part. "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks remains a favorite. So does "Broken For You" and " All the Light We Cannot See." There are others too.

All keepers. Most (not all) bios and a few suspense books, too!


I don't save every bio, but I do have a thing for the Mitfords, Evelyn Waugh, Anne Frank and any number of film or stage favorites. Or Julia Child. I think I have five or six Julia bios. And her cookbooks. Which brings me to...


I could use some purging here. I did one huge purge of most "local" cookbooks. But I can't say farewell to Julia, Ina, Nigella, Irma Rombauer (all versions -- I still go back to my mom's 1950 for one of my favorite recipes). There are lots of autographed cookbooks from PBS days, ones I've picked up traveling, great gifts. Junior League cookbooks always deliver. Sometime I'll do a post on just cookbooks and what they tell us about how cooking has changed.

The recipes rarely fail -- if they do, it's user error!

And yes, I use them. Not all of them. But I use them. And I'm pretty good at it. Though, I would be better if I used them more!

Not a cookbook but one of the best books I read all year!

People ask me how I get books. Buy or library? Paper or Kindle? How I store them (I think you get the idea here). I'll have another post on books coming up soon. Weigh in with what your books say about you! Are they on bookshelves, your night stand, the bathroom? (Don't laugh. It's a great place for short essays and poetry.) Please tell me about your relationship with books!

Do you have any of your childhood books left?

I'd love to know!

Sharing with:       Let's Keep in Touch     /     Share Your Style    /     Pink Saturday    /     Love Your Creativity!   /    Best of the Weekend   


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

My answer to this question has really changed over the years. I used to have probably 5-6 bookshelves full of my books. But as I've moved and merged belongings with Phil, I got rid of most of my books... So many of them weren't reflective of my tastes anymore so they were just taking up space. So I donated a lot - like several hundred - books to a non-profit called "Books for Africa." I kept books that I really, truly loved and would maybe re-read again or lend to a friend. So I have a very small section of books in the reading nook area between our kitchen and dining room. On one of the shelves, I have my "Paris/France collection" that is held up by eiffel tower book ends that I adore. My cookbooks reside there as well. I've been more ruthless about getting rid of cookbooks that I don't ever use.

What we have a ton of is books for Paul. He has a bookcase in his room and we use 2 shelves of our entertainment center to house more of his books. I will always spend money on books for him because we get our money's worth and more since he reads them over and over and over again. He's my first child so I don't know if he is an outlier, but my gosh he loves books. He will bring a huge stack over to me - one by one- to read. Last night he must have brought 15 books over. He gets really frustrated that he can't bring me a whole stack at once. Ha! Phil and I rarely buy books for ourselves, though. We are big library users. Phil exclusively reads physical books and I try to read some physical books so that Paul can see us reading. I also like the convenience of eBooks but he wouldn't know I was reading a book if he saw me reading on my phone or Kindle and I want him to see mom and dad reading.

Fun topic! I could go on and on and on about books! ;)

Valerie-Jael said...

My books, things I have made myself, gifts from friends and other things which make my life worthwhile will never be decluttered. I feel at home in my clutter and with my books. If Marie Kondo needs sterility, that's her problem, definitely not mine! Einstein said that an empty desk is a sign of an empty mind! Hugs, Valerie

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I grew up going to the little local library in Pinckney Michigan once a week to pick out a book. I still love to read, but it is easier for me to read on my Nook. I have tons of decorating books and cookbooks.

Dawn P. said...

I have a British Royalty section, including the new books on THE CROWN series, a European Royalty section, one whole shelf just on Diana, a shelf of holocaust related (my former husband was Jewish & his mother, as a child, was on the last ship of refugees from Germany allowed in the U.S. and she lost many relatives in WWII and I had a lot of books of the subject matter at the time), a section of books about life on the home-front of WWII in England [another subject matter I enjoy reading about], a art section, a series on the Civil War and some very favorite fiction books. My parents were avid readers and I have totally inherited the love of books! I did do a clear out of novels, etc back in October but I still have three bookcases pretty full and I re-read OFTEN. And I am very very very well known at my local library, where I get books transferred within my state for me to pick up locally and read! And now I plan to check out Louise Penny books - they sound good and I just found out that my library has the DVD of Still Life made in 2004 I think on one of her books and I am picking that up on my way home from work today!!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Jeanie, it will come as no surprise to you that books for me are akin the highest devotional items any religion can conjure. They are holy icons in the premier rank, the mere thought of them is devotion on a level that transcends the mundanities of daily existence. Thus, your house, filled with books as it is, is obviously an exalted space which should be emulated by all. I salute you!

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I have purged large quantities of books twice in my life. Once after my husband's stroke and I cried the entire time I was sorting out the ones I just couldn't part with and had to go into a storage unit for a year.

My second purging of 100s of books came this summer and I'm still not finished yet. No tears this time but it still hurt to haul so many books off to the library. I used to love just going into my library and seeing all the titles of all the topics my husband and I loved reading about.

I hate borrowing books from the library and I don't enjoy books on Kindle although I do read some that way. I resent that they cost as much as regular books in many cases.

You have a wonderful collection of books and don't let Marie Kondo con you into believing you should just tear out the pages you like and throw out the rest of the book. Yes, she really does recommend that!

Sandra Cox said...

You definitely have wide and far reaching tastes.
I pop around between e and paper and enjoy thrillers, suspense, romantic suspense and paranormal YA. Oh yes, and biographies:) Still working through John Adams. Heh. AND...books on writing and drawing:) AND...offerings by the INDIE buds, regardless of genre.

bobbie said...

Let's see ~ anything by Rosamunde Pilcher, Edward Rutherfurd, Lawrence Sanders, Frederick Forsyth, all kinds of biographies ~
and I HEAVILY patronize our library!
No nook or Kindle for me... happiness is a book in the hands!

Pom Pom said...

Hi Jeanie! I love your childhood books and your old cookbooks. Cookbooks are so telling and wholesome.

R's Rue said...


Sue in Suffolk said...

Nothing better than looking at someones bookshelves!You have some interesting books there.
I once had 1,400 books but moving twice and becoming widowed has seen many go. I'm still sorting and passing some to charity shops but still buying too

Barb said...

I always enjoy seeing and reading about your book collections. I've always been an avid reader, but when I started with my formaldehyde allergy about 7 years ago, I got rid of hundreds of paper and ink books. I now have two small bookshelves in our loft office filled with some cookbooks, Nature books, and writing books which I couldn't part with. To read them now, I must wear gloves, but I still sometimes do refer to them. The Kindle is a godsend to me. I am still an avid reader, but I mostly read electronically now. I can't even spend any time in bookstores (one of my past enjoyments) because of the amount of formaldehyde in the air.

Linda B said...

Books. What a fun and interesting topic (for those of us who are readers, of course). My books are in closets, on the bedroom floor, in the basement, literally anywhere in the house. I purge from time to time, but keep most of them. I think it was Plato who said, "A room without books is like a body without a soul". My mantra, long live books.

Evi Erlinda said...

Your childhood books are still looking good. I keep my childhood books and some collections in my mom's house :)

Lynne said...

Loved this Jeanie . . .
I am being reminded of where several of my books are stashed . . .
A few from my younger years.
Most of my books are out, visible, although I do not have as many as you!
I am reminded.that my “traveling, The Red Notebook” has not come back to me . . .
One of my favorites, hope others are enjoying it as much as I did . . . and you did Jeanie!

Lately I have been regifting books to my grands and greats.
I find it sad that they seem less interested in books than I have always been.

”Mister Irish” has saved textbooks, MANY.
And he does look through them again and again!

My largest collection . . . Books on Grief . . .
No doubt because of the early deaths in my life . . . that transformed my life path.
I need to find a place to donate . . .

Sad it is to see the binding corners chewed up on some of my favorite Christmas, holiday books.
I still love my Snickers though.
The binding on books is a big time draw for young pups.

Really great post Jeanie . . .

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm ashamed to say I just don't read like I used to. But...I do have some of my childhood books. I was an only child and reading was my past time in the cold winter months. I loved loved loved The Hardy Boy Mysteries and Nancy Drew. I still have some of those. My little 9 year old granddaughter loves to read and I introduced her to The Hardy Boys Mystery that used to air on The Mickey Mouse Club when I was a little girl. We watched the episodes on Youtube. I was in Costco before Christmas and saw a set of The Hardy Boys books and bought them right away for her. She was thrilled! Sorry about Dallas. Yes, that weather is a lot different then where we live in south Texas. I loved living up state but I surely don't miss all of that very cold weather.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

crackercrumblife said...

Oo I love this post!!!! Well. Before this last year, I had an entire room of our small house devoted to my book collection, with shelves and shelves of books double stacked, plus the ones assorted through the rest of the house. But, I needed to reclaim that space so I have been really thinking about which ones to keep! A lot went to the library sale, and it broke my heart. But I still have boxes and boxes right now in the basement to be sorted again. I am going to keep some on shelves there - all of my Stephen King hardcovers, which really is all of his books (except those really rare ones like the My Pretty Pony or whatever that was), books that were gifted to me (many of which are Stephen King..) I don't read him anymore but I can't part with him, he was such a big part of my reading history! I also kept all of my Anne Rice. And Alice Hoffman. And Bill Bryson. Then I do have assorted favorites in there. Cape Cod by Bill Martin, which I read every few years. It used to be a yearly read but now its every few years. Watership Down, which I read every single spring, it is my favorite book of all time. Those guys are all probably relegated to the basement shelves. Upstairs I keep my nature book collection now, my Harry Potter collection. My Pressed Fairy books. And some Bill Bryson has made its way to my dresser. I also have my Pat Conroy and Anne Rivers Siddons upstairs too. In my nightstand I have all my library books and review books. Then I have favorites that were just falling to pieces, like my Barbara Michaels collection. I have decided to just repurchase those on Kindle. I have my cookbooks in the kitchen, mostly vegan and Moosewood Kitchen and Rachel Khoo. I am not sure what my collections say about me! Maybe that I keep books for sentimentality, books that I have loved for so long like Stephen King and Pat Conroy. I skipped school in high school one day to finish up Prince of Tides! I have a love of southern fiction, and you can add Where the Crawdads Sing to my upstairs books too. Those are all on shelves in my room right now, waiting for my office to be finished. Wyatt's book collection has taken over every room in the house though - boxes and baskets and on low shelves in every room of our house, within his easy reach. Plus he has two bookshelves full in his room. Typing this, I remember when Billy and I first moved out, and I had books crammed everywhere, including in the cupboards with our dishes and stashed in the pantry with the food. Lol. I do usually have a book or two in the car, in my backpack, and under the sink in the bathroom, so there. Lol.

And wow, I wrote a book just about my books here!

Pam Richardson said...

Obviously, I think books tell a lot about their owners. I am book poor, and I am out of bookshelves. I am planning on repurposing a small bedroom as a library, I just have to get busy and make it happen. I took your recommendation and am reading Gourmand, will let you know when I finish!

My name is Erika. said...

I enjoyed this post Jeanie! In many ways this post brought me through my own shelves. I know what you mean about double thickness of books. I have tons of mysteries, fiction and travel reading. I saw lots of familiar titles. I have all my Agatha Christie's, including those back to my high school years. And I also have a huge cookbook section too. Many classics too, and I do cook from many but not them all. I just love reading cookbooks. And I have boxes in the attic. And like you, I do purge, but I am not getting rid of books just to have fewer. There has to be a reason why I don't keep a book, like I can't even remember the book. It couldn't have meant much to me if I can't remember it. Oh and I have craft books and sewing books and knitting books...ok, I am a book hoarder. Oh yes, and never mind a whole book case of the books/journals I make. (And I won't even mention how many books I have in my audible account, but I can only listen while I am busy like doing art or driving) Thanks for this post. Hugs-Erika

Jean | said...

Jeanie, being an avid reader, I was fascinated by this post. You inspired me to take stock, but I couldn't see myself counting my books (I'd get distracted by a title and lose count!), so I just measured the full shelves and found that I have 75 feet of books currently. We've given soooo many away, and I regret more than a few of those. I so wish I still had a few books from my childhood, but we moved when I was 13 and my mother gave all of my books away.

Arti said...

I think when it comes to books, Marie Kondo's decluttering won't work as you have so vividly shown here. Every book brings joy, so how do you eliminate? You're wise to keep them all, Jeanie. :)

Joyful said...

I've got to return and read this post in full. For now I just wanted to say I am a book lover and for years bought many books, magazines and so on. I've really been trying to change my ways and stopped buying magazines first. Then I stopped buying new books. For years I purchased 2nd books and once read I would take them to the thrift store for resale. I also borrow most of my pleasure reading books from the library these days. Along the way,I read Marie Kondo, lol...and have now gotten rid of well over a hundred books despite culling books on a regular basis. I've still got at least 2 bookshelves at 6 feet tall (5 shelves each) full of books and books tucked here and there. I don't read any of these as most of them are what I call my reference books. Only a very few are for reading for pleasure. What am I going to do with all these books?! I do hope I can figure out a way to get by with fewer books but as a fellow book lover, I think you know how hard it is.

Joyful said...

Oh and after that long winded post, I forgot to say that when I culled my 100+ books (I think 100 is an understatement tbh), I was very fortunate to find a senior's care home that wanted the whole lot of them as they sell them to make a little profit for their recreational programs. I was very pleased because it isn't easy to offload so many books at one time.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You and I have VERY similar tastes in books. One thing I don't have are books stacked double. I have a few that are laid across (on top of) others, but that's just in one bookcase. I have bookcases in every room in my house, except my guest bedroom. In fact, the only books in there are three or four of my altered books. Four bookcases that reach to the ceiling in my office, and a hutch that holds the overflow. I also have a ladder I store books on in the office.

I stack books on the floor in the dining room and on the stairs going to my office and the basement.

More books in the living/dining area are art books I've collected when I visited museums. I also have tons of books in one of my Hoosier type cabinets.

Books in my ktchen are all cookbooks. I even built the bookcase to hold them. I even have a bookcase in my laundry room. Bookcase in my craft room and several in my basement studio hold books I want to go through.

My main floor bath doesn't have a bookcase, but it has a book holder that houses art and craft books I read when I'm on the loo. Even my basement bath has a single book shelf.

I don't own a kindle or other book reader. I like the feel of the paper as I'm turning the page. I like the smell of paper. I like how paper feels. I will probably never buy a reader, just as I don't listen to books on tape.

Great post, Jeanie. It was a fun read.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

I loved this little trip around your shelves, and am happy to learn I am not the only one who double shelves their books.

I have an immense collection of cookery books, and on two separate occasions I had a larger and more diverse collection of art and related subjects than the library sections of two art departments of collages I attended!

~~~Deb in Wales

eileeninmd said...


I enjoy reading as much as you do. Many of the books I have read have are books you have written about on your blog. I love the mysteries. After downsizing our home, a lot of our books were donated. My more recent books are ebooks. We do have some cookbooks and travel books. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend ahead.

Anca said...

I agree with Marie Kondo when it comes to clothes and things we don't actually need, but I can't agree with the random 30 books limit. This month I've read 12 books, almost half of what she recommends to have. Is true that most of the books were from the library as it would be too expensive to buy all of them. My mother has a huge library, with over 3,000 books, so mine is very small, quite basic in comparison.
Your Royal books are so interesting, I'd love to read a few of those. Also, cookbooks and art books, it would be a shame to give those away.

Iris Flavia said...

I had to laugh at the idea with the bathroom!
We have a tiny toilet/wash-basin "room", storage only high up for toilet-paper.
The other room has no possibility to sit down. Basin and shower.
"Real" books I keep on Braunschweig and Perth, some biographies like Helen Keller, Eugene Cernan, "Spock", Freddie Mercury...
Some cookbooks, mostly Jamie Oliver, but I hardly use them anymore - he taught me how to experiment myself - not a good business man ;-) Plus he shares so much online, too!

I had a hard time to let go of books, but the place was loaded and so I gave most to the free student´s library.
The place is still packed!

Most I get on my kindle these days. You can take that thing easily everywhere and have a wide collection to choose from.

Certainly I miss seeing some of the books, but there were just too many.

La Table De Nana said...

I,m such a personal post person..:) With limits lol.
This is a neat one.I've always liked your book posts.
we have moved 4 times in 46 yrs..Every time.. I donated.. and gave..

so I have far less..and Kindle my books's an art how to book..or a special poetry book or a special story..
I am picky where mine are lol..height..depth..
J is not so his are in his office;)
In my craft room they are here and there.
But I do love books..
I would have to say..The charming artists that inspire me are faves..used to be cookbooks..gardening books..
I love the pinterest rooms with shelves EVERYWHERE like a back wall surrounding a window etc:)
Og and my mom's Nelson book collection.Highest love.

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Oh, Jeanie, did you write this post just for me? My shelves are full and running over to the floor. I love them all and I have no clue how to part with them. I absolutely want a book in my hands - no technology in that department for me, please.

Just last evening I was sitting in our little library and wondering what I should do and how to go about it. I guess I have made a little dent, as I have begun to part with old magazines, another subject. How, when and if I can part with the books is another story. Honestly, they are friends.

Happy day to you, Jeanie

Mae Travels said...

Books!! Great topic and great treatment here! Your way of sorting by country is fascinating.

And I love all the sharing that your commenters have contributed.

Our house is upside down with books: the most are in the attic, the second most on the second floor, only food books and a few others on the main floor living space. When we redid our attic a few years ago we gave away boxes and boxes of books and I've only missed any of them once!

best... mae at

shoreacres said...

Our book collections are so different. I have precisely three cookbooks (I just counted). I never read mysteries, and the only fiction I have is what I suppose would be called literary fiction: Faulkner, O'Connor, and so on. I prefer collections of essays and letters, history, journals, and natural history. I have a half-dozen books on writing (Dillard, McPhee, E.B. White) and some poetry and art. Otherwise? I go to the library.

I don't use a Kindle or other electronic reader, and I probably never will, unless my eyesight goes and I need to be able to enlarge print. I gave away all of my professional libraries, and now the only books I have are those that are worth re-reading.

But here's an amusing note. After my move, I simply put the books on their shelves as I unpacked them. Now, I keep going to where they used to be on the shelves! When I don't find them in their accustomed spot, I have to search for them. One of these days, I'm going to get them back in order.

Sandi said...

Ha ha ha...giggling about your comment on my post. Maybe the whole world is escaping by jumping over a cliff. đŸ˜‚ I hadn't thought of it that way. Do you have any C.S. Lewis books?

"OK, I'm a royal geek."

OH! So... (leaning in and sipping tea conspiratorially) what do you think of Harry & Meghan leaving?

Joyce F said...

Loved this post and many of my favorites were mentioned. I made a list of ones that I want to look for - at the library. Really limit the number of books I buy now - Louise Penny is one exception though I do buy used. I'm now taking a break from the public library as I recover from hip replacement surgery and reading/rereading books on my shelves and making a stack for the Friends of the Library book sale. I do read some on my Kindle as well. Biggest book problem: What to do with a 1970's set of World Book Encyclopedia? Our son's books were either given to them for their children or kept for them (the one who has no children). I might even reread the latter (some Hardy boys, The Mouse and the Motorcycle etc.). My mother read to me, I read to my sons, my son read to his children, our granddaughter reads to her son...I hope it continues on and on!!

Pam said...

I don't read like I used to but if I am reading I like having a book in my hand. I don't do the online reading. Or....if I have lots to do then I will do one of CD. You have such a large collection.

Sandra Cox said...

We've been donating a lot of our books to Goodwill.

Victoria Zigler said...

I loved hearing about the kinds of books you have. It may interest you to know that your collection of books contain the kinds of books I thought they would. Apparently I've gotten to know you well. ;)

My collection is harder to judge, since I read across such a wide range, from children's books to erotic romances, and most things in between, with only a few exceptions. You'll see less non-fiction on my bookshelves, but that's more because it's easier for me to scroll through that kind of thing on the computer, so I don't often buy non-fiction as actual books. I do have a couple of recipe books though, as well as a small collection of other non-fiction books. As for giving books away: I did so once, and missed the books, so ended up replacing some of them. Now I just don't bother. I hate giving up books, which is part of why I don't use the library... I always hate when it's time to give the books back. The other reason is the huge number of eBooks, and small stack of braille books, I have waiting to be read as it is.

Sami said...

Oh golly Jeanie, I'm a book and magazine hoarder!
I have most of my books in my study in 5 bookcases, all divided by categories - travel, decor, health, romance (loads), gardening, a shelf of dictionaries and a shelf of technical books belonging to my husband.
My cookbooks are in the kitchen.
When I'm reading I usually read two at a time, depending on my mood, and will take them to lounge, bedroom, bathroom...
I also buy and read 2 magazines a month and have piles of them, although I try to take them to the clinic where I work once in a while.
I must confess I still have about 10 books awaiting to be read, but recently I had to go to the library to get a French children's book for my French course and on impulse brought a romance to read as the title caught my eye. I just returned the two books today and brought 2 others to read :)
Maybe one day I will try and part with some.
Have a great weekend Jeanie.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Loved this post!! My 2 bookcases of books that I hope to read and those that I have collected over the years are mainly Decor books and mysteries.... I have not been able to find the time to read like I used to when I was younger when I was working full time and raising 2 sons...Then I got very involved in our church and chairing Fund Raisers and that became a second full time job. Now that I have retired and no longer have unwanted second full time jobs, I hope to get back to reading...2 years ago, I even created a sitting room in one of my son's old bedrooms where I can just sit and read.... Still need to take advantage of it...I was able to get some reading done in the Summer and when I was recovering from my knee surgery.... I hope to join the Public Library once I get through the books that I have amassed that I want to read... I have a kindle for over 3 years and just learned how to use it but I like the feel of a book in my hand....Thanks so much for always stopping by and for your Birthday wishes!! Now I can finally say I am officially retired!! I hope you have a great weekend!!

Carola Bartz said...

What an interesting collection - no surprises here after I have read your blog for some time. I think book posts belong to my favorite posts...
I have loved books and have been reading a lot (and I mean a LOT) since I learned reading and I don't plan to stop anytime soon. The best thing that can happen is to get completely lost in a good novel. I have spent a few weekends (and more afternoons when I had the opportunity) on the couch / in the garden reading and not doing anything else.
My books are stacked in no particular order. Since we moved into this house almost eight years ago I have wanted to get them in order but so far it hasn't happened and I don't think it will happen in the foreseeable future. The biggest part of course is fiction, but there are also biographies, books about all aspects of the garden and gardening, photography, art, travel guides, history books, knitting, cookbooks and those "coffee table" books. These are the "real" books, but there are also tons on my Kindle. Oh, and I love to read fiction from different countries and cultures, and I'm always on the look for good books in my native language. I've also kept some of my childhood books, especially the ones by Astrid Lindgren.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Morning Jeanie,
This is such a delicious post with a wonderfully diversified collection of genre. I am loving these "book posts!"
I have a variety of styles and sizes of bookcases in our current home. Some of them house my grandparents, parents, and my childhood books. Others are the home to History books of the Holocaust, yet others are brimming with cookbooks.
I am currently reading State Of Wonder by Ann Patchett, with an interesting cast of compelling characters and the complexity of civilization and the wilderness.

I have always enjoyed reading and I hope that I always will!

BeachGypsy said...

I love this post! I love seeing everyone's books. I love seeing other people's bookcases. I just plain love to look at BOOKS, of all kinds. Adult books, children's books, picture books, etc. I have always been a big reader, since about age 4 or 5 I was reading. Always loved books. Okay...NO OFFENSE HERE but I love it that your bookshelves look REAL. They look like mine. All your books are not arrranged by COLOR, or with half of them BACKWARDS with the pages showing and not the book spine (some current trend I think). I just don't think people who decorate with books like that even read those books. Well to each his/her own I guess, but to me books are to be read, enjoyed, and treasured. The ones I keep are like old friends ya know. LOL My books are not arranged by style, subject, or year or anything, but I can definetly surely tell you where each and every book is almost all of the time! ha ha LOL As my hubby says "there is a method to this madness! ha ha". It makes sense to me, all that matters I guess, ha ha. The only exception to that is that I WILL GROUP books by author, there are quite a few authors who I like so much I buy all their books, or all the ones I can. find, anyway. It's the weekend, yay! Have a great one. Loved this books post!

BeachGypsy said...

P.S. my shelves are overflowing and it doesn't bother me at all. ha ha LOL

anno said...

One of my favorite illustrators (Grant Snider, Incidental Comics) is coming out with a book, I will Judge You By Your Bookshelf ( Your post appearing here sure seems like another case of great minds thinking alike.

Judging by your own set of shelves.... you are a great book lover, and a great judge of book character -- what a great collection! (And I'm definitely following your list of mysteries and biographies very, very closely.)

Mine is much more haphazard these days. Some are reference books related to work (lots of graphic design, data visualization, etc.), some art books,some poetry, memoir, and history. Plus a fair amount of this and that.

Have to admit that I have become a great Kindle fan, which provides a much more comfortable line length for my aging eyes to parse. It also makes it ridiculously easy to buy more books. Part of their plan, I'm sure!

Thanks again for an interesting post (and I always enjoy the thoughtful disucssion that follows)!

Friko said...

I am having trouble commenting here.

As I am late to the party I will just say to you and anyone else interested: never mind Marie Kondo, books are our friends, they give us warmth and encouragement, pleasure and solace in hard times. Keep them, all of them, if you feel like it. True, I have recently done a lot of weeding, but only of such books that are either no longer true (science etc.) or will never be read again. They can go to charity shops, all others stay on my shelves.

Lowcarb team member said...

Great post Jeanie.
I just can't imagine a home without books …
We are so fortunate to be able to choose from a wide variety.

All the best Jan

Prims By The Water said...

I use to read constantly. Especially during the Summer months and my grandparents farms...of course after chores were done. Jannice

GretchenJoanna said...

I agree with Friko. I think Marie K. may not value books because they can't be folded snugly into a drawer.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Such a great collection! I would love thumbing through the coffee table books. I used to collect classics but now only have coffee table books in the house. Sounds depressing, I know. I do love my kindle though and having less to dust in the house.

Red Rose Alley said...

Nel would absolutely LOVE all your books, Jeanie. Your shelves are packed with an assortment of different books. And you still have some of your childhood books? How wonderful is that? I don't have any from my childhood, but I still have lots of children's books that I read to them when they were little. There's just something about the smell and feel of a book in your hands, especially the old ones. : )


Marilyn Miller said...

I start panicking when I don't have about 8-10 books in the "to read" stack. How I would love browsing your library and borrowing if I were nearby. I do read Cara Black mysteries, maybe I heard of her from you in the past. Yesterday I had to check out the books at the Goodwill shop and came home with a couple. I most often pass my books on to someone else unless I love it so much I think I will read it again.

French Ethereal said...

Hello Jeanie! Yes, books are EVERYWHERE in our house! I used to have a small two shelf piece in our last bathroom as it was handy for magazines plus a few British history books from Cambridge University, sold at some thrift shops in St. Ives and Huntingdon that my sister-in-law took me to in 2005. One is a good one about Queen Victoria and her life ~ very interesting!

I need to do a similar post one of these days and share our library. Charles has two 6' bookcases in his office and we have the 3 double 8' shelving units screwed together in our living room. I will never part with these if I can help it! They are double stacked with many history books from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Charles' military manuals from the USMC and more. From the trip to England, I sent back many beautiful books from our thrift shopping trips via military mail.

Yes, I have most of my childhood books: 25 Nancy Drew, all my Laura Ingalls Wilder plus others written about her writing and life, many mag'z and some books about Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana and a few on the current royals in England. Of course a bunch of books on gardening, interior design/decor books, sewing/embroidering books, books on Christianity/faith, our old yearbooks, Charles' childhood books and some of our children's books (though most of those have gone home with them!).

Well, that's all I can think of right now. I got rid of some of my Victorias (I had almost every one for past 25+ years) when we moved and that was like cutting off an arm. I do find it hard to get rid of books but do go through and donate older decor mag'z/books when I no longer find them relevant to me.

Loved reading your post!
Barb :)
p.s. I am glad you shared with SYS #241 last week and I have featured this post here at Share Your Style #242 this week. <3

William Kendall said...

My books are a mix: graphic novels, spy thrillers, history books, art, coffee table photo books, that sort of thing.

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