Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I've been enjoying Kimbuktoo's Your Home Library project for awhile now. So, I thought it only right that I contribute a picture. Here's the larger version of my bookshelves. They're super-cheap particle wood shelves from Office Max, but I'm undertaking them as a DIY project for the fall. I'm going to paint them and add some molding/trim. I'll show y'all the after pics when I finish! In the meantime, here we go. :D

I try to keep my book collection small (I doubt it's more than 400), since I'm living with my parents and then joining the Peace Corps. After all, it's only polite that I fit them all in my room!

The left case is full of non-genre fiction: I have it divided into geographically and chronologically. Top shelf is for non-British classics: America, France, Russia, Greece. Next shelf is all British classics. The middle one is international contemporary fiction, followed by American and British contemporary fiction. The bottom shelf is my Southern collection (inspired by Maggie's challenge), poetry, and historical fiction. The middle case starts with genre fic: the top shelf is mystery, the next one a combo of spy/thriller and the beginnings of fantasy, and the middle one is all fantasy. Then, my foreign language stuff begins. One shelf for Russian: actual books as well as language reference volumes. The bottom shelf is French (not as extensive), and a touch of Italian. Then, the right case is full of non-fiction, sorted by genre. Top shelf is religion and tarot, next is all of my international relations books. Then, there's the bio/memoir section, history, and Russia. Underneath that is science, philosophy and 'general nonfic'-my catchall for everything else. The very bottom shelf houses my bookmooch inventory.

When I really look at it, my sorting seems haphazard, but it makes it very easy for me to find whatever I want, as well as browse my collection. The genres match up to the ones in my Excel sheet, so they've grown organically out of the books I own.

In addition to books, I keep a lot of souvenirs on my bookshelves. My dad does a lot of travelling for work, and I've done quite a bit of travelling growing up, so I have a pretty good collection from around the world. I also have pictures of my family and places that I've lived.


Imani said...

Can't wait to see how your renovated shelves will look. I hear you on trying to keep the book collection small. I'm both anxious and willing to wait a long time to settle somewhere permanent and then having more leeway in arranging shelves.

Heather said...

*sob* *wishes desperately for more bookshelves* *realizes the money for bookshelves keeps going toward books* .... oops.

Your bookshelves are beautiful!

iliana said...

You'll definitely have to post pictures after your DIY project. I think they already look great :)
I really like how you have the souvenirs throughout. My bookshelves are packed, which means I need more bookshelves!

Matt said...

I like the way you've organized the content of the shelves, mixing in items with the books and stacking them different ways.

Joining the Peace Corps?! I actually thought about doing that about the time I graduated from college but they wanted a two year commitment and I only wanted to give one. I had a professor who spent time in Africa with the Peace Corps and had some amazing stories to tell. I'm sure it will be a terrific experience!

Eva said...

Imani, I can't wait until I can devote a room to my library. However, this desire conflicts with my plans to move around often. We'll see what wins out!

Heather, lol-I think that all three of these only cost around $80. Maybe $100. You could always make bookshelves out of cinderblocks and wide wooden boards!

Iliana, thanks for the compliment! I don't know if you can tell, but the big margarita glass is from Taco Cabana. When I lived in San Antonio, there was one every block (it felt like), and here in CO I feel deprived. When my bookshelves get packed, I get rid of books; I think it comes from being a military brat. Moving often makes you ruthless about hanging on to things.

Matt, I'm glad that you like them. I'm very excited about joining the Peace Corps; I'm lucky in that I'm younger than most college grads (I turned 21 a month before I graduated), so a 2 year commitment is easier to fit in. The one thing I'm very concerned about it not having access to many books. I can live without running water or electricity, but to live without books?! Sounds like torture. ;)

Gentle Reader said...

How amazing that you're joining the Peace Corps! I think that's great. And I love Kimbooktu's home library project, too. My shelves are far too disorganized to post on the internet, though! But it's fun to see yours.

Petunia said...

I just love it when people post pictures of their bookshelves. The condition of the shelves and the organizational plans are very telling. I'll be posting pictures of my own shelves soon.

Eva said...

Gentle Reader, it took me awhile to get my shelves in a state that I wanted to post on the internet. :) Coming back from college, and discovering bookmooch, had led to random piles of books just kind of hanging out.

Petunia, I'm looking forward to seeing your shelves! It's always interesting to see how people sort their books. :)

danielle said...

Thanks for sharing the photo--I always love seeing other people's bookshelves--yours are so neat. I am sure once you are on your own, you'll find your book collection will expand--mine did anyway! :)

Booklogged said...

Eva, is that an ostrich egg on the left bookshelf? We have one on one of our bookshelves. I like your idea to add trim to fancy up cheap bookshelves. I think I'll borrow your idea.

Eva said...

Danielle, I'm sure my collection will expand! My shelves are neat-you can't see the rest of the room though. ;)

Booklogged, it is an ostrich egg (on the right)! My dad brought it back from a trip he took around Africa. Let me know how the trim works out-maybe it'll inspire you to post pics!