Books. Books have long filled my heart with every conceivable emotion. Those pages have the power to take you to far off lands, to let you into someone else's world, to transform your perspective, and teach you things you never knew you needed to learn. Books are important. They are the very reason that I have always wanted to be a writer. They are the reason that I continue to write today. For as long as I can remember, books have been an essential part of my life. From being read to as a small child to pouring through Sweet Valley High books in my adolescence to my yearly reading goals...there is something to be said for the written word. During the quarantine, an exhausting day was spent attempting to organize my bookshelf. Before that organizational day, my shelves were overloaded and extra books were left in stacks on the floor. Somehow, I managed to squeeze all of my books onto the two full-sized shelves (it involved double stacking and a splash of creativity) but it was a process! That is what inspired me to do another book post. So without further ado, here is The Bookshelf Tag as well as a Recent Reads video on my YouTube channel.
My Answers: The Bookshelf Tag
1. Describe Your Bookshelf and Where You Got It From
Okay, confession. I have more than one bookshelf. In fact, I have three. Two are full sized bookshelves from IKEA and one is a smaller half shelf that I have had since I was very young. All of the shelves are simple and white (because I personally really love all white furniture). My shelves are overloaded with books, are double stacked, have extra books stacked on top of stacks of books, and are generally very full. There are also a handful of odds and ends in front of the books on my shelves. For example, small Disney figurines and memorabilia. Some people like simplicity but I am all about expressing my personality. My shelves may not look the most aesthetically pleasing but they make me happy and hold all of my precious books.
2. How Do You Organize Your Books?
When it comes to organization, some people are all about sorting by the colour of the book spine or the size of the book. Others prefer to organize alphabetically or by author. Mine? Not so much. I like to keep all books from one author together (for instance, all of my Meg Cabot books are together and all of my J. K. Rowling books are together) but in terms of overall organization? It is something of a mixed bag. I have attempted to group biographies together, self help books together, authors together, and so on but I can't honestly say that this is done perfectly. My smaller shelf however, is where I keep all of my Sweet Valley High books, Nancy Drew books, and Archie comics. (I have been collecting all three of those for as long as I can remember.) So an attempt has been made to be organized but I don't know that I would say this has been done successfully.
3. What's The Longest Book on Your Shelf?
I am not completely certain but it would be one of the anthology collections. There are a number of collections in beautifully bound books (they were gifted to me by my husband years ago) that include: Hans Christian Andersen, Sherlock Holmes stories, Edgar Allan Poe, and collections of horror stories, stories written by female writers, and so on. These books are currently works in progress on my reading lists...but I absolutely love dipping into the classics every now and then.
4. What's The Shortest Book on Your Shelf?
There are a handful of mini books on my shelf, actually! I mean super teeny tiny books. They tend to come in those little box sets you find at book stores (that come with a mini book and a replica golden snitch or something like that) and I have them all stacked together. Those are always nice to take with me if I want something to read on the train or bus but can't commit to carrying around a full-sized novel. They are also nice to throw into your purse...just in case. You never know when an unexpected opportunity for reading might pop up. It is always nice to be prepared.
5. Is There a Book You Received as a Birthday Gift?
Oh goodness, there are so many! I would say at least a quarter of the books on my shelves have been gifts from one holiday or another. People that know me know that I absolutely adore books. I am always reading something or want to be reading something. So when it comes to books as gifts? That is a pretty safe bet. I am very lucky that the people in my life continue to be ultra supportive of my ongoing book habit.
6. Is There a Book From a Friend On Your Shelf?
Absolutely! As I mentioned above, the people in my life are very supportive of my book-loving self. (Not to mention, a handful of my friends are also book lovers.) There are a number of books on my shelf that have been given to me by friends. More recently would be an affirmations book from one of my closest friends. It makes me feel very blessed to have people that support and understand me. And who also love to spend their time reading!
7. The Most Expensive Book on Your Shelf?
I honestly don't know! There aren't any ultra valuable books on my shelf, I don't think. Most likely the most expensive book that is on my shelf is "By Faith, Not By Sight" by Scott MacIntyre (you can read my interview with him from way back in 2012 here) simply because I pre-ordered it and purchased an autographed copy. Other than that? Most of my books are pretty standard in terms of pricing. I am certainly not a collector of expensive first-edition novels.
8. The Last Book You Read On Your Shelf?
I've been doing an awful lot of reading over the last little while. (Which has been such a joy and a true blessing! One of the benefits of staying at home for weeks on end.) Usually, I like to alternate between biography, fiction, and self help related materials for variety sake. Most recently it was a self help genre book called, "The Audacity to Be Queen" by Gina DeVee. There was a lot in the book that I found interesting and helpful but there was also a fair amount that really didn't resonate for me. However, I was happy to read it and grateful for the time to do so.
9. Do You Have a Complete Series?
Of course! I am definitely a fan of a number of different series (because it is always nice to stay with characters beyond just one book). That includes Harry Potter, Princess Diaries, Twilight, Divergent, and countless others. Clearly you can tell from that list that YA is one of my all-time favourite literary genres though you can never go wrong with a good mystery, some chic lit, or something that tugs on the heartstrings.
10. What's The Newest Addition to Your Shelves?
That would likely be the Lucy Maude Montgomery biography that I am currently reading. Though it was purchased at the same time as a small handful of other books...this is the last one that I am making my way through, so I will count that as the last one to hit my beloved bookshelf. So far, it is interesting to learn more about an author that has been a part of my life for so long.
11. The Oldest Book on Your Shelf?
Those have to be my old-school Nancy Drew books. They were passed down to me from my mom. (Well, technically they were passed down to my older sister but she left them behind when she moved out and it was finders keepers from that point on.) These are original editions and have the old hard covers on them. Though there are plenty of other Nancy Drew books in my collection that I have amassed from my youth and throughout my adult life...those will always be really special to me because they have a personal history and connection.
12. What's a Book You'd Hate to Let Out of Your Sight? AKA No One Is Touching It Ever?
To be perfectly honest, that is all of my books. I am extremely possessive of my books these days. Mostly because in the past, I would lend a book to someone and never get it back. (Which is why one of my Hunger Games books is missing and I am still annoyed about it.) You know how it goes. You lend a book to someone, they forget to give it back, you ask for it back, they say you never lent it to them? Happened one too many times for my liking. So these days, I have a policy not to lend out books. I would rather buy someone their own copy than let them read mind. Possessive? Control freak? When it comes to my books....you'd better believe it!
13. Most Beat Up Book on Your Shelf?
That would be my paperback copy of "The Princess Diaries." Generally speaking, I try really hard to take good care of my books. I don't bend pages and try to keep them clean and neat. That being said, the first book in the Princess Diaries series has been read and re-read so many times over the years that it understandably has taken a bit of a beating. It happens!
14. Most Pristine Book on Your Shelf
The ones that are still waiting to be read! I heard once that having unread books on your shelf is actually a good thing because it makes you excited about all the adventures you are yet to have. So I like to live by that philosophy. There are still a handful of books on my shelf that have not yet been read...but not to worry. They will be read at one time or another! I look forward to the days that they will make it into my current reading list.
15. A Book That Doesn't Belong to You?
My mom loaned me a book a while back (and said no rush on returning it) so that is probably the next book that I will read. It is from an author that we both really like so it is something that I am looking forward to reading!
16. A Book That is Your Favourite Colour?
Not only does this book come in my favourite colour but it is one of my favourite books ever. It is called, "I Think I Love You" by Allison Pearson. (I actually reviewed it a long time ago.) The book itself is a bright and vibrant shade of pink and the story is incredible. It involves David Cassidy, a love story, and a deeply relatable commentary on what it means to live, love, and grow.
17. A Book That's Been on Your Shelf The Longest and You Still Haven't Read?
This would be all of the collections or anthologies on my shelves. Most of them are partially started but nowhere near finished, even though it has been ages! However, there are a couple that haven't yet been started because I have been desperately trying to finish one of the others first. But you know how it is with books. You have to read depending on your mood.
18. Of All the Books On Your Shelf, Which Was the First You Read?
It was either one of the Sweet Valley High or Nancy Drew books. Or perhaps this book that I have from when I was very young. It was small and part of a series of books centered around young ballerinas and a group of friends. One of those books was my favourite for many years.
19. Any Signed Books?
Not a lot but there are some. I have a signed book from Scott MacIntyre, a signed book from Corey Feldman, and two signed books from Karen Swan. I also have some signed cookbooks from Jamie Oliver and Buddy Valastro.
20. Favourite Book on Your Shelf?
There are a few. That includes "There Are Survivors" by Jane MacSporran, "I Think I Love You" by Allison Pearson, and "Princess In Love" by Meg Cabot. Obviously there are countless others that are special and have left an undeniable mark on my life but those would be a few of my personal favourites.
Recent Reads for May 2020
Lately there have been an awful lot of books in my life. This is both thanks to more time at home and a general love of reading. That is why my latest YouTube video is all about a few of the books that made their way onto my reading list in May 2020. Take a peek at the video below and let me know if you've read any of the books shown. If you have? Be sure to sound off in the comment section below and let me know what you thought of them!
Reading matters. Books matter. They are an expression of who you are as much as they are a form of escapism. These are some of the books that have left a mark on me. The books that express who I am, what matters most, and all of the things I have yet to learn. Are you a book lover? Then I tag you to participate in The Bookshelf Tag. I would absolutely love to learn more about your reading habits, your favourite books, and everything in between.
Do you love to read? What is your favourite book?