November 13, 2013

Other People's Bookshelves



My cookbook shelves…had to start with this one since I blog about food too!

Earlier this week Anne at Modern Mrs Darcy blogged about browsing other people's bookshelves. Like many book lovers she looks to the books that someone has loved or hated to find connections and start conversations. She will write down titles or authors to try and even snap a picture if there are too many good suggestions to simply take notes. Needless to say the comments were full of others who do the same thing, proudly and decidedly not sneaky. We all decided how fun it would be to see each other's bookshelves so that we could virtually browse and hopefully start those same conversations and connections that we would get in each other's living room.

My to read shelf, though this doesn't include the 6 books next in line which are on my bedside table. 

If you walk around my house you will find bookshelves in nearly every room and we are constantly trying to squeeze more shelves in. In fact the last time we moved we had 35 book boxes…the movers were not thrilled! One of them told me it was the most books he'd ever moved-and that was not a compliment.

Books about Jane! But not actual Jane books-she's under "A" on the fiction shelves :) 

I ascribe to the books are the best decoration theory, so they are everywhere. They are also organized by fiction and non-fiction. The fiction is then broken up by author and non-fiction by subject. A little crazy? Maybe. I am a trained librarian, after all. However, it killed me to I discover that we had bought duplicates of several books because we hadn't been able to find what we needed when they were all jumbled together. Now all of us can find just the right book at just the right time :) Except for the boys-they each have a full bookshelf in their room of all our picture books and younger chapter books. And those are a complete and utter mess-which means they are reading and playing with them and that makes me very happy!


Not the best picture but I love using this spot to rotate oversize books in our living room. 

In a way, I think this idea is exactly why websites like Goodreads and Library Thing work. Readers love to see what their friends are reading. We love to talk about it and we love to connect with others about a book-whether we loved it or hated it. It's the best way to get recommendations, and why librarians and book sellers are so knowledgable about their shelves. I have dreams of someday entering all our books into my Goodreads account so I know what exactly we have, but I also go really overwhelmed just trying to enter in my recently read. When I really started using the site I decided to just start tracking my books from that point. If I look at someone else's shelves I often stumble on something I read years ago, but it would be too much to try to find everything!

Ancient history and Bill Bryson..and "dinosaur footprints" made by my boys! 

I'm sprinkling pictures of my bookshelves throughout this post-hopefully they will inspire your to-read list! I have high hopes of adding a bunch of titles to mine today! And if you think we might have a lot of books in common (or not) you can follow me on Goodreads or keep track of what I'm reading through my books tab and my reading roundups (usually on Fridays).

Every nook in the house has a bookshelf…here's one of the 4 (!) fiction shelves that holds some of my favorites-the end of the alphabet and the children's chapter books that the kids aren't old enough for. 

I also love the trend among authors to put source books on their websites or in the back of books-even fiction. I have found so many good new authors through those. (If you like historical fiction, 3 of my favorite authors all do this- check out Deanna Raybourn, Lauren Willig and Tasha Alexander!)

If you are looking for more inspiration head over to Modern Mrs Darcy to check out all the linked up bookshelves!

How are your books organized? How do you find new books to read? Do you check out other people's bookshelves?

I'd love to chat with you some more! You can find me on Twitter and Facebook or follow me on Bloglovin or your favorite blogreader. Thanks for stopping by!

30 comments:

  1. Love this! We have tons of books as well, and this is the first house that we've been able to have them all out and on display. They've been slightly organized in the past but I loved reading about how yours are organized. I was a librarian maybe I should put those skills to use this winter!! =) I'll be back to peruse the pics a little more closely for new titles to read. =)

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  2. Wow, you really do have a lot of books! I love your description of your kids' books -- I'll have to remember that the fact they're strewn EVERYWHERE is a good thing, it means they're being read! (Visiting from the MMD link-up)

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  3. I love love love your bookshelves! I miss having the space to keep ALL of my books out on display. I like your organization style...I may have to try that!

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  4. I spied a lot of my favorites on your shelves, always fun! I confess, my books are nowhere near as organized as yours though I'd love to take the time to do so, I have very little confidence that they would stay that way for long!

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  5. I love how you have your books organized! I was a bookseller for 17+ years, and I have rebelled against organization and have my books haphazardly arranged. After seeing all the gorgeous shelves on this linkup I might be inspired to change that.

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  6. I love what you said "I ascribe to the books are the best decoration theory." I definitely agree. It's so great to have books that are beautiful and full of wonderful words. I know that my Dad worked for many years as a graphic designer for book covers and there is so much work that goes into the images and covers on the books that decorate my home!

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  7. I enjoyed seeing your shelves, and yes, books are most definitely decorations. I always change up how I organize my books- author, genre, dewy decimal system. It is always nice to go in and rearrange them.

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  8. Anna @ Come Hither and StayNovember 13, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    I see several books on your "to-read" shelves that I've read. We Two, Wait for Me, Born to Rule, and Love in a Cold Climate among others. And then a few more that are also on my to-read list. I love finding people who like to read similar things!

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  9. It's a good winter project! It's always the first thing I do when we move to a new house, and it helps me feel settled. I will warn you though-the organizing always takes way more space than I expect it to :)

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  10. Thanks for stopping by! Yes, we have a ton and the kids do too-luckily my family thinks that books make great presents too and the boys love getting new ones to read! (And use as the base for block towers…of course!)

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  11. Oh thank you! This house has been much easier to display them in than some of our others and it is one of my favorite things about the house :)

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  12. Oh fun! I'll have to check yours out too so I can find some new favorites then :) I think the to-read shelf and the ever changing pile on my nightstand and coffee table help keep the main shelves from migrating too much. If there's something I want to keep out and look through for a while then it ends up in one of those spots instead.

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  13. I can understand that! There is something special about discovering an old favorite in an unexpected place :)

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  14. Book covers are some of my favorite art works! There are several that I'd love to get an oversize print of and frame-maybe in my dream house with the built in library shelving :)

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  15. That's one of my favorite things about this link-up! I feel like there is a whole new group of people I want to sit down to chat with about books over tea :) I noticed a number of favorites on your shelves as well-the Georginia and Mitford sisters biographies in particular! I always seem to go through a Mitford phase in the winter, and Wait for Me and Love in a Cold Climate are next.

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  16. I find it very therapeutic to organize the shelves! It's the first thing I do when we move to a new house, and then anytime I get anxious I find myself puttering around and working on the shelves!

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  17. What a great home to be so surrounded by books!

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  18. I love your collection, I'd definitely be unabashedly nosing through them if I came to visit!

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  19. Your cookbook collection is sooo pretty! And I love that you have a "books about Jane" shelf in addition to the actual Austen works!

    Thanks so much for sharing your shelves with us.

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  20. It is so nice to "meet" another bibliophile! I see that we have many similarities in taste! Adore your Jane Austen collection! :) Isn't this the best link-up?! :)

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  21. Caroline Starr RoseNovember 15, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I'm an avid reader...who's only read two Jane Austen books. Don't hate me!

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  22. Covering the walls with bookshelves is my favorite part of a new house. Someday I'll have built in's…someday!

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  23. Thanks! And thank you for hosting this-it has been my favorite link-up by far. I love seeing all the different bookshelves :)

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  24. I love Georgette Heyer! You should definitely give her a try! I have a ton of ancient paperbacks by her-it's total comfort reading. Venetia and Frederica are two of my personal favorites :)

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  25. Which ones? There are some I've only read once (Mansfield Park-meh. So not my cup of tea!) and others that I reread every year (Persuasion)! I think you're good…as long as you have an opinion about which movie has your favorite Mr. Darcy. Colin Firth for the win ;)

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  26. This linkup has been fabulous! Probably my favorite ever. You're right-we seem to have lots of books in common! And you're a military mama too :)

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  27. I would probably be shoving my favorites at you all afternoon if you visited in person then!

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  28. Caroline Starr RoseNovember 15, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Emma and Persuasion. And I've never seen the BBC Pride and Prejudice. I know. And while I'm confessing, I've never read beyond the first Harry Potter...and I'm a children's author. :)

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  29. I see Stieg Larsson and Georgette Heyer. Love them both. I think I have the Helen of Troy book but I'm not sure if it's the same author or not and I'm writing on my laptop in bed so can't look it up :)


    Books are our predominant decor, too! It makes decorating blissfully simple and works out well since I'm addicted to buying books.

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  30. Love your bookshelves!

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