Sunday, October 12, 2008

How Does Your Library Grow?

After posting about the library booksale, I had many people ask questions about how I store all of my books! I decided to do a "tour" of my book collection -- to be quite honest, I was rather surprised by how many places I store books once I actually made a "list" of them.

First and foremost, I have a six-shelf bookshelf in my bedroom. I store my most-read and least-decorative books on this shelf, since it doesn't have much "exposure."

I was also granted some space in a vintage barrister bookcase that my mom found (now in our upstairs hallway) -- I have the top and bottom shelves, which I have filled with some of my historic books.

I must confess -- not all of my books are on display! I have three under-the-bed containers filled with books (mainly books that I don't want displayed, but want accessible). To my own horror, I do have several boxes of books in the attic -- all in small boxes, since large boxes are too heavy to lift. I try to store only paperbacks in the attic; none of my antique books will ever be banished from air-conditioned living spaces! One day, in my own home, I'll have space for all of my books. Until then, I try to limit what I buy (honestly!) or find creative storage solutions.

My sewing/crafting/homemaking books are stored on a few shelves of our sewing room bookcase -- identical to the one in my room. I've outgrown my two shelves, and need to find a new solution!

In our living room I have 5 1/2 shelves of our built-in bookcases, which is a huge blessing. I have some of my finest books on these shelves, since they are very visible. My set of Henty novels from Vision Forum are on display, as well as a set of "Messages and Papers of the Presidents" that a fellow bibliophile gave to me -- he already had another set! And, of course, my set of Dickens is here.

Since I'm a very bookish mood just now, I may post a few collection highlights over the next few days -- I hope it will be just as interesting to you as it is to me!


  1. Well, your collection is certainly better displayed and organized than mine! We have very little book shelf space and so our books are topsy turvy at the moment:-/ My antique books are kept in the only bookshelf that is not overcrowded(although at the moment my hubby is trying to use it for paper storage!).

    So nice to see someones book organizing ideas..thanks for sharing:-)

    Lots of love,

  2. Shannon, thanks for sharing the pictures! That shelf of antique books is simply scrumptious. And I can't say how much I adore your living room. We have a great many bookshelves in our home, but not as centralized or beautiful.

    Do, do share some individual books! I'd love to see!

  3. I'm not sure why I complain about the number of books you have... Our house is full of books; we are unable to get rid of them, but quite capable of buying more. I dare not count how many bookshelves we have around our house. And the trouble is, we don't have space for books...

    Nonetheless, I don't have a very large personal library, though I am beginning to work on it!

    Anyway, it was interesting to read how you store your books!

    In Christ,

  4. Hmm.. just wondering if I can at the same time dread and long for the days that my sweet daughters need space for their own book collections. LOL
    I enjoyed reading this post.

  5. Yes, yes, yes! I'm loving these bookworm posts! I have just recently acquired a bookshelf in my room...which is good, because I have over 100 books (not including "adopted" books, and those that have just wandered into my room. I know it's pitiful compared to your collection, but I'm working on it. Are you familiar with

    I have a copy of David Copperfield that doesn't even have a copyright date, it is SO old! I wish I knew when it was published. I found it at a yard sale. :-)

    Sorry, I'm rambling and hogging the comment section. God bless!

    Hannah L.

  6. I must confess that I am rather jealous. I come from a family that prefers borrowing books from the library rather than actually buying them. However, I am happy to say that my own collection is growing, though I really must get to a few library booksales...


  7. Hannah, having 100+ books is not a pitiful collection! I have heard of, but never really checked it out -- I'll have to go take a look! And never apologize for rambling -- I love it! :-)

    Hmm, it looks like post about the downside of having a big library... :-)

    Yours in Christ,

  8. Just letting you know that I tagged you! ;)

  9. Thank you for this post! I have three bookshelves in my room and some tables and wall shelves. I have resorted to keeping some of my books in the hall and living room bookshelves, but I hate having my darling children out of my own chamber! :-) Mine are more or less organized by category--classics, German, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, religious, etc, etc.

    Not that you care to know, especially from someone you don't know, but I found many books at our library book sale this past weekend. An old Jane Eyre and Our Mutual Friend, plenty of Shakespeare, a few random old books, and some good classic works. Your post about book storage was timely!

    Whew...sorry about that! I hope you meant it when you said you love rambling!

    ~Tiffany Hope

  10. Ah, books. You have a beautiful collection. ;)

    My husband and I just moved from a (relatively large) rental to a tiny home we now own. Where to put our library? We joked about it at first, but now it looks like our little home really will be insulated with books!

  11. Thanks for the encouragement!

    I saw Agnes Grey on your bookshelf--I only know one other person who has read that book besides me! What do you think of it?

    I also saw that you like Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte, and I've read that one too! I loved it! But you don't like Jane Eyre? Have you read, "Villette," or "The Professor?"

    By the way, you're probably wondering who this person is who has been commenting on your blog for the last couple of weeks. :-) I am fifteen, reformed Presbyterian, homeschooled, sole sister to six younger brothers, aaanndd---I love to read! I was going to ask you about your sewing machine, too. I can't wait to try your tiered skirt tutorial, but my sewing machines can't be trusted, and I'm looking for a new one. Recommendations?

    See? I took your word for it on the rambling.

    In Christ,
    Hannah L.
    P.S. What sort of writing do you do?

  12. Thanks for tagging me, Amanda! :-)

  13. Oops, didn't see the other comments until just now!

    Tiffany Hope, I know what you mean about wanting to keep your books close! And congratulations on your book sale finds -- I ALWAYS love to hear about other people's finds, especially books! How wonderful to find an old copy of "Jane Eyre" and "Our Mutual Friend!" And I do mean it about rambling -- have you seen my comments? Or my blog for that matter? Rambling is something I love! ;-)

    green eyes, what a fabulous way to insulate one's home ;-) I love the look of bookshelves lining a dining room. I keep a binder of magazine pages that I like (for future decorating purposes), and I can't tell you how many of them have to do with book storage! :-) Congratulations on your new home, by the way!

    Hannah, another "Agnes Grey" reader?! I loved the book. I think Anne Bronte is the "overlooked sister." Agnes was delightful, and I found her gentle Christianity inspiring. I didn't like Jane Eyre as much because of Mr. Rochester, and I haven't yet read "Villette" or "The Professor," but I intend to! Thanks for introducting yourself, by the way! It's so much fun to "get to know" people through blogs, because they're usually kindred spirits. I'm afraid I can't recommend a sewing machine, since I use my grandmother's 1957 Singer Slant-o-matic (You can see it in this post: I hope you find one that will work for you!

    I dabble in many kinds of writing, and for many ages. I haven't found a niche -- which is fine, since I enjoy the freedom to try my hand at many genres! I hope to get published one of these days...

    Now talk about rambling! ;-)

    Yours in Christ,

  14. Dear Shannon,
    I agree! Anne is much overlooked. Her book, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall," is very good as well. Many people pick up Anne when they really want Charlotte, and then they're disappointed. One just needs to take each author independently, and then I think things will go much better.

    Villette is an interesting novel, and nothing happened the way I expected it to in the beginning. The Professor is written from a man's point of view, which makes it interesting. I enjoyed it very much. There are several similarities between the two.

    I very much agree that Mr. Rochester has his problems, but I think part of the beauty of the story is his journey to repentance. And I love how steadfastly Jane sticks to her principles. (Of course, I'm not arguing with at all! I'm just putting in my two cents worth and conversing. :-))

    Okay, that's enough for now, I think. Would you mind if I emailed you? I can see that we have quite a bit in common, and I (in a position where most of my good friends are far away) always welcome another friend. Have a lovely night!



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