I love looking at other people’s bookcases, both in person and in photographs. I love seeing what books they’ve got, how they’ve organised them and what else they put on the shelves. I’ve been known to zoom in to read book titles, even when the bookcase is only an accidental background to something else…
So I thought I would give you a tour of what’s on my bookcases.
I have three bookcases (plus a load of books on the shelves in my wardrobe, and some more books on the bookcase in Brodie’s room but who’s counting??), and two of them are almost all children’s books.
If you pull my sofa away from the bookcases this is what they look like. My grown up books are on the left (apart from the bottom shelf which is Ewan’s), there are childrens’ books including Blytons in the middle (again apart from the bottom shelf which is Ewan’s) and the right is all Blytons, and all mine!
I actually took this photo a few weeks ago and I’ve moved a few bits and pieces around since then but it’s a reasonable representation still! Click on any of the photographs to see them bigger. (If you’re still wondering what that is on the top right, it’s a wooden bus with a broken wheel axle on top. Of course.)
Here is how they look today – after I’d cleared off the inevitable rubbish that builds up as I try to keep things like TV remotes out of Brodie’s reach.
Top shelf material
I will start with my all-Blyton bookcase, as that’s what you’re probably most interested in. It’s more or less organised in order of favourites, my most favourites at the top.
The top shelf has 21 Famous Fives and eight Adventure Series books. This is the same layout as I had on my old bookshelves at my parents’ house as the 29 books fit a standard bookshelf perfectly. There are just over half the Famous Fives in dust jackets, though I think one or two are facsimiles, and my Adventure series are not only tatty but entirely dust-jacket-less.
But as you can see there are a few more things on the shelf too! On top of the Famous Fives is my Famous Five party game and and my old copy of Five Run Away Together, as I replaced it with a better one this year, and haven’t got around to selling/giving it away/putting it away yet.
In front left to right are:
Some interesting rocks I’ve picked up (most end up in the bathroom, but these two got put on the bookshelf for some reason).
My 70s Famous Five card game. I did have my 50s one there too, but it went missing ages ago and I have a horrible feeling it might have fallen off and landed in the bin.
A Sindy plastic dog (passed down to me by my older cousins) which I always think of as Timmy. He has stood faithful guard over my Famous Fives for years now. The only problem is that Brodie has taken a serious liking to him and keeps standing on the back of the sofa to grab him!
A tiny clock (that doesn’t work) that I chose as a memento from Ewan’s Gran’s house after she died.
A small box from the Literary Gift Company that used to contain a book badge but now holds some collectible coins.
I am trying to collect the 26 letters of the alphabet on 10ps, and so far have C, D, U and Y, and a long way to go! There’s also a random Commonwealth Games 50p and a Charles Darwin two pound coin. I did have two or three Florence Nightingale two pound coins once upon a time but I’ve no idea where they went. I am in no way a serious coin collector, but I do check the tills at work to see what I can find!
And the next shelf
This one has a bit more variety, but not a single dust jacket to be seen.
Bookwise we have:
The two Adventurous Fours.
Three ‘Enid Blyton’ branded reprints of her Mary Pollock books – The Children of Kidillin, Smuggler Ben and The Secret of Cliff Castle, as this is an adventurous shelf. The other two I have are Mischief at St Rollo’s which is on my school shelf and Three Boys and a Circus which sits beside other circus books.
The six Barney Mysteries, with its one yellow book that doesn’t match the rest.
The fifteen Five-Find Outers books including my hard-won copy of Banshee Towers.
And lastly a rather motley and mis-matched set of the five Secret Series books.
I did say earlier that my shelves were organised by favourite but I suppose it would be more accurate to say by favourite genres and then by favourite series within that. The Mary Pollocks are not amongst my top-rated series but belong in that genre. I imagine a lot of people might put all six Mary Pollocks together as a little series, though?
Anyway, also on this shelf are:
A little vintage calendar where you rotate the tall bit to flip the days (yes I know it’s not Monday today but I generally only remember to change it on Mondays as that’s my day to dust the living room as dictated by The Organised Mum Method.) This was another little memento from Ewan’s Gran’s house.
A little box containing more collectible 50 pence pieces, mostly Beatrix Potter ones – Jeremy Fisher, Benjamin Bunny, Tom Kitten, Mrs Tittlemouse, Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter and a random Sherlock Holmes one. There are still quite a few Beatrix Potter ones I don’t have – yet I keep finding more Benjamin Bunnies and Jeremy Fishers!
My ‘quiet please I’m reading’ sign that my mum made me one Christmas.
A piece of bismuth I bought at Treasures of the Earth.
There aren’t many more adventure books left, and those that are, are on the next shelf along with hodgepodge of other stuff which I will leave for another week. I hope you’ve enjoyed nosying at these two shelves, and I apologise for the quality of the photography! I had fully intended to do this in daylight but the week entirely got away from me and I ended up doing it at 8pm lit by my reading lamp.
interesting and eclectic mix. I had a flip calendar with the crest of the city of London I bought this is a gift for my Mum on a school trip a lifetime ago. I wish I had room to display my books but they live in plastic storage crates
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Fiona, I think you would enjoy having a look at the bookcases in our house. 🙂 We have 24 bookcases (two small bookcases and the rest is about IKEA Billy 90 cm wide and 2 meters high), 9 of them for our DVD collection, the rest is for 1.500+ books, most are hardcovers, because I’m near-sighted and don’t like small paperback font.
In the side porch we have 2 large book cases with my husband’s books and my Kennedy books collection (ca. 100 books in each bookcase).
In the dining room library we have 7 bookcases, sorted by movie books, WW II books, travel guides, US and Canadian history books, Daphne DuMaurier, Douglas Kennedy, Nancy Thayer, Barbara Erskine, Charlotte Link, Joy Fielding, Rona Jaffe, Mary Higgins Clark, Nelson DeMille and two book cases with historical novels and contemporary women’s novels.
In our guestroom we have 7 bookcases, the Enid Blyton bookcase, a special birthday gift from my husband who used to be a carpenter. Two large bookcases harbor my other children’s books and 3 more most of my crime novels collection (Peter Robinson, Val McDermid, Michael Allegretto, Margaret Millar, Patricia Highsmith, Marjorie Dorner etc).
I forgot to mention 2 even smaller bookcases in our bedroom which we use instead of night stands. There are 60 books in mine which I actually intended to read in 2019, but as usual something comes in-between…
You should start selling tickets for guided tours of your house 😀
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🙂 🙂 🙂
PS: All life long I usually met people who barely owned any books. I thought I’m the only one who has a lot of books. But since I joined EBS, I met a few more people who possess many books.
One more PS. In my special Enid Blyton bookcase (it contains at least 224 EB books in English, German and a few in French) I have the books on EB’s life at the top, below the oldest EB books followed by the Famous Five, Claude Voilier FF, Adventure series, Mystery series, R series and Secret Seven.