What Lovely Shelves You Have!

Since childhood, I’ve been drawn to other people’s bookshelves like some people are drawn to classic cars or antiques.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are of a teeny library in my uncle’s old house–the room couldn’t have been more than 12×5 feet–but it had a pocket door and built-in bookshelves.  I was smitten.

When friends invite me over, I make a bee-line for their bookshelves.  I love to see how other people organize their books (I order mine by color).  Peeking at bookshelves can give you insight into a person that you may have otherwise missed.  Who knew that your burly buddy Jim has a soft-spot for the Twilight series?  Can you believe that straight-laced Auntie Mabel hordes Harlequins?

Anyone who comes to visit me will immediately recognize my love of books.  There are books all over my house–an orderly cabinet in the den, a huge wall unit in the living room (over-sized books only), books on tabletops and shelves, and let’s not even discuss my bedroom and office.

So, don’t be alarmed if you invite me for dinner and I spent hours perusing your bookshelves.  I’m just taking a peek into your life through your books!


  • At 2009.10.12 13:26, Kathy said:

    Come on over and take a gander at mine – they aren’t organized at all.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday =-.

    • At 2009.10.12 14:03, Natalie said:

      I should have–I was just in sunny Florida and had a grand time!! Next time around, I”ll swing by!

      • At 2009.10.12 14:34, The Literary Omnivore said:

        I have a weakness for creative shelving, and am quite put out that I have three very small shelves for my books here in my dorm, although my bookshelves at home aren’t too impressive, either. I love picking through the books people like to display in their home. It certainly can start a conversation…
        .-= The Literary Omnivore´s last blog ..Review: Labyrinth =-.

        • At 2009.10.12 15:52, Ti said:

          I am the same way. I actually thought about hanging some books on the wall as art. Yep. I received a Persephone book in the mail and I liked the cover so much I was going to just perch it on the wall in the kitchen as it is titled Kitchen Essays.
          .-= Ti´s last blog ..All Moved Over (sort of) =-.

          • At 2009.10.12 16:26, avisannschild said:

            I do this too: I love to see what books other people own. I organize my shelves by genre and then alphabetically, although there are sections that are a complete mess and let’s not talk about the book piles on the floor…
            .-= avisannschild´s last blog ..Friday Finds (October 9) =-.

            • At 2009.10.12 18:58, Nicole said:

              For some people it’s the music collection and for others it’s the bookshelves. I am definitely guilty of going straight for peoples’ book collections.
              .-= Nicole´s last blog ..31 Hours, by Masha Hamilton =-.

              • At 2009.10.12 19:51, diane said:

                My shelves are fairly neat but mostly organized by size. I too, love looking at other perople’s book shelves, so you are not alone 🙂
                .-= diane´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday =-.

                • At 2009.10.12 21:59, Jenners said:

                  I’m the exact same way … I always check out people’s shelves. And I have to confess, I make judgments about them based on what they have — sometimes good and sometimes bad. And I love the idea of sorting by color — more often than not, I sort by size and what looks good on the shelves.

                  And I see you’re reading The Abstinence Teacher … I really enjoyed that!!!
                  .-= Jenners´s last blog ..Giveaway: Plainsong by Kent Haruf =-.

                  • At 2009.10.13 00:10, Hayden Tompkins said:

                    You would be sad at my house. Most of my books are ‘in hiding’ unless I am reading them. So my only visible books are basically the stack by my bed!
                    .-= Hayden Tompkins´s last blog ..How to Sabotage Your Income =-.

                    • At 2009.10.13 06:57, Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) said:

                      I am totally the same way! I love seeing what people have on their shelves…and I’m fascinated by the fact that you organize your shelves by color
                      .-= Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)´s last blog ..Michael Baron Talks About his Writing Space =-.

                      • At 2009.10.13 12:35, hisqueen1 said:

                        I love book shelves. I always look at what is on the shelves at others houses. I organize by author, very boring I know. Hubby just kinda throws them in there. They are very organized according to type of book but unless you really know your authors or your reading material it looks like a mish mash of everything. Even his knick knacks correspond to what is on the shelves.

                        • At 2009.10.13 13:25, jimsmuse said:

                          My oh my..where have I been? Fancy new blog, and goodness knows what smack has been talked about me while I’m gone. 😉

                          I’m with you, Natalie…going through someone’s bookshelves is usually even more interesting than going through their medicine cabinet! 🙂
                          .-= jimsmuse´s last blog ..Since “My Cool Job” Is Back In Business… =-.

                          • At 2009.10.13 15:24, Meg said:

                            You can totally come over for dinner and blatantly check out my bookshelves — I’ll make lasagna! 🙂 Haha. I love that you organize by color… I have a tendency to organize by genre and within that genre, categorize according to type! All the hardcovers are on the left, followed by quality paperbacks, followed by mass markets… etc. Yeah, that’s the OCD talking again!

                            And by the way, your header image? I’M IN LOVE WITH IT. You better keep your eye on it at all times because if you look away, even for a moment, that pink typewriter? You’ll never see it again. And if you think I’m exaggerating, just blink, Nat… go on. I DARE YOU.
                            .-= Meg´s last blog ..Book review: ‘Holly’s Inbox’ by Holly Denham =-.

                            • At 2009.10.13 16:46, carol said:

                              My book shelves are a bit sparse thanks to you, Nat! Love the new header on your blog… I want that pink typewriter.

                              • At 2009.10.13 20:57, Natalie said:

                                dear mom,

                                i think i could say the same thing about your raiding of my bookshelves! 🙂 my books cower in fear of your bi-annual visits!


                                ps. didn’t i cry when you gave me a typewriter for christmas one year? or was that the year i got luggage? hee hee hee…

                                • At 2009.10.13 23:18, Lisa said:

                                  I’ve never done this–but I’m totally going to start!

                                  • At 2009.10.15 10:33, Beth F said:

                                    I love looking a bookshelves too! Mine aren’t organized and quite a number of books live on the floor.
                                    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Thursday Tea: An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon =-.

                                    • At 2009.11.03 07:04, Nishita said:

                                      I love looking at book shelves too. Instead of helping my friends prep in the kitchen, I am wandering around their study browsing through their books.

                                      I am a BAD dinner guest 😀
                                      .-= Nishita´s last blog ..Request for Interview Granted…Ahem! =-.

                                      (Required, will not be published)

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