Life of a Book Hoarder

The Shameful Shelf Tour

For quite some time I’ve been telling myself I should do an updated bookshelf tour. My last tour was in August of 2015 and boy, do I have even more books now! But due to a project that took Sweetbeeps almost a year to actually start for me, we didn’t really have enough room in our second bedroom for me to photograph the shelves in there.

I almost didn’t do this post though…

You see, I got out my camera and took a couple shots of the two tall shelves in our bedroom and then noticed one of them was severely off-kilter. We had an emergency fix session, but it’s looking like we’re going to need sturdier shelves. I’m glad I started the photoshoot though, because otherwise, I might not have noticed until the shelf was falling.

After we secured the shelves, I sat on the ground thinking of some ways I could try to lighten the load and reduce the stress put on these flimsy bookcases. Then I started thinking that I shouldn’t do an updated tour, because my shelves are overpacked and a total mess and oh-my-gourd where the hell did all these books come from and how the fuck am I ever going to read them? Then I got all panicky and sad for a bit. I sort of felt ashamed that my shelves are so crowded and I have so many unread books. Then I thought maybe I should really try to weed through my collection and be strict and get rid of more books. Then I realized I didn’t have the energy for that.

Then I went and took some pictures for a different (upcoming) post and then decided: You know what? Fuck it! It’s my blog and my shelves aren’t going to change any time soon. In fact, I hope to always have a house crammed full of books. Why should I be ashamed of book hoarding? Sure, I start to freak the fuck out when I think about dying with all these books unread, but let’s not go there today! I love knowing I’ll never run out of books to read and I love just looking at my full shelves, see all this magic waiting for me, all the time!

So then I decided to go ahead and photograph the rest of our shelves. But then I realized the second bedroom still has some residual clutter that I really should work on organizing, so I kind of skimped on those pictures – but I still took them!

Ok, hopefully you’re still with me….here we go! I want to start by doing quick before (left) and after (right) comparisons of each shelf in case you’re too lazy to go back and look at my previous shelf tour post.

These are the aforementioned nearly collapsed shelves. At a glance, I think you can tell they’ve been loaded up with more books. Right after I took the updated picture, I sat down and did some more reorganizing, so they’re slightly less crammed – but I didn’t feel like retaking the pictures. You’ll also notice the appearance of Sailor Moon art.

These shelves house some of our favorite authors – Tanith Lee, Christopher Moore, Philippa Gregory, Charles de Lint, Tolkien, G.R.R. Martin, Walter Moers, Joe Abercrombie, Garth Nix, Terry Goodkind, Gregory Maguire, Becky Chambers and Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire, as well as a few one-offs. They’re also decorated with my favorite (and only complete) pop collection – Big Trouble in Little China!

Tanith now occupies 3 shelves (and will likely need a fourth if I can continue to find her work) and the top of the shelves acquired more dust-collecting mementos.

I didn’t feel like moving my purse, so you also get to see which one (of the too many I own) I’m currently using!

We tossed out the tall skinny shelf because the movers broke it and though I duct taped it back together, it wasn’t worth keeping.

Now Sweetbeeps’s Harry Potter collection has a place of honor. There are more favorite authors on this shelf including Hugh Howey, Joe Hill, T.A. Barron, Vivian Shaw, Robert B. Parker, Scott Lynch, Trudi Canavan, Steve Martin, Lisa Jensen, Paulo Bacigalupi and Cherie Priest, with some more one-offs.

Part of me misses how clean my little desk area used to look, but I also love stuff and things and my Sailor Moon art wall fills me with joy.

A couple more vintage books made their way onto this little pile.

Before we leave the bedroom, see also some “priority” piles that have begun to take over our bureau. I’ve never been one to have books just piled up before, so these guys cause me some anxiety. Let’s move on!

This is our second bedroom (really it’s a library/game room) and it’s where the most change has occurred, I think. We upgraded two of the shelves and I love them.

My Austen and Alice collections live here. As well as all of our comics/graphic novels, the beginnings of my Discworld collection and all my Neil Gaiman books.

I recently switched up a couple of the shelves here. The top of the shelf is where I keep some of my very favorite editions of Pride and Prejudice, as well as some complete Austen sets. Previously, all my other P&P editions and Austen spin-offs/inspirations lived right below that. However, that shelf was getting insanely crowded, so now all the short story collections live there.

This is the level of clutter that I aspire for all my shelves – not a lot of empty space, yet you can easily see what everything is. Too bad that’s not really possible!

These are all my copies of Alice and anything inspired by her. Below that you can see where I crammed the rest of my P&P and Austens. Even though there’s more room on this shelf than the previous one they were on, it’s still crazy full. Sigh! What I need to do is start reading more of these spin-offs and such, because oftentimes I decide they aren’t worth keeping – that will clear up some space.

Some of my pop-up books and good old Godzilla.

This shelf was supposed to go in the basement in case Sweetbeeps wanted to put tools or something on it. But after we set up the new shelves, he left it at the top of the stairs. I didn’t say anything to him about it and after a month, when he didn’t bring it down to the basement, I decided to fill it with books. Hehehe.

I don’t keep anything on top because the cats like to perch there and I’m not trying to have them knock books down the stairs on a regular basis.

My vintage collection got a much-needed upgrade too. This shelf still has plenty of room on it! That’s mostly because I don’t intend to read most of these books and I try not to buy too many. It’s also the only shelf I’ll rainbow because none of these books are really in a series. Granted, most of the books are red, yellow or green, but whatever.

Added some more dust-collectors too.

And now, the piece de resistance – THE BEAST!

How can you not love this shelf? I know I could have cropped out Sweetbeeps, but I decided to leave him. Anyway, this is my favorite shelf. It’s moved with me 4 times now. It’s solid wood – probably I couldn’t afford to buy something like this today. The poor thing does have some cracks in it, but I’ll do whatever I can to keep this forever. Or make Sweetbeeps learn to build me an exact replica!

Kermit accurately captures how I feel every time I think about how many unread books I own.

Doesn’t everyone keep a picture of their 3-year-old self dressed as a belly dancer on their shelf?!

~

Well folks, there you have it. All my shelves, cram-jammed with books, and even the piles that are slowly taking over my life. I enjoyed sharing both my joy and anxiety with you! All us hoarders can do is keep wishing for that Beauty and the Beast library right?

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11 thoughts on “The Shameful Shelf Tour”

  1. These pics reminded me the quote “If you’ve a garden and a library, you’ve everything”. Do you have a garden as well? 😀 And that Owl-memento is damn cute. Very neatly organized shelves.

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  2. I think I be overwhelmed by a) how many books ye have; and b) how organized they are. I don’t know how many books I own (hundreds) and they are partially organized but not like how pretty (and colorful) yers be. I know I need to do a purge but the task is daunting and slightly terrifying. I mean I know I have “new” books that I haven’t read in over a decade. But what if I finally am in the mood to read it one day? The first mate is in the process of purging some of his. We have two full crates. I am donating them to a book charity. I feel better that some bookworm might be thrilled by what we are donating. Arrr!
    x The Captain

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    1. Haha mine are far from organized, at least to me! Some shelves are themed but most aren’t. I’m overwhelmed by how many books I have too! Lol. But I find once I start purging it feels really good. But it’s still tough. I have these books cuz I -want- to read them. Funnily enough, Sweetbeeps thinks I own too many books, but he doesn’t get rid of books, even if he doesn’t really like them.

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  3. Wow! That’s a tour! So many shelves! I wish I had as many though I can relate to your feelings when you thought of how overcrowded your shelves were and all the books you haven’t yet read. I feel the same when someone enters my space and sees my shelves. But then I feel proud of them too.

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    1. Yeah a lot of mixed emotions and a lot of years of hoarding. Last year I started tracking how many books come into the house….it’s NUTS. Hoping this year’s number is a little lower lol

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  4. I thought overcrowded shelves that sag is just what happens to people who love books and go to too many library sales? XD My shelves are sagging, too, but I’ve been slowly donating a good many of my books so it’s a little better now. Your shelves are very pretty, though!

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  5. I’m glad you decided to share your shelves anyway! I love seeing how other people organize their books. Plus, I only have one bookcase so this kind of posts inspires me to dream about having more one day. I would love to have a piece like ‘the Best’. 😛

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    1. Aww thanks! I’m glad it inspires you. I love the Beast so much. He actually had fully enclosed shelves along the top, which would have given me more space! But when I moved into my first apartment from my parents house, he didn’t fit down the weird stairwell of the new building, so my dad took a chainsaw to it because I had to have him move with me!

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