Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Our (Lone) Bookshelf Says About Us

Hello All!

Laura Lippman started this: and Andi Shechter continued it: .

Our bookshelf is lonely, and I can hear our boxed books calling from 5 miles away in our storage unit. Ken, my husband, and I moved from Michigan to Arizona about 13 months ago, expecting to only live in what is basically a studio apartment for a few months. Well, I've had some job searching highs and lows, and Ken has changed careers just since we've been here. So here we stay in our studio place with a minimal collection of our books.

Just focusing on my books for the moment; I think my books would say that I like a variety of mystery writers, although I seem to be expanding into other genres and nonfiction. Despite our lack of space, I still go to booksignings and bookstores, both new and used. The books are all jumbled right now, with a book on Grand Canyon Women next to a romance by Dorien Kelly, next to a mystery by Will Thomas, next to 2 titles by Arizona author Nancy E. Turner. Since attending a readers' advisory program where two publisher's reps spoke, I've been a lucky recipient of HarperCollins Advance Reading Copies--talk about a space challenge! Some are boxed to be donated, and in the trunk of my car :).

I will admit to purchasing what will end up being doubles of some of my comfort reads; I just wanted to have them available. I have bought several Charlotte Macleods, Margaret Marons and Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking (which actually may be my 3rd copy of that title).

And there are the series that I haven't read in awhile, or that I want to get caught up on, or that I'm in the middle of--these are some of the others that are packed away. These include series by Peter Robinson, Laura Lippman, Donna Leon, Ellen Byrreum, Shirley Damsgaard, off the top of my head. There are series I'm in the middle of completing for my collection where I don't know what I own and what I don't--if I see something at a used bookstore, I have to hold back, so that I don't end up with too many doubles. And the main title that I'm bummed I packed and didn't leave out is Sean Chercover's Big City, Bad Blood. Yes I could borrow it from the library, but my copy is signed--I want to read that copy ;)! I may cave though, as Sean's up for so many awards at Bouchercon.

Ken's books include natural history, history, Buddism, and some of the ARCs I've received (usually science oriented). We share a collection on Arizona travel, as we want to know as much as possible about our new state. I also have several gardening books for the desert, and a collection of Phoenix and Phoenix Home & Garden magazines, for when we have our own garden.

The shelf also contains some fossils of Ken's, a photo of my grandparents, stationary, a box of birthday cards, and some basic miscellaneous stuff. As I hope to be on a cleaning kick starting Friday, both Laura and Andi have inspired me to be a bit more brutal if I'm not going to read something I haven't read, or I'm not going to reread something (even if it's signed--a really tough thing for me).

I'm also in the process of trying to return library books, and not take any out (very, very hard for me), so that I can read the books that I've taken the time to choose and the money I spent to own. Library books are also allotted some space here--TBR are Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas, Scattershot by Bill Pronzini, Bobbie Faye's Very...Bad Day by Toni Causey, For Whom the Minivan Rolls by Jeffrey Cohen and Deadly Vintage by Elaine Flinn.

Thanks for the inspiration for cleaning, and for this post, Laura and Andi :)! Right now, my bookshelf says I'm a slob :)!!!

Happy Reading!


Jen said...

Oh come on now Patti! I think "eclectic" is a bit more appropriate than "slob"! :) I'll have to follow your lead on this discussion point! Thanks!!

Patti O said...

Ooooo...thanks Jen! I love the word eclectic ;)!!! It was how I described our previous apartment, but I think our next place will have books, 2 computers, 2 TVs, 1 couch, books...hmmm, in addition to (probably) more bookshelves, we need some furniture :). So the next place will start out as empty, oh, ummmm, roomy, and move into cozy and comfortable.