bookshelves tour: part 2

About a month ago I moved a third bookshelf into my room. With glass doors on the top shelves and cabinets at the bottom, I could finally move some of my collectible titles into safer storage and reorganize my other two shelves! It took a little time to decide exactly how I wanted things to look and, finally, I decided on function over form. (How can you bear to break up a series just to make a rainbow?? HOW?!?)

While they may not go in Roy G. Biv order there is still an abundance of pretty books to see! Size constraints mean that some shelves are still mismatched from where I'd truly like them to be; on the bright side, however, books are no longer stacked on my floor—or on top of one another in the shelves, either!

Over the course of the summer I'm going to do little tours of each of my three bookcases. This week you'll get to see the classics and adult fiction that I most enjoy, including fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novels!

My first shelf on this bookcase (technically the second shelf, but I use the top one to store my everyday cosmetics) revolves around my favorite fiction authors. This includes a signed edition of Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, which I accidentally stumbled upon in a local bookshop during a vacation to Chicago a couple years ago, and the full set of Cormac McCarthy Picador paperbacks. Some of these books actually sustained water damage while in storage a few years back, so I had to recompile the set. Thankfully they're relatively just has to patiently wait on shipping from the UK! Vintage also puts out beautiful covers for their McCarthy editions, hence the duplicates. I'm sure I'll wind up with a full set of those one day as well.

Further down the shelf are some of my most cherished—and heavily worn—paperbacks. Certain ones like A Clockwork Orange and the Penguin edition of Sherlock Holmes have become rather fragile with so much handling, so I don't really read them any more. It's fun sometimes to look back over my annotations in Shakespeare and Hugo to see how my thoughts have changed in the intervening years. (And before you have a heart attack: these were copies for class and notes were highly encouraged, if not a grade requirement! I would never do anything more permanent to a book than inserting sticky-notes with my thoughts now ♥)

Next comes a hodge-podge of literary fiction. About half of these books I still need to read, while the others are either favorites (Sherlock Holmes, The Essex Serpent, Nabokov's little collection) or recently completed books that I need to cycle back into storage. This is probably my least favorite shelf in my entire collection, mostly because it's impossible to make it look pretty—if I organize by color or author, then the heights are quite irregular and vice-versa—and no matter what I add or subtract, I'm never quite happy with how it's curated.

Ideally I could devote two of these shelves to literary fiction: one for paperbacks, one for hardbacks. I think mixing the two of them so haphazardly is what I'm most dissatisfied with, but space constraints make it inevitable right now. As you can clearly see, adding a new bookshelf to my room may have helped with the bookish clutter, but it didn't solve all of my organizational woes!

Now a shelf that might look more familiar to my regular readers: adult fantasy and science fiction! I've left a little room to grow here, which should disappear as soon as I add the two sequels to A Darker Shade of Magic and Vengeful. My copies of ASOIAF are very well-read and annotated, which is partly why I haven't sought out hardbacks so that the series matches. There's a cloth-bound set that I often see featured on #bookstagram that would make lovely display copies, but what if the sixth book actually comes out?? Then I'm back to my original dilemma of non-matching books. I'm not fond of mixing hardbacks and paperbacks in a given series, yet with the uncertain fate of ASOIAF I'm also reluctant to invest in any new editions.

Michael Crichton is one of my guilty pleasure reads. I've actually read every book he published, with the exception of the ones drafted from outlines and notes after his death. The white spine next to Ready Player One is an advance reader's copy of Universal Harvester by John Darnielle; what I love about it is that the book itself came in a plastic clamshell case like the VHS tapes used to be packaged! It fits in perfectly with the story and was a nice touch by the publishers.

Last but not least, my thrillers and mystery novels. The majority of books I own in this genre are boxed up and stored away because, compared to other genres, they favor the mediocre end of the rating spectrum. Since I have more books than I have room for shelves at the moment, I only want the ones I love and am likely to either re-read or otherwise reference/use, any that don't fall into those categories are cozied up in boxes for the time being.

This shelf does have a notable exception to that rule, though: the two Millennium novels written by Lagercratz are actually pretty poor in comparison to Larsson's original trilogy, but when I re-organized my shelves I didn't want to break up the series. The next time I have to root through my stored books, however, I think I'm going to put those two away and bring out Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike novels in time for the publication of Lethal White!

And there you have it, my motley assortment of adult fiction! These bookshelves are the furthest from any windows and thus the least photogenic—I apologize for the anemic coloring! They still contain some of my most cherished, personally meaningful books though, and I've placed them by the door to my room for that very reason. I just love how a particular book can hold so many memories beyond the story itself.

Keep an eye out, because next month I'll tour my newest set of shelves, complete with some glass-door cabinets and shiny special editions!

Are any of your favorites on my shelves too? Did any titles catch your eye and tempt your TBR?

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