Bookshelf Tour, pt. 1: Fiction, Memoir, and Poetry

Thank you to those of who voted in my little poll from a while back. You voted for a bookshelf tour, so here we go.

Unlike those lovely walls of shelving you see in drool-worthy shots on BookTube, Bookstagram, or home design magazines, my bookcases are spread out across my little apartment. In my living room, there are two 2-shelf bookcases (and one five-shelf set, but there’s only one shelf of books on it for reasons); I have one 3-shelf bookcase and one 5-shelf bookcase in my little studio for a total of five shelves’ worth of books, and one 5-shelf bookcase in my bedroom, which is full to the brim with books.

I don’t like double shelving books because I don’t want to forget what I have back there (on one shelf it’s a necessity, though) and I don’t like clutter so there are few knickknacks. And while I did tidy the shelves before I took the photos, it was mostly to dust and straighten up the things that were already there. My shelves are necessarily clean, or else Mina would knock things off them.

According to my LibraryThing app, as of this writing, I have 348 books, 95 of which are unread. There is a method to their madcap arrangement, and it works for me so I’m sticking with it. For now. There are days I get tired of the set-up, and just change everything up.

  • Literary fiction, historical fiction, magical realism, memoir, and poetry are shelved together, alphabetically within the category.
  • Nonfiction is roughly organized by Dewey Decimal classifications, though the history books are mostly on their own, arranged chronologically.
  • Classics are mostly on their own shelf, arranged in their own weird way (partly by edition, partly chronologically).
  • Science fiction and fantasy are on their own shelves, organized alphabetically by author.
  • My books by and about J.R.R. Tolkien have their own bookcase, and the photography books have their own shelf.

Make sense? No? Oh well. Off we go.

We’ll start with the right-hand bookcase in the studio and go anti-clockwise from there, one bookcase per post. There will just be too much, otherwise. The SFF books might get their own series because it’s SFF. That’s how they roll. And I have a lot of them.

On with the books!

I’ll mark which of these are unread, and there will be Goodreads links to them if you’re curious about any of the titles.

Top shelf: historical fiction, literary fiction, magical realism

R Studio top

And my only Funko Pop figurine of Arya Stark from the second season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. I did not buy it. It was a gift from a friend.


Middle Shelf: historical fiction, literary fiction, magical realism

R Studio Middle

The camera serving as a bookend is a Pathex 9.5mm cinema camera made– as far as I can tell– in France in the 1920s. The other camera is an Olympus 35 SP rangefinder made between 1969 and 1975.


Bottom Shelf: memoirs, poetry

R Studio bottom

The bookend is a little drawing I made on a scrap of paper during some free time in a college art class. I liked the result and found a shadow box to frame it in.


First bookcase complete! More to come! Later.

13 thoughts on “Bookshelf Tour, pt. 1: Fiction, Memoir, and Poetry

  1. Love this!! And I just read remains of the day recently. So good!! I must admit I got rid of most of my physical books….but you’re are very neat!

  2. Have you seen the movie version of Remains of the Day? It’s great, too!

    I couldn’t do away with my physical books… Ebooks just aren’t the same. Granted, I don’t have to worry about making room for other people’s things.

  3. I saw the movie many years ago. I went to watch it but it’s a rental, so I’m waiting patiently to be a freebie…. yeah…there’s only so much room I have in my apartment…

  4. I’m so happy you did it!! And I went ahead and added some to my Goodreads, the Italo Calvino books.
    Love your shelves, btw. I admire their neatness and how organized they are. I’d like to get mine down to just one row. They look much better that way.

  5. Great! I hope you like them! Once I figured out what was going on in Invisible Cities, I thought it was great.

    I’m a bit of a neatnik when it comes to my shelves, so they’re always pretty tidy, and I’m always going through and asking myself, “Do I really want this anymore?” so that helps keep the numbers from getting way out of control.

  6. I need to ask myself that question more often. It’s when I started this tour that I seriously considered unhauling some books I know for sure I won’t read.

  7. I won’t lie, I love this. I love that your shelving order makes sense to you and that’s what matters. Who cares how these are ordered to others? Your opinion is the only one that matters.

    I’m with you on not doubling on shelves… but I still do it. I have some bookshelves that are open 3 shelves on top and 2 shelves hidden behind doors on the bottom. The books on the bottom are all doubled up. It fits more books in less space and I put series in there, so if the front 3 books are from such-and-such series, I know the books behind are the last few from that series. This is where The Wheel of Time, Valdemar, Star Wars Legends and the like are — all super long series.

    I like that you’re explaining your bookends and other decorations, too. I’m glad Mina leaves them alone! XD

  8. I do have one shelf that has double-shelved books. They’re mass-market paperbacks, and it just works for them to be double stacked. Otherwise, they would take up way too much shelf space that I can’t really spare. And yes! An organizational structure only needs to work for the person who is using it, not for anyone else. Unless, of course, you run an actualy library. Then you might want to stick to something more traditional.

  9. Ah, yes, you did say that. I just lost track of that as I kept reading. All my double stacked books are mass-market paperbacks, as well! They fit there.

    Haha– can you imagine a public library organized like home bookshelves? That would be amazing. I might be able to find the books I want more easily. XD

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