In this installment of the bookshelf tour, we’ve left the living room and arrived at the bookcase in the bedroom. It’s a 5-shelf case, and all the shelves are devoted to books. The top shelf contains classics– primarily the hardcover Everyman’s Library editions that I love and the black-spined Penguin classics, plus a few random ones that are on this shelf because.
I’ll note the ones that are unread, as well as the books I’ve bought on my travels and where I bought them.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Literary Classics Book Club Edition, 1940s(?)
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Beowulf: Old English Edition (Anglo-Saxon language)
- The Sagas of Icelanders by Various
- The Tale of Tales by Giambattista Basile (unread)
- The Epic of Gilgamesh
- The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic translated by N.K. Narayan
- Metamorphoses by Ovid (unread)
- Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede (unread)
- The Conference of the Birds by Farid al-Din Attar
- The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore (unread, purchased at Mál og Menning in Reykjavik, Iceland)
- The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson (purchased at Mál og Menning in Reykjavik, Iceland)
- Njal’s Saga (unread, purchased at Mál og Menning in Reykjavik, Iceland)
- The Táin (purchased at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop in Galway, Ireland)
- Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
- Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster (unread)
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
- Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence (unread)
- Paradise Lost by John Milton (unread, not pictured)
- Decameron by Boccaccio (unread, not pictured)
The teeny book sitting on top of Mansfield Park is my passport. That’s where it lives, so I know where it is whenever I’m getting ready to travel abroad.
The mug ‘o bookmarks was an actual drinking vessel I bought from one of my ceramics professors during the biannual pottery sale at university. It was my favorite mug for a long time (super lightweight, holds a lot of liquid, and a sensible handle you could actually hold onto), but then it got knocked off a table and the handle broke off. So now it holds my bookmarks. I don’t really use fancy bookmarks since the cats like to play with them, but I have a few that just stay in the mug for sentimental reasons, like the original Barnes and Noble Lord of the Rings movie tie-in bookmarks (that is, indeed, Legolas peeking over the edge of the cup. I used to have most of the set, but some have gotten lost during moves and whatnot), one with a world map on it, one from Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop in Galway Ireland, one a friend brought me from Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. Also, I have (at last count) 43 bookmarks from the used bookshop downtown. They give you a paper bookmark with every purchase, and I often forget to tell them I don’t need yet another one…
Only one shelf this time, but it didn’t make sense to me to do one shelf of classics and one shelf of science fiction and fantasy, so we’ll get to the rest of the shelves in later posts. Perhaps a trilogy of them, because that’s what SFF likes to do.
Note on the editions: Everyman’s Library is an imprint of Penguin Randomhouse that presents series of classics, modern classics, and poetry in beautifully designed and sturdy hardbacks bound with acid-free paper and built-in silk bookmarks. They can be a little pricey, but if there’s a classic you want to keep forever, it’s hard to go wrong with them.
I think everyone knows about Penguin Classics editions, which present the great works of world literature in inexpensive but sturdy formats often meant for classrooms. You can find them just about anywhere, both new and used, and the commentary is usually on-point and clearly written (just don’t read it before the book, because spoilers. If you’re worried about spoilers in classic novels). I like them because they’re inexpensive, well-made (I dropped my copy of Metamorphoses and messed up a corner of the spine. It gave me a dirty look and held together), and they look great when you have a whole row of them on your shelf.