I swiped this idea from my good friend’s blog, Breaking Grad(School), which just featured a super fun shelfie post for World Book Day. I loved it so much that I figured I’d keep the shelfie love coming.
Seeing as how my computer’s spelling autocorrect programming clearly has no idea what a shelfie is, let’s turn to an age old source of cultural wisdom and insight for further information:
Shelfie: A picture or portrait of your bookshelf. Showcasing literature IN ALL IT’S GLORY! (This term was originally defined by author Rick Riordan).
Thank you, Urban Dictionary.
I love this idea for a blog post primarily because my bookshelf is my favorite thing about my apartment. My husband, sister, and sister’s boyfriend built it for me from Home Depot supplies using a series of pictures I found on Pinterest. It was a birthday present and I take every opportunity to share its glory with the world.
My bookshelf is full of things I love dearly, most of which are books. I do have small stashes of books on smaller bookshelves scattered throughout the house, but this baby is my main library station. Most books are organized topically.
- We have my academic and critical theory books by Barthes, Judith Butler, Austin, and Foucault. This isn’t necessarily where I go for beach reading, but these guys are lifesavers when I need them. That carved wooden cup was a wedding gift from a dear friend; her father carved it before passing away and I consider it one of my treasures.
- My husband and I have no shame in regards to this shelf of nerd books. We actually have two different shelves of nerd books. These are the books that are presentable enough to be out in our living room. The other shelf is too embarrassingly nerdy to be out in public, so you can only imagine the percentage of dragon/wizard content in the ones we are too ashamed of to have out where they might be seen. There’s a pretty good Tolkien showing here accompanied by some Game of Thrones novels and Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, masters of fantasy fiction lore. As for the coral, when I was 7, I spotted it on the bottom of the ocean floor while snorkeling. My mum, in a moment of badassery, free-dove down to the depths of what my 7-year-old mind understood to be at least 200 feet to retrieve it for me. This was when I knew that girls could be just as wild and fearless as boys.
- This is a bit of a miscellaneous shelf with a bobblehead Martin Luther keeping things cool down on the end. My little army of C.S. Lewis books lives next to Martin, because I think Martin Luther and C.S. Lewis would have been friends in real life. One of my many books on the Palestinian/Israeli conflicts is tucked in there alongside some gems I have read in my grad classes (Zadie Smith, Toni Morrison, Lynn Nottage, Wole Soyinka).
- The Nortons and the anthologies. I’m a grad student studying English; this shouldn’t come as a real surprise to anyone.
- Mostly classics (Jane Austen, Dickens, Bram Stoker, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky) with a few modern winners in there. Let me take a second to stress how amazing John Darnielle’s Wolf in White Van is. John Darnielle is the lead singer/songwriter for the band, The Mountain Goats, and to say he has a way with words is putting it lightly.
- These are a sampling of my old leather bounds. My uncle and aunt collected old leather bound volumes from bookstores around the country; my younger self obsessed over them. Once in awhile they would let me have one and I always hoarded them jealously, awarding them a place of great honor in my room. Once I reached the age at which I could obtain them for myself, I began my quest in earnest. Over the years, I have accumulated several vintage leather bounds like the ones shown here. This shelf carries Maupassant, Ibsen, Longfellow, Tolstoy, Marlowe, Dumas, and Poe. It also carries my tiny wooden elephant from a trip to a pharma conference in India.
- This is the science shelf! These handbooks all saw heavy use when my husband and I were engineering undergrads together; he still pulls one down from time to time. That’s an award my husband won for being a genius, a butterfly from our honeymoon in Costa Rica, and a Crooke’s Radiometer that I stole from a closet at Lawrence High. No one was using it…
- These are most of my cookbooks. Because I am good enough at cooking to love doing it and bad enough to 110% require very clear recipes to follow.
I’ll stop here, but only because I can’t imagine you’re still reading this. Also because I believe my dog is chewing on something that I want to keep. Thanks, Breaking Grad(School), for the fun idea. And I hope to see what’s on all of your bookshelves as well!
Bonus bookshelf: Photo Books in Apple Crates