Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Bookshelf Tag

I was nominated for this exciting tag by the lovely Victoria @ Stori Tori’s Blog. Thanks, Victoria! (Also, you should totally check out her blog, just sayin’.)

Here are the rules:
The book(s) you answer with must be from your bookshelf.
Include a picture of your bookshelf, if possible, or you could include pictures of your dream shelf. (I'm not actually going to follow this last rule, because this post is long enough as it is.)

*Cue slightly crazed laughter.* Okay, so one thing you need to know about me is that I don’t just have one bookshelf. (In my case, perhaps we should call this tag The Library Tag.) I have, technically, three bookcases in my room. They are full. They are beyond full. They are so beyond full, I have taken to constructing rudimentary bookshelves out of sideways stacked cardboard boxes—AND I HAVE STILL RUN OUT OF ROOM. I mean, this is insane, and I love it, but I will soon have to surrender the luxury of having a bed so I can gain space for another bookshelf (only I’m moving next month, so that’s a non-issue).

Let’s skip to the questions before I lose my mind completely.

Describe your bookshelf (or wherever it is you keep your books—it doesn’t actually have to be a shelf!)

My shelving arrangement is a little bit idiosyncratic, and by a little, I mean a lot. Who needs the Dewey decimal system or the alphabetical system? Not me. I arrange by preference, author, color, height, and any other aesthetic/intangible quality I so desire. This ensures that book thieves will struggle to find any sort of rhyme or reason to my system, and their hesitation will be my chance to take them out. *bows deeply*

What’s the thickest (most amount of pages) book on your shelf?

My copy of The Lord of the Rings is 1,193 pages long, and I get carpal tunnel syndrome just thinking about it. But more on that later.

What’s the thinnest (least amount of pages) book on your shelf?

My copy of The Velveteen Rabbit is 44 pages long, and, by complete coincidence, at some point I decided to keep two little rabbit statuette things right in front of it. Clearly my subconscious knows what it’s doing a lot better than I do, so I will let it finish this post for me.

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift?

My birthday is on New Year’s Day, which isn’t all that far from Christmas, so I’m pretty sure I haven’t received all that many physical birthday gifts (not counting money—seriously, having birthdays is so lucrative, I’m thinking of turning it into a business). Many of my gifts are more like, combination birthday/Christmas presents. I have received books for Christmas, though, and I couldn’t even list them all here because I usually get around twenty or so every year. I’ll just stick with The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, because it’s the first one that comes to mind.

What’s the smallest (height and width wise) book on your shelf?

My copy of Persuasion is six inches tall, three and three quarters inches wide, and half an inch thick. Incidentally, I don’t get carpal tunnel syndrome thinking about that one.

What’s the biggest (height and width wise) book on your shelf?

That would be The Lord of the Rings again (although I have a few others that come close—can you hear my wrists sobbing?) It stands ten inches tall, six and a half inches wide, and two and three quarters inches thick. It clocks in at exactly 2,397 pounds (I know because I checked).

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?

One friend gave me The Peculiar, another gave me A Pleasure to Burn by Ray Bradbury. I have a few others from friends, but those are the ones that stick out.

Most expensive book?

Hmm, this is an interesting question. The list price for my LOTR edition is 70 dollars, but I have some very old books that are in super good condition, so I’m not sure whether their value might be a little higher or not. *shrugs*

The last book you read on your shelf?

I just finished Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke a few days ago.

Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read?

I’m leaning on either one of The Chronicles of Narnia, one from A Series of Unfortunate Events, or maybe Matilda. I’ve been collecting books for so long, I’m not sure.

Do you have more than one copy of a book?
I have two copies of Emma by Jane Austen, two copies of Northanger Abbey (also by Jane Austen), and two copies of Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore. And no, you can’t have one. They’re mine. *hugs books possessively*

Do you have the complete series of any book series?

I have all the following: the Hunger Games trilogy, the Divergent trilogy, the Legend Trilogy, A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Gallagher Girls books, the City of Ember series, Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quartet, C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, the Peculiar duology, and the Chaos Walking trilogy. There are several more series I have almost all of—just, you know, aside from that one book in the middle you can never seem to find in stores. Yeah. 

What’s the newest addition to your shelf?

The newest addition to my shelf would be Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams.

What book has been on your shelf FOREVER?

I have had the Hunger Games trilogy, the Gallagher Girls books, and my collection of Jane Austen books for a long time. I’m thinking, though, that I might have owned Watership Down by Richard Adams for even longer. I can’t really remember, and my theory is that I had collected at least a hundred or so books before I was even born.

What’s the most recently published book on your shelf?

Ruthless—it was released in July. And you should go read it.

The oldest book on your shelf (as in, the actual copy is old)?

My older copy of Lorna Doone hales from 1913, according to the date someone wrote in the inside cover. Perlycross (also by R.D. Blackmore) comes from 1894 and my collection of various Sherlock Holmes stories comes from 1892. My collection of Livy’s works says it was printed in 1890. And my copy of Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (from the time they printed books in multiple volumes instead of a whole book) dates back to 1901. I’m sure I have a few more older ones, but the farther back you get, the less likely you are to find a date on the copyright page, or anything like that. And, unlike the Doctor, I can’t just lick the paper and figure out what year it was made. Unfortunately.

A book you won?

I won Dove Arising (Karen Bao), Ruthless, Joshua and the Lightning Road (Donna Galanti), and The Canary Room (Edwin and Linda Casebeer).

A book you’d hate to let out of your sight (aka a book you’d never let someone borrow)?

All my books, most specifically my older ones (okay, okay, I let my sister and my mom borrow what they like, but only when I’m feeling benevolent and merciful).

Most beat up book?

I’m not sure I can really pick out one, because most of my books are in excellent condition. The ones that I do buy used will have some wear and tear, but I prefer not to buy anything ratty. So, maybe I’ll just go with my copy of Evangeline (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow). It’s old and it’s beautiful, but at least one page has sought independence and emancipated itself from the rest of its family.

Most pristine book?

Basically, any book that I bought new and read without sharing. Seriously, when I read books (even multiple times), they rarely look like they’ve been used.

A book from your childhood?

We’ll go with Watership Down on this one, although there are many.

A book that’s not actually your book?

I have one book, sitting on my shelf, that I’ve been meaning to read for ages and haven’t yet. It belongs to my mother. You’ve probably never heard of it, but it’s called Power Perfected in Weakness by Christopher J. Klicka.

A book with a special/different cover (e.g. leather bound, soft fuzzy cover etc.)?

Well, I have nothing special really, but some of my older books have different textured covers, and it’s possible the cover for Daniel Deronda is some sort of bonded leather that’s become flexible and papery over time. (Let’s just pretend I actually know what I’m talking about.)

A book that is your favorite color? But what if I don’t know what my favorite color is?

My newer copy of Lorna Doone would be my favorite color, but I cheated a bit on that one. You see, when I got it, the cover was this gross, generic beige, so I fixed that egregious, bookish crime with lime green duct tape and contact paper (to keep the duct tape from loosening or anything), and now it’s really pretty and I love it.

A book that’s been on your shelf the longest that you STILL haven’t read?

I bought A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine when all the Borders stores in my state were going out of business years ago, and I still haven’t read it yet, although my sister has. Actually, I spend so much time rereading books, I haven’t gotten around to reading about 35% of the books in my personal library. I should probably do something about that.

Any signed books?

Let’s see, I own a signed copy of Ruthless, a signed and personalized copy of Dove Arising, and a signed and personalized copy of The Rook by Steven James. I have another signed book, but I haven’t read it and I’m unfamiliar with the author (I just picked it up in a thrift store), so, meh.

And there you have it—all my delightful, inspiring answers. Now for the tags. Let’s see. *brandishes regal sword* I hereby nominate:


And that’s it, my little coffee beans. If I haven’t nominated you, and you’d like to do the tag, go for it. Just let me know in the comments, and I’ll include you in the list. Or, you could answer the questions here. Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What do your bookshelves look like? Have you ever had to resort to creative bookshelf-making?


  1. This -- this is my kind of tag. xD Thanks! My bookshelf is somehow very organized, but I've only just started buying books this past year and I just now filled it up, so...

    1. I'm glad you like the tag, and you're welcome. Congrats on having an organized bookshelf. And I hope you get to buy lots of wonderful books. :)

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. THIS TAG IS AWESOME. Thank you for tagging me :)
    I'm really careful about my books as well- you have to catch me in the right mood if you want to borrow one and if you crease a page...!

    1. You're welcome! I was so excited to do this tag. :)
      Books are such delicate creatures, and if anyone messes mine up, I feed them to my pet kraken.

  3. I think the organisation of my bookshelves would rival yours. We have (at last count) nine bookshelves in our house, and, despite my best effort the books are organised by nothing more than whatever slot was closest to hand after reading. That's what happens when you have a house full of disorganised readers. Love your answer. You have some seriously old books in your collection though. I think my oldest come from the 1940s maybe? Nothing so old as yours. There's nothing quite like old books. They have an air of history and experience about them.

    1. I think we actually may have that many book cases in our house, but I'd definitely say your organization is more random than mine. :) I do have some old books, and I worry a lot about keeping them mildew free and bookworm free (because bookworms like older books). But they make me so happy. And I love it when they have little inscriptions in them from the old owners, because then they definitely feel like they have more history about them.

  4. Wow. I think it's amazing that you finished that tag. There was a ton of questions there!

    Jane Austen is awesome! I mention Jane Austen on my blog sometimes and I usually get "Ew! A classic and a romance!" And I'm just thinking, "You do know that she helped develop the novel into what it is today? You also know that if it she helped make novels a venerable thing to read and drew them away from the gothic trend of her time?" She was a revolutionary if you ask me. And a lady writer! Jane Austen is cool.

    Sorry. Small rant there.

    I feel like a very bad fantasy writer because I have not read all of LOTR yet. *hangs head* But your LOTR book sounds awesome! And, uh, very heavy to carry around.

    I used to love letting people borrow my books, because I liked spreading the story love. But one day someone never returned one of my favorites (it was Pride and Prejudice), and now I have to do background checks on all how wish to borrow my books (my sister is the only exception, since all I have to do to get my book back is raid her room from across the hall).

    1. Thank you. *bows deeply* It took a while, but I enjoyed the whole thing.

      Jane Austen is one of my heroes, and you're right, she did so much to revolutionize the novel and to pave the way for more women writers. And she had such a great sense of humor.

      No worries--I'm totally with you.

      It is very heavy, and I can understand not being able to get through it. It's a great fantasy, but it's not for everyone either. So, no need to feel ashamed. If you do get through it, though, I'd love to know what you think of it.

      Ack, that's like, my worst nightmare. I usually don't lend out to anyone but family anymore, because I've lent out to friends and gotten back books that were water-damaged or dirt-stained and just ergh. Not cool. (But I guess it's worse to not get them back at all.)

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. Thanks so much for tagging me! I can't wait to do this one in my Tag Week!

    Oh goodness, I LOVE Inkdeath. But Inkspell was my favorite of the series.

    Also, I wanna see a picture of that book you duct taped, lol.


    1. You're welcome! I look forward to your answers. :)

      I love the whole series too--although, I think I'd have to say Inkheart is my favorite.

      I will have to see about getting a picture of that book up soon, maybe in my next Wednesday blog post, if I remember.

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  6. Lord of the Rings is sooooooo long. I also find it so crazy that your books are all in perfect condition because none of mine are like that. I am always hesitant but willing to lend out books, and I myself put them in conditions of disrepute because BOOKS HAVE NO SANCTITY MWAHAHAHA. Still, I guess it's good you're taking care of your belongings. And thank you so much for tagging me! I think I did this one, but because my bookshelf needs to be put back together with new additions and stuff, I see no reason to not do it again... >:D

    1. It is--and heavy too. :P I am super obsessive about keeping my books in good condition, probably to a fault. But I think that comes from buying them with my own money, for one, and also not wanting to mar the pretty covers because they're just too pretty to get ruined.

      You're welcome! Now that you mention it, I do think I remember you doing this tag before, but I would love to see your answers again, now that you have some new additions. :)

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  7. Wow you have an impressive collection! You have a lot of books I've read: The Lord of the Rings, Madeline L'engle's books, Divergent series, the Velvetine Rabbit (which is a major childhood favorite of mine). I'm so glad you like the tag. ^ ^ And the page that emancipated from its family. XD That made me laugh.

    1. Thank you, I try my best. *bows deeply* It's great that you've read all those books, and I'm glad I liked the tag too. :P Always a pleasure to make someone laugh. *bows again*