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Where Do Your Books Live?

January 20, 2012

Today we’re introducing what will become an occasional feature, looking at where we keep, store or display our books. In addition to being the source of enjoyment, entertainment, knowledge, relaxation or just plain fun, our books become part of our environment–we may keep them in bookshelves or on tables, they may even serve a decorative purpose when we’re not reading.

Today I’m giving you all a glimpse inside my home and a peek at where my books live. I’ve been selling Random House Children’s Books for over 20 years, so you can probably guess that I have many children’s books, but I also have grownup books and an extensive collection of cookbooks.

When you walk into the living room, this is what you’ll see:

This table is the “catch-all” with books that are relative new arrivals–they could be finished copies of books we’ve sold recently or ARCs of forthcoming books from Random House or other publishers, yes I buy a lot of books too. Eventually, the ones I’ll be keeping (I do give some away after I’ve read them) work their way into bookcases and shelves in other rooms, like this one:

Hmmm. Might be time to add a new bookcase...........

Of course the cookbooks have a special place–organized by food/ethnicity/author on the high top shelves in the pantry:

And I put in some extra shelves under the window for the overflow and cookbooks I use more often–so I don’t have to get out the step stool when I’m planning the menu for a party, or looking for that elusive perfect cookie recipe for someone special. True confession, though I am a pretty good baker and breadmaker that’s where my kitchen skills end, but I still love cookbooks–just reading them makes me appreciate those who can cook well and also makes me a better informed diner. The cultural history you can learn from reading cookbooks is fascinating.

Yes, that IS the Pillsbury Doughboy resting in a basket of papier mache fruit.

And some books fit best on certain shelves…

As you’ve probably noticed I like to include non-book items on the bookshelves, it makes for a happier and more interesting display. Like this view of some of the picture books in my home office:

Books make us happy, the way they look and feel and even the way they smell. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look at my collections and at RAoReading we’d love to have you share pictures of where your books live–and we’ll feature them in a future post. Please email your pictures to us at randomactsofreading at gmail dot com.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2012 8:51 am

    I’d feel right at home in your house!

  2. January 20, 2012 11:28 am

    I love this! As soon as we get a new bookshelf, we seem to need another. And my nightstand is always a mess — what I’m reading, what I plan to read soon, what I’m reading with my boys, what I’ve just finished.

  3. January 20, 2012 2:14 pm

    Wonderful images! I, too, place stuffed animals (from my days as a children’s librarian)
    among my books. (I mean, the books on my shelves.) I’ve also taken to putting some
    titles face out, as they do in stores . . .

  4. January 20, 2012 10:34 pm

    Aww, you have a Pillsbury Doughboy! I always wanted one of those when I was a kid.

    Bookshelves like these make me smile. We just added one new bookcase (to the ten we already have), and of course it’s instantly crammed. But at least I moved some of the piles of books off the floor!

    Like you, I keep stacks of current and upcoming ARCs on a table when you first walk into the living room. I’ll try to remember to send you some photos.

  5. January 20, 2012 10:48 pm

    I may steal this idea. How fun!

  6. January 21, 2012 3:20 pm

    WOW that’s a lot of books. =)


  7. January 21, 2012 8:50 pm

    A great idea! I did a post on this, sort, where I featured photos of my
    To Be Read piles.

  8. January 21, 2012 8:50 pm

    *sort of

  9. January 22, 2012 11:40 am

    OMG your house looks like my house! :))

  10. Lorna permalink
    January 22, 2012 12:46 pm

    That was fun. Thanks for sharing.
    As soon as this cat gets off my lap, I am going to grab my camera and start taking pictures!

  11. January 22, 2012 6:07 pm

    What? none on the floor? My husband’s aunt had to make a tunnel from her bed to her bathroom, because of her mountains of books.

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