Thursday, 7 April 2011

BTT: On Display and Tucked Away

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Booking Through Thursday question from Deb:

So … the books that you own (however many there may be) … do you display them proudly right there in plain sight for all the world to see? (At least the world that comes into your living room.) Or do you keep them tucked away in your office or bedroom or library or closet or someplace less “public?”

My answer: Yes. And yes!

That is – having lots of books, and not all that much space, I have books both here and there!

Where I live now, I’m lucky enough to have a separate study, and besides a lot of files and paperwork, I probably keep about 60% of my books in there. But there are books in the living room as well.

A visitor who examines only the shelves in my living room will find predominantly Swedish novels (or novels in Swedish), photo albums, and miscellaneous fact books, mostly history. And CDs and DVDs. However, the door to my study is usually open, so by all means, feel free… Here you’ll find more fact books: dictionaries and grammar books, medical and psychology books, theology, religion, mythology, literary history. But also most of my English paperbacks, from the classics (Austen, Brontë, Dickens) to fantasy (Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Harry Potter). And high up on the top shelf some German classics, too.

If you’re the really nosy kind of visitor, you might even be tempted to peep under the curtain covering the back of a shelf sticking out from the wall. Sorry to disappoint: the curtain mainly serves as decoration and dust cover. You’ll find some old children’s books under there but not because I particularly want to hide them – just making best use of all available shelf space!

And the bedroom? Yes, there is a small bookshelf in there too. Novels waiting to be read; library books; audio books; and one or two others that one might suddenly feel a need for in the middle of the night. (Like a Bible, a couple of dictionaries and a small world atlas!)


  1. I love pictures of people's bookshelves. Sounds like you have your books quite organized.

  2. I have bookshelves in each room of my apartment also. I do donate some of my books to the local library and sell some to a second hand bookstore.
    It helps to keep My Reading Corner a bit more uncluttered.

    Thanks for your visit to My Reading Corner today.

  3. We have books absolutely everywhere!! Two baskets on the floor with the girls books in them. Three or four baskets on the floors of different rooms with my devotional books in them. The secretary desk shelves in the study and also two big huge bookcases in there. Books on my ebnd table that are new.

  4. i only have about 20 books, that includes dictionarys and books like that, they are on a shelf in a closet. i have 7 Bibles, they have their own rack that bob made for them, it stands on the breakfast bar. my dvd and cd are in drawers tucked away, the only books in sight are the Bibles and which ever library book i am reading, the rest of the library books are in a bag in the closet.

  5. It's a fascinating subject and insight into people's lives. I have a friend who commented that my house would look quite different (by which she obviously meant 'improved')and I would have more room for my pictures if one entire wall of my living room was not covered by a bookshelf. True. But I like the atmosphere that the books give to the room and the fact that I can get at them (many are reference books - including standards and poetry etc - of one sort or another) whenever I want one. But then there are rows of bookshelves in my loft as well.

  6. We also have books in every room of the house. We have lots of books, so they have to be kept where we can find some space for them. Houses without books feel wrong.

  7. I like to display my books. Check out my answer for this week's Booking Through Thursday

  8. Those are beautiful shelves of books!

  9. Nice bookshelves! I do both way too, display and tuck them away. Space is always a problem. Thanks for visiting my BTT.

  10. Sally: I love looking at other people's bookshelves too. And yes, I like to have my books organized. It's a bit of a mixed system but I like to know roughly where I have this or that book.

    Gigi Ann: I have got rid of some books too through the years, to jumble sales etc.

    Ginny: I use baskets a lot around the flat for magazines and brochures and various small stuff that would otherwise just be lying around. When a basket gets full it means it's time to sort the contents through...

    Sandra: From your comment I make note not to be too hasty to judge someone's reading habits just by looking at their bookshelves or lack thereof! I know you read a lot of library books...

  11. GB: I think that even if I did not need to, I would still have at least one bookshelf in my living room. To me too, bookshelves (with books in them) give off a comfortable feeling. And when visiting people I love to browse their bookshelves.

    Mostraum: I agree. A house completely void of books confuses me.

  12. There are bookshelves in two of the bedrooms and more in the upstairs tv room, both of those bedrooms also have bookshelves in the closets and there are bookshelves in the the computer room closet. It's not that I don't want to display my books it's just that there's no room for bookshelves in the other rooms. In addition there are books laying all over the house.

  13. I have books shelves everywhere; some are displayed nicely but others are not. I recently bought a Kindle so I could read without the clutter or have to make a decision on whether to keep or give away.

  14. Hey, wherever they'll fit! That's my current system right now. (Of course, you're are at least grouped by genre, it sounds like!)


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