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S(h)elf Discovery

Erin shares photos and psychoanalyses of readers' bookshelves!

S(h)elf Discovery

I didn't make up that awesome title! It came from reader kitzie, who is but one of the many fab readers who let us peek into her (/Brian's) life by way of the contents of their bookshelves!

You may remember our post a few weeks ago (okay, like a month ago, but I've been busy), in which we bared the contents of our soul and the messiness of our bookshelves.

Now it's time to see what our readers' shelves look like! And guys? They sort of put ours to shame! (warning for those of you on phones - this post has more photos than Brett Favre's phone's outbox.)

Our buddy, Mr FYA, Brian Katcher, sent us his bookshelves! Guys! Bookshelves from a real-life author!

Here are the Katcher books:

This is like my wonderland.

1: Most of our books (not pictured: a lot more shelves)

Sandy, I know several people who are going to attempt to marry you after seeing these.

2: Sandy's Star Trek novels

Shut up, Brian, I read the crap out of Dean Koontz as a teen.

3: My high literature, Sandy's low dreck

I heard there was this guy who had a bookshelf like this and then the bookshelf collapsed on his foot and he had to SAW HIS FOOT OFF WITH A SPLINTER. It's totally true, man.

4: My library of Urban Legend books, my hobby since junior high

Clearly Brian has ample opportunity to perfect his Doc Savage drinking game.

5: A complete collection of Doc Savage books, greatest hero of the 1930s and 40s.

Thanks, Brian, for giving us another peek into your (and Sandy's) awesomeness! Let's see what the rest of our readers have living on their shelves . . .

From Torrin:

What do my bookshelves say about me? Well, firstly they say that I need bookshelves. (And I really need to clean my closets.) My husband, who can fix or build anything I ask promised me bookshelves for my Anniversary/Birthday this past June. It is now January. Le sigh.

Secondly, they say I have an unhealthy obsession with Stephen King, vampires, werewolves, high fantasy and stuff that is not good for me. You cannot, in any way, tell that I do, in fact, have a degree in English Lit. I promise that there are serious books in there somewhere. They are buried behind the vampire/werewolf smut.

Also? These are not all of my books. I lend occasionally. My youngest brother has King's The Dark Tower series, my friend Anne has my Kelley Armstrong Otherland books, my friend Jamie has Hamilton's Anita Blake series, my friend Dawnna has my Sookie Stackhouse books, my grandma has my Undead and... series by Davidson and my niece Victoria has my Hunger Games trilogy and all of my Meg Cabot, and my niece Elizabeth has my full sets of Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley Twins, and The Babysitter's Club. Yeah, I'm old school.

Dude, Torrin, your nieces are LUCKY! I want an aunt who lends me Meg Cabot and Nancy Drew.

From Missie:

What my bookshelves say about me: I never used to organize my books so well; then I got a job at a bookstore, and just like that: alphabetization and categorization. Except when I get lazy (see books on top of shelves). I appear to have lots in common with Erin, except I noticed that Georgette Heyer is missing from her shelves. I hope you ladies know Georgette Heyer? She's similar to Austen, only since she wrote in the 1920s, her books are slightly more racy (but still not very). Also, she wrote some mysteries and historical fiction, not just romances. As you can tell by the second picture, I love fancy pop-up books: like Sabuda/Reinhart-style ones, not Where's Spot-style ones..

The fourth picture is my TBR shelf, which should tell you a) how lazy I am, and b) how dangerous it is to work at a used bookstore where you get an awesome discount.

Your TBR stack is even out-towering mine, Missie! I didn't think that was possible.

From Kitzie:

I'm in. I love my books, so I can't just send one picture! My shelves are in my bedroom so I don't get to show off to anyone (but my husband.) Considering the photographically evidenced problem, maybe I should consider this a blessing...

Kitzie has a problem.

I have maybe a bit of an issue with published Jane Austen fanfic. I don't even like most of it. I just can't help myself. I swear I'm not an Austenite LARPer!

And I have a problem with romance. The peek of the above shelf shows that yes, I have at least one full to overflowing shelves of trashy novels. I say that deep down inside I'm a huge drama queen and this kind of stuff keeps me out of real-life trouble. And that I was late to the ereader party.

. . . but FYA helped her!

And after I embraced how much I like the young adult genre, I switched out one problem for another. But once I found FYA I realised I had so much to catch up on!

Peeking through the stacks you can see a hoard of Princes Diaries books, which I totally used to go out and buy the day they were released- so I've been reading those for like ever. LOVE Princess Mia.

It also says that I'm lazy and cheap because I've run out of shelf space, so I'm double row-ing shelfs without a drop of organisation. And look: The Blind Assassin (evidence that I DO read real adult literature... um... sometimes?) is one of my favorite books and it's totally mixed into the set of not shelved properly books.

. . . and proves that Kitzie and I are soul twins.

OMG I don't know anyone sciencey who loves young adult the way I do and that kind of makes me feel lonely, so I'm totes pimping my science book collection to Erin. Just imagine this as some kind of jungle-bird mating dance: head-dip, step right, step right, wing flap towards my DNA books. Okay, yeah I read low brow science books, but I try not to bring work home with me so it's got to be fun if I'm not going to be paid to read it.

(But don't think I didn't notice that Jewel poetry book, Kitzie!)

From Sidsel:

I stare at my books all the time! Like, really. Sometimes I'm sitting at my desk urging myself to go to bed but unable to drag my eyes away from my them. Next to reading them the best part of buying new books is placing them among their new neighbours and observe how they all go together. They are SO beautiful and therefore I keep my books neat, sorted by author, and without a trace of anything that doesn't include pages with words written on them nearby. My books include classics such as Salinger, Jules Verne, Harper Lee and Dickens, which I buy because I want to be well read, and I mean there must be a reason why they're classics, right? (Unconsciously I think I may partly read them to impress future in laws, I don't know...). But I couldn't do without my Marcus Flutie (first and foremost) F. Darcy and Gilbert B., 'cause deep down I am a hopeless romantic.

Sidsel, girl, I feel ya. I'm still pretty convinced that I'm going to marry Gilbert Blythe someday. It's going to happen!

From Christina:

Christina's been spending some major funds this year.

Like a bunch of readers have been saying in the comments, when I moved last year I left about 90% of my books back home. So all the books (besides the HP, John Green, Austen, and Jessica Darling books) on my shelf have been bought within the last year. Hmmmm... judging from the photos you can also tell that I'm a big fan of Lost (I know, I know, the ending was crap, but I still loved it), have a mini nail polish collection, like Arizona iced tea, and am a Naruto geek (complete with a hidden Leaf headband and Sakura keychain). Oh, also I have no organization techniques, I just leave my books in random places.

From Kika:

Hmm, yes, I am a Virgo. However did you guess?

From Talya:

So many books.

I decided to send you some pictures of my bookshelves. There are multiple because they cannot be contained!

This is my specifically dystopian bookshelf.

From de Pizan:

Maybe the neatest shelves we've seen!

My bookcases say I'm extremely particular and anal when it comes to my categorizing my books (and DVDs for that matter--what, doesn't everyone have a sub-category under Dramas for "People Dying from Terminal Illnesses?"). My friends and family don't even bother helping to put away the books when I move anymore. They know the way they do it won't be correct. I've got one whole bookcase for fantasy, so it's obvious that's one of my favorite genres. The majority of my YA fiction is either historical or fantasy--pretty much the same in adult fiction as well, also have a lot of Georgian through Victorian era authors. There's not a great deal in the way of fiction set in modern day. I have a few more bookcases of history, reference, biography, etc--pictures not included.

I had to include the Bill Woodman cartoon, which I've got framed and sitting on my bookshelves, and pretty much sums up my reading life.

Ha! I'm so totally sub-catagorizing my movies now into "People Dying of Terminal Illnesses" and also "Possible Lesbian Undertones." Only where will Beaches be filed?

From Erika:

Shelf 1: Mildly obsessed with Shakespeare. No storage space in my bedroom, which means I store random crap on my bookshelves. Also, I still own VHS tapes. Cause I'm cool like that.

Shelf 2: I like Twilight. Judge me.

Shelf 3: Look, a whole shelf devoted to Meg Cabot! Actually, it kind of bleeds down onto the second shelf also...

That's my kind of shelf!!

And last, but not least, from askcaesar:

My bookshelf says that once I requested a lot of Classics, but never read most of them.. because does One Few Over the Cuckoo's Nest have swoon worthy characters? Probably not. YA BBY.

My bookshelf says that I've never done drugs, because I did Go Ask Alice, and holy hell.

Lastly, it says that I like dirty old white men poetry thanks to Charles Bukowski. I'm not denying it!

It's like what I picture Emmy the Great's bookshelf to look like!


Thanks so much, everyone, for submitting photos of your bookshelves!! I hope you guys enjoyed this little peek into our readers' psyches (next we'll be asking for pictures of what's under the bed, I'm sure)!

Like Martin Luther King Jr, I have a dream. I have a dream that someday we will judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the contents of their bookshelves! And if there isn't any YA on those bookshelves, well . . . I mean, I'm not going to HATE them. I'm just going to snub them.

Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.