Bookfessions to Shock and Horrify: The fault in my ‘shelves’.


July 19, 2013 by Heidi

So here’s the thing: I don’t care.  I don’t care if my books match.  I don’t care if I own every book in a series.  I don’t even organize them.  Just see if you can spot my 3 Melina Marchetta books–because they’re not together, and yes–I own books 1 & 3 of a series with no real intention to pick up book 2 (and that’s just one example, there’s plenty others to spot if you so desire).  I don’t care if they’re in good condition.  I don’t care if they’re used or library copies, I just–don’t.  I appreciate a good cover as much as the next girl, but am I going to be too upset if I get the ugly one at a bargain sale?  Nope.

My “Shelves”

Exhibit A


Exhibit B

Heater Books

Exhibit C

Pantry Books

Yep. I keep books in my pantry…with the Kleenex.  As much as part of me feels ashamed, a bigger part of me likes to scandalize.  I honestly don’t feel a visceral attachment to physical books with anything but my most favorite.  Once I’ve read a book, unless I know I’ll want to reread it, I have no problem parting with it at a used bookstore or donating it–so no, I really don’t have a ton of books in house.  It’s hard to when your ‘house’ is a one-bedroom apartment.  Don’t worry though folks, acquiring of more REAL bookshelves is in the works.  These may be considered ‘before’ pictures.

So tell me–what are your book storing habits?  Do you hold onto books forever even if you have no intention of rereading them?  Do you have to have matching covers/editions?


If you liked that you might like this:


  1. Dina says:

    I do like to store books in a particular way with a series together and stand-alones by the same author near each other. I am a complete book hoarder and rarely get rid of any books. I probably should though because I am running out of shelf space but luckily live in a fairly sized house with an extra bedroom.

  2. Lisa says:

    That opening slayed me! Good for you for owning it!

  3. I love this, Heidi! I actually don’t buy books unless I know I’m going to re-read them. If I find books for sale, then I go on a splurge, but otherwise, every book on my bookshelf is a book I know I’ll re-read. Which is why I don’t have THE THIEF, but I do have QOA and KOA. It’s also why I don’t have PERFECT FIFTHS but I do have Jessica Darling 1-4. I don’t need to have an entire collection of books either and though I do prefer the pretty cover, I’ll take the ugly one if it means I have to book. (I have the terrible US Hardcover of Saving Francesca, but it’s my favorite Marchetta, so whatever. I own it. I re-read it. All the time.) I also have exactly ONE bookshelf – my other books are piled next to my shelf or they’re stacked on my bedroom lamp, which is one of those huge things with shelves to keep pretty things but really all my ARCs are stacked there. I also have a ton of books I never read anymore, but keep for sentimental childhood value, in my attic. I’m not one of those people with all the books in a series either, but I love and cherish all my books just the same. (Also, people get scandalized when they see I underline my favorite parts in books, but I do. No regrets. 😛 ) 😉

  4. Haha, I love that you like to scandalize us with your book storing habits! While I like to think mine are somewhat organized, they really aren’t. Yes, I put certain books together and I have series put together, but after running out of bookshelf room, any new book just gets randomly shoved in there!

  5. kit says:

    My shelves look a lot like this – I don’t have a huge amount of books in my current house, and a lot of them are boxed up in my mum’s attic. I do give away books, or bookcross them, if I know I’m not going to read them anymore, and the ones I do keep with me whenever I move are either newer purchases, or old favourites. (And most of my books at the moment come from the library anyway!)

    I do tend to keep authors stacked together, but other than that they’re just in vague height order. I like messy bookshelves, they looked lived-with. :)

  6. Brandy says:

    I love this. I don’t care if my books in a series match (though I would love a matching hardcover set of all Megan Whalen Turner’s books). I do have to have organization and know where things are. But like you I don’t keep a book unless I think I may reread it or want to have it on hand for one of my kids.

  7. Hehe…we’re kind of opposites here. My shelves are a mess. But I do try to keep them in order by preference, series, author, possibly color coordinated :) and definitely in the same format. It’s hard to keep them that way because of the constant state of flux with new books coming in, new favorites being made, and trying to purge ones I’ll never re-read.

    I love your play on The Fault in Our Stars. :)

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  8. janicu says:

    GASPPPPPP!!! Scandalous!!! You are hereby shunned!

    OK, not really. I’m like this with my TBR books. After I read a book, it gets shelved in sort of alphabetical order (I don’t have enough room anymore so it has to be vague now), but TBR books — I have a lot of piles but I just know where certain books all are. I have a system in which the system is that I use my memory. I do like my books to match (at least all PB in the same series), but in reality it may not happen because of the whims of publishers and if I just find a book cheap in a book sale.

  9. Oh my heart! My OCD heart. Lol. But this is wonderful. I just recently had to sell over half of my books so the remaining books are lovely and beautiful and organized.

  10. Nafiza says:

    Okay, so the books in the pantry part I love. They’re just as important as food to me. My shelves are not organized by colour or by author because I simply have too many books to have the luxury of organizing them in any special way. I just need to make them fit and I have to confess, that is getting difficult. I need to get another book case.

  11. Chachic says:

    I don’t have a method for organizing my books either. I didn’t get a chance to organize my big shelf back home before I moved here so it’s pretty random. For my bookshelf here in Singapore, I go by size. I put the hardcovers which are the same height together so I can pile up other books vertically on top of them. Basically, I just try to maximize the space. I’d probably be a little more organized if I felt like I was staying in one place for good.

  12. Bonnie says:

    Yeah my books go wherever there’s room. If I had more shelves then maybe I’d be a bit more OCD about keeping them neat in tidy but for now, they’re all mixed up. I do wish they were neater though because I’ll go to find something and drive myself absolutely mad when I can’t find it. lol

  13. Rosie says:

    Before working in a bookstore, I organized my books more or less aesthetically (I’m an illustration major… looks matter to me :-). But after working in a bookstore, and having the experience of trying to find books that are lost on the shelves… I have to alphebetize. I just have to.

  14. Oh, Heidi, you devious woman. My heart did a little stutter when it saw the keeping of your books. I distinctly remember having this conversation with you and wondering just how bad your storage situation could possibly be. Looks like I didn’t know the half of it because I’d die. You know I need covers to match, series to line up, my latent OCD tendencies are flaring up right now. Please, my friend, GET MORE SHELVES. The ones you said were coming from your bf’s office sounded promising :DD

    I got new bookshelves a couple of weeks ago as an early bday present and I LOVES THEM. I’ve already been on too big a book buying binge so that I can fill them faster–sick, totally and completely sick xD

  15. VeganYANerds says:

    I no longer care if books match! When I was younger I would want a series to match, but it still wasn’t a huge deal for me. Now it is way too much effort to get books that match. I also have no problemmos with 2nd hand books! I love your shelves and stacks! My BEA ones are all in stacks because I have no room for them!

  16. Thanks for the photo tour of your current book storage solutions, Heidi! It’s always interesting to see what other book lovers try to do with their giant piles of books. Although I don’t agree with you on mismatching series or missing middle books within series (I’m too much of a perfectionist for that to ever happen), I do agree with your point that there’s no sense in getting attached to books that aren’t your favorites. Books simply take up too much space, and I also have no problem donating those I won’t ever read again (I’m actually trying to avoid that problem all together by not buying books that I’m not sure whether or not I’ll love).

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