Hello lovely readers! As I’ve spent this morning reorganizing my bookshelves rather than writing blog posts, like I was supposed to do, I thought now would be the perfect time to give you a quick tour of my shelves. 🙂
To give you a bit of overview, I have two bookshelves in my bedroom – a large, pretty white one from Ikea, which is my main bookshelf and the one that gets featured on my Instagram account quite frequently, and a smaller, brown bookshelf that is extremely messy and serves as a place to put all the books that don’t fit on my main shelves. My second bookcase is extremely disorganized, so I’m not going to show you that one, but I am rather proud of my white shelves so that is what you’ll see on this tour today.
My main bookshelf has six shelves, and as I don’t want this post to be massively long I will be breaking my bookshelf tour up into a six part series, one part for each shelf. By breaking it up this way, I can give you an overview of the shelf and talk a bit about all the different books on that shelf without feeling like I’m bombarding you all with information. Without further ado, let’s get to the books!
An Overview of the Shelf
My first shelf is mainly organized by color – as you can see, all my black paperbacks are on the far left, white paperbacks are in the middle, and red paperbacks are on the right. Within each color, the books are further divided into editions – all of my Penguin Modern Classics are together, all of my Wordsworth Classics are together, and so on. I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to my shelves, and so this shelf is my absolute favorite because all of the books are the exact same height (symmetry is a wonderful thing!).
Jane Austen Editions
The first books I want to particularly mention in this post are the black Jane Austen editions on the far left of the shelf, which are published by Arcturus Publishing Limited. I’ve had these books for quite a while, and they’re a really well-made, inexpensive set of Jane Austen’s major novels. They have matching spines, so they look really smart all lined up on the shelf together, and they each have a lovely little painting on the cover, like the edition of Mansfield Park pictured here. Overall, I think these are just really nice editions if you’re looking to purchase Austen’s novels without spending a fortune.
Another set of books I want to draw your attention to on this shelf are the Wordsworth Classics editions, of which I currently have three – Bleak House by Charles Dickens, Vanity Fair by William Thackeray, and The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. These are extremely cheap editions of classic novels that come with an extensive introduction and notes throughout, so they’re perfect for students and those readers wishing to delve into the text a little more deeply. Some of the Wordsworth Classics editions have horrendous covers, but a lot of their covers are really gorgeous and, again, these look lovely lined up on your shelf. Highly, highly recommend these.
Penguin Black Classics
My first shelf is also where I keep my Penguin Black Classics, which are very well-known and well-loved editions of classic novels. These editions each have a gorgeous painting on the front and are perfect for students as they’re always filled to the brim with notes and helpful points. These are quite pricey new, however I always look for them at used book stores and find them in quite condition for a relatively low price. I currently have four titles in these editions – On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (pictured here), Nana by Émile Zola, and Once There Was a War by John Steinbeck.
Penguin Modern Classics
If I had to create a list of my favorite editions (which I should totally do, future blog post idea!), Penguin Modern Classics would most definitely be on that list. They’re incredibly well-made, as are all Penguin books, and each one has a striking white spine, a stunning piece of art on the cover, and simplistic text. I could go on and on about these editions all day – they’re wonderful, go buy them!! I currently have Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh and Mrs. Dalloway and A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Although not a part of any specific edition or set of books, I couldn’t talk about this shelf without mentioning GWTW (I tried, really, I did). I read Margaret Mitchell’s epic historical fiction novel set during the Civil War earlier this year and completely fell in love. In my personal opinion many of the American editions of GWTW are quite ugly, so I ordered this beautiful edition, published by Pan Books, from the Book Depository instead. It is quite possibly the most gorgeous book I own.
The Rest of the Books
Due to lack of time and space, I can’t talk about each book on this shelf individually. In case you were interested, however, here is a complete list of all the books on my first shelf, listed from right to left. 🙂
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
- Bleak House by Charles Dickens
- Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
- The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- Nana by Émile Zola
- Once There Was a War by John Steinbeck
- Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
- Demelza by Winston Graham
- Route 66 A.D. by Tony Perrottet
- How to be both by Ali Smith
- Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
- Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
- The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant
- Emma by Jane Austen (different edition)
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
So there you have it! An insider’s look at the first shelf of my bookcase (I do hope it wasn’t terribly boring!). Have you read any of these books? Let me know down in the comments. 🙂