Archive for the ‘Shelf Obsession’ Category


Shelf Obsession: David Young

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

You’ve been invited to dinner at someone’s home. Your host is busy in the kitchen and you wait in the living room. What do you do to pass the time? Admit it: you snoop around their bookshelves don’t you? We know you love shelf snooping just as much as we do, and now you can check out all sorts of bookshelves via the ABC blog.

David Young is a member of the : a regular contributor to Do You Read Me? He shared his beautiful set of bookshelves, and the eclectic mix of books on them, with us – way back in December, but the times, they were ahectic back then.  Thanks for your patience, David!

Wow, what a beautiful set of bookshelves! They make my bookseller’s heart swell with pride. I can see quite a few collections: Is that the whole of the Jeeves collection? And what edition are those intriguing silhouette-spined series of? I think I can guess one is of Sherlock Holmes, but the other one?

That’s pretty much all of Jeeves I think – I love PG Wodehouse, classic old-style English writing. Raymond Chandler is the other silhouette-spined series – of course brought up in England too, though his style is a little different !

I can see you’re quite a big hardcover and box set fan. Do you simply like them better than paperbacks? Do you have any editions (first, rare, simply beautiful?) you’re particularly proud of?

I’m very proud of the collection of Folio Society books I’ve acquired over the years – each one unique with its own typeface, binding, and specially commissioned illustrations carefully chosen to reflect the work published. They’re all individual works of art in their own right.

I can see some rigorous shelving order going on, but can you walk us through your bookcase anyway?

Apart from the Folio collection, I have my fiction books arranged alphabetically, then separate sections for humour, sport, poetry, spirituality, travel, history, music and general reference. I used to have a big chess collection, but when I stopped playing actively I gave them to a local chess club. Actually, taking photos for you forced me into rearranging my collection more logically than before, so thanks for that discipline !

Your books on religion and spirituality look decidedly newer than your fiction collection. Is that area a relatively new interest for you? What set you off on reading so many? Has your taste in books changed over the years?

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Shelf Obsession: Eefje Koppers

Monday, December 13th, 2010

You’ve been invited to dinner at someone’s home. Your host is busy in the kitchen and you wait in the living room. What do you do to pass the time? Admit it: you snoop around their bookshelves don’t you? We know you love shelf snooping just as much as we do, and now you can check out all sorts of bookshelves via the ABC blog.

Eefje Koppers is a regular contributor to Do You Read Me?, a member, and also a former ABC Den Haag colleague (*wave*).  Now that she has a new house she found it was time to show off all those books.

Those shelves are suspiciously neat. What is your excuse for such appallingly streamlined and tidy bookcases?

My books and I have travelled a lot and this is the first time ever they and I have been under the same roof. Until July, I was living in a shoe box. Okay, it wasn’t literally a shoe box, but figuratively, the name is very appropriate. There was room for just two bookcases, nowhere near enough. Shelves were buckling, the books were two rows deep and I was running out of space. I have just moved into a new apartment and I have gone from two to five bookcases. They’re both already full. Well, there is still a bit of room, but believe me, it will be filled up quickly.

So you’ve had a fresh start! How did you decide to organize your new bookcases?

As an ex-ABC employee I have to admit that the books are organised by genre first: fiction, on-fiction, romance, crime and juvenile fiction. Then they are shelved in alphabetical order by author, and then chronologically by publication date. The books are spread out over two rooms. In the living room are three cases with mostly english stuff. There are just two shelves of Dutch books. In the spare bedroom are my Dutch children’s papaerbacks. In the living room is a complete Encyclopedia Brittannica which my grandparents left me.

You must have been a librarian in a previous life. :-) Which is your favorite section in your mini-library?

My favourite two shelves are the narrowest on either side. The one on the left is filled with Everyman Library classics and old editions of classic books. On the right side you will see the limited edition Tales of Beedle the Bard and personal diaries.

How long have been keeping a diary for, and what sort of diarist are you? (more…)

Shelf Obsession: Ching Chuan Chiu

Monday, November 1st, 2010

You’ve been invited to dinner at someone’s home. Your host is busy in the kitchen and you wait in the living room. What do you do to pass the time? Admit it: you snoop around their bookshelves don’t you? We know you love shelf snooping just as much as we do, and now you can check out all sorts of bookshelves via the ABC blog.

Ching Chuan Chiu is a regular contributor to Do You Read Me? She shared her overflowing bookshelves with us.

Your rambling, free range bookshelves will give some of our readers palpitations, but I can see some order in it. How do you organize your collection?

I’ve sort of sorted them according to genre – there’s fantasy on the topmost shelf, Christian, martial arts and other random books on the second shelf, even more fantasy and other fiction on the third shelf and Harry Potter related stuff on the fourth and fifth shelves. However, now I’ve got too many books to neatly fit them into the bookcase so I sort of stick the books wherever they will fit. And of course, now I’ve got piles on the floor…

Tell us about your large collection of Harry Potter books. Do you have them in Chinese too?

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Shelf Obsession: Katherine Matthews

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

You’ve been invited to dinner at someone’s home. Your host is busy in the kitchen and you wait in the living room. What do you do to pass the time? Admit it: you snoop around their bookshelves don’t you? We know you love shelf snooping just as much as we do, and now you can check out all sorts of bookshelves via the ABC blog.

Katherine is a regular contributor to this very blog: a  member who turns in her reviews with not a single spelling mistake, grammar error or typo. We were entirely unsurprised to see this attitude reflected in her bookshelves. ;-)

Click on the photos to have a proper nosy look at Katherine’s collection, and read on to find out more about why it is so elegant.

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Show your shelves!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

You’ve been invited to dinner at someone’s home. Your host is busy in the kitchen and you wait in the living room. What do you do to pass the time? Admit it: you snoop around their bookshelves don’t you? We know you love shelf snooping just as much as we do, and you can check out all sorts of bookshelves here on Do You Read Me.

It’s been ages since we had a good mooch around someone’s book collection, so could we please come and look at yours? We won’t actually even visit your house, so you can do it all in your pyjamas. ;-)

If you’d like to take part, just send some photos of your shelves to blog@abc.nl. Make them nice and big so we can really get nosy. We’ll send you a few questions  to answer via e-mail, and shortly after your answers and your photos have been posted, we’ll send you a 10 euro ABC gift voucher!