Anatomy of a bookcase

When I read a magazine and there's a photo of someones bookcase I always try and see what books they have. I squint my eyes and really get the page close so I can make out the titles. I'm intrigued by other people's book collections and what little trinkets they keep on their bookcase, if any. A dream of mine is to have a library in my home. Seeing as how I have acquired such a collection of books I'd say I'm well on my way.

This weekend I organized my bookcase. I moved books around and arranged my little keepsakes in the place I thought they belonged and I wanted to share my bookcase, in photos, with you. I hope you will do a photo blog like this, too. I'd love to see what your collection is, large or small.

Here's my bookcase. It's solid oak that I got for a bargain at Costco of all places. The shelves are move able and it's simple enough that I think it goes with most decorating styles which is a good thing since I'm constantly re-doing my house.

On top of my bookcase is part of my Blenko glass collection. I have several other pieces but this bookcase is so tall that I can't fit the larger pieces. The silhouette "photo" is of my two boys and the likeness is so accurate. I have no idea how the woman did it what with Jackson being 1-year-old and not sitting still. The small sunflower inverted glass carving is a piece from Europe that my parents brought me. Those encyclopedias are from the 60's and they are engraved with my mother's maiden name. Her dad, my grandpa, used to sell encyclopedia's door-to-door.

More encyclopedia's! In front of them are Happy Birthday Candle Holders that were featured on Style Lushs blog. (I realize they are backward, it's my attempt to be clever.) I couldn't resist. The donkey, on the shelf below, is my own interpretation of my late great-grandma's collection of donkeys. She collected donkeys as long as I can remember and they aren't easy to find, trust me! When I saw this one in Houston a few months ago I knew I had to have it. It's a heavy cast iron donkey piggy bank. Love! When I was a kid I had a Crayola Crayon record player (that I still have!) and a set of Little Golden Book books that came with records. Somehow I managed to keep my records and books together, with the exception of one, and I proudly display these in my bookcase.

That green bowl thingy? Something few people would fall in love with. My grandma B picked it up at a garage sale in her hometown in Missouri. It's so strange and fun that I toted it back in my suitcase last summer. It hides bubbles so Jackson won't ask every 4 seconds to play bubbles.

A few of my childhood books reside here. The Children's World Atlas is torn to pieces and it has my crayon pictures all over the pages. The Secret Garden is the first "real" book I read as a young adult. There's also a skiiiiiny book about Cinderella that I used to love as a little girl. If there was a fire in my house one of the first things I'd grab are those little foam bunnies. My grandpa, who passed away June 08, used to do magic tricks when I was younger. Those bunnies represent him. See that book that's turned backward? The one on the top?

It's the book The Guide to Getting It On. You guys are super smart and I'm sure you can figure out what it's about. Honestly I haven't ever opened this book because I'm exceptionally single, but someday...

My books aren't just confined to a bookcase, they've spilled over into my entry way and many other places. My one and only Halloween decoration on this table is the cute little ghost pail. The bowl is from a neat little place in Cumberland, Maryland. It was handmade and signed by the artist. It holds rocks and shells from past adventures. The photo in the plastic sleeve is by a local artist in Carmel, California. It makes me happy to see that photo and remember my short, but exceptional trip, there.

Your turn!


Holly said...

I love love LOVE this post! I also squint to see what people are reading. You can tell a lot about people by what they read. Also, I just think books are pretty. Granted, I also roll my eyes in that section of Oprah where celebs talk about books that "changed their lives." I always find it hard to believe that some random red carpet chick found War and Peace "exceptionally heartwarming." This judgement also carries over to celebs saying they lost all 60 lbs of their baby weight by "chasing after the kids."

Totally off topic...um...ANYWAY... :)

She Likes Purple said...

Your bookcase makes me happy :)

Sarah said...

ooh cool idea for a post, I may just do the same thing myself. I also love to see what others have on their book case it is really a neat window into who they are.

Annie said...

I always try to figure out what the books are in peoples' photos too. And in catalogues and magazines. What a fun post - and a great idea! I love when people set up their bookcases to showcase not only their books, but also those things that are special to them - and it's even better when you can do it all together as you have done.

Realtor from Toronto said...

Hi. Beautiful post. I love reading and I love books and I'm always curious how other people treat their books. I would like to have big library once in my house also but now I have to be satisfied with the bookcase we have. And I have one improvement, if you don't have enough space in your bookcase you can put your books into two lines one behind the other. However, those which are more important should be in front of the others.

Best regards,

Jess said...

This is so cool. And in fact I set up my bookcase with all the more embarrassing books (read: chick lit) at the bottom so that people checking out the bookcase will see the much more literary selections first. Yes, I'm weird, and nobody even really looks at my bookcase anyway. Oh well.

barbetti said...

I love that everything has it's own story and it's own meaning to you. And what an awesome bookcase, I'm looking for one for D's room and something like that would be perfect.

Hahaha, I love that you turned your Guide to Getting it On book backwards. I had a similar book, except it was like 50 sex positions that I won at a sex toy party and I never thought to NOT display it until my father-in-law saw it. This was before the strip club incident, so surely he thinks I'm a big hussy.

TUWABVB said...

That bookcase is amazing! I wish you coudl come arrange this huge built-in we have in our great room. It's driving me mad.