My house is pretty much supported by bookshelves. When Jack and I moved in here in 1976, one of our first projects was finding a carpenter who could build adjustable floor to ceiling bookshelves. By the time we finished, we had them in five rooms, along with assorted free-standing bookcases. I remember once reading a description of a home decorated in “mixed book bindings.” That about sums it up.
Of course there’s been a lot of turnover through the decades. If there hadn’t been, the place would look like something out of one of those hoarder shows on TV, and I’d be squeezing between stacks of books to get to the bathroom. And there’d be books in there, too. My piles of unshelved books are small, and none of them are on the floor, but I don’t part with books until I’m really pushed.
The other day I saw some wonderful illustrations for Frank Herbert’s classic Dune, and they made me think of all the books, and series of books, that I keep on my shelves because I really want to read them again. I don’t know when I think I’ll have time, since I have at least a couple of hundred unread books waiting for their turn, but I know I want to revisit so many of those worlds.
Science fiction keepers are what you see at the top of this page, the upper shelves of the floor to ceiling bookcase in my bedroom (where there are also four free-standing bookcases full of romance novels, and a unit built into the long-sealed window above my bed, divided between unread books and DVDs). There are several series up there that I’d love to read again from the beginning, although the sequels to Dune (there were several) are not there. I read most of them, but only kept Dune–for me, none of the others lived up to the first one.
But Marion Zimmer Bradley’s tales of Darkover are there, including a few I have yet to read, and the same for Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. I have them all, some still waiting on a To Be Read shelf. I’d like to explore Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld again, and Harry Harrison’s Eden.
Current authors whose worlds stand in neat rows up there include Lois McMaster Bujold’s saga of Miles Vorkosigan and his family connections (the latest one is in a TBR stack on top of my seldom-opened jewelry box), and Naomi Novik’s wonderful Temeraire series. I’ve been saving her Crucible of Gold because I wanted to have one in reserve (in the TBR stack above my bed), but now Blood of Tyrants is out, so I know there’s another adventure waiting.
And then down a couple of shelves I see J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories, and next to those Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, in a lovely leatherbound slip-cased volume Jack bought me for Christmas one year after I wore out the original paperbacks. And I haven’t even ventured across the room to the romance collection, much less down the hall to the mysteries.
I’ll continue the tour another evening. Tonight I think I’ll go to bed early and read.
What books do you want to visit when you have a little quiet time?