Have you ever walked into someone’s house for the first time and gone right to their bookshelf? You can learn so much about a person’s interests, reading habits, and personal goals just by looking at what they’ve got on their bookshelves. Some people are completely organized, putting all the non-fiction (subject specific) together and keeping their fiction books in as neat an order as a bookshop; others (like me!) just throw everything on the shelf together, sometimes just to see what weird things end up next to each other.

For this feature, I’m hoping to post a photo like the one below every month or two, and maybe if I’m lucky (and you’re interested) I’ll even have some guest posts where other authors post a shot of their bookshelf for you to peruse. After all, what better way is there to get to know someone than by peering at their books? :)

My Bookshelf:
I realized after the fact that I’ve got a TON of Rex Stout novels on my shelf. Granted, this is a photo of my “mini” shelf–one of those tiny shelves that only hold typical-size paperbacks, so that could account for some of the duplication. Another reason is that I love Nero Wolfe mysteries. My mother introduced me to them just six months or so ago, back when she was out visiting Portland for Thanksgiving, and I have been hopelessly hooked ever since. I’ve read three of the books on the shelf here (Death of a Doxy, The Golden Spiders, and Champagne for One), but now that I remember that I’ve got the other two, I know what I’ll be reading this weekend! :)

I notice there are also four non-fiction books here: The Zinester’s Guide to Portland, The Communist Manifesto, The Rough Riders, and 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels. Of these, I’ve read most of the Zinester’s, none of The Communist Manifesto, none of The Rough Riders, and I typically only pick through the 100 Must-Read as I finish reading a novel that is listed in its pages. That last one has been a great guide, though to point me in the right direction for books I should try to get under my belt. So far, I think I’ve only got a few. *shame face*

The Zinester’s Guide was great out in Portland, at least until we found The Mercury, and then we pretty much just hit up that for all of our out-on-the-town things. (The Room at Cinema 21? Yes, please! “YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, LISA!” *throws spoon!*)

As for The Communist Manifesto (Marx) and The Rough Riders (Roosevelt), both books are on my shelf to remind me that I need to read more non-fiction, and also broaden my historical understanding of certain times and events. I seriously need to read them both at some point, just… not now… :)

Let’s see, what else have we got?! Moving from left to right: There’s my well-loved copy of Crime and Punishment, the book I read in 10th Grade for our first “pick your own thesis” essay project. I think I missed most of the Svidrigailov plot line the first time through, but I still enjoyed it immensely, and it introduced me to Dostoyevsky, whom I continue to read and enjoy immensely. :) A Clockwork Orange was a book I’d picked up in high school, read the first three pages, and got so confused, I didn’t pick it up again until this last year. Andy actually read it at the same time I did, and we both loved it. Hands down, one of my favorite SF books now!

Getting toward the end, I’ve got the third book of John Christopher’s The White Mountain trilogy which I devoured in junior high. It was one of the first science fiction series I read, and to this day the tripods and their capping ceremonies still give me chills. I loved the alt-history, the ruins of Paris–everything was just so brand new to me, it was like I was discovering the new world along with the characters.

Snowfall is next, on the recommendation of a very well-read friend, and it’s on my To-Read list. I saw a copy at Powell’s back in June and decided to pick it up while I could. From what she told me about it, it sounds really fascinating and fun. Since reading Day of the Triffids on the same recommendation, I’m bound to believe I’ll really enjoy it, because Triffids was great! :)

This should be called my Portland shelf, since most of these books were picked up at Powell’s! Mainspring is another book I picked up at the amazing city-block bookstore, intending to read it so I’d be better informed for Orycon. :) I’ve read a few of Jay Lake’s short stories, but none of his long works. In Portland, that seems a little sacrilegious, but here it is, on my shelf and as yet unread. It’s on the list, though! :)

And that’s my bookshelf! What do you have on yours?