Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Our Bookshelves - Part Three - The Main Bookcase

The main bookcase is built into the house, just behind the living room door, and actually when we came to view this house for the first time and I saw it, my first words were "oooh a bookcase" ..... I remember that vividly.

(It holds 251 of our 619 books.)

Here I have a lot of my cookbooks,  the top two shelves are a mix of fiction and biographies and virtually all of our River Cottage books are here, although I spied Hugh's 'Fruit' book in the cupboard in yesterdays post.  Just looking at these shelves makes me wish I had time to read more.  I think we should make more of an effort to turn off the television and immerse ourselves in our reading matter on a more regular basis.

A mix of biographies and some fiction.  The orange coloured books are my 'Down to Earth books, republished after the television series of the same name, but I originally read and re-read these from the library years ago when times were hard and my book collection was tiny.  

I used to take my son to the library every week, he was a library member and ticket holder from 18 months of age.  The librarian saw him being so careful with and used to handling books she asked me if he would like to be their youngest member,  We would go nearly every Monday to get him 4 new books to look at, and I used to get my quota which at that time was 6 books for adults.

Faith Addis, who wrote these books and her husband seemed to have a real 'just do it' mentality and I loved that.  In the update that is in these books, which were republished from the originals in 2000 to tie in with the television series, it states that her children were then in their 40's, well now they will be in their 50's ... how time flies.  Anyway these books fired my imagination and made me dream of a time when I would live in the country, with animals and a business of my own :-)

The next shelf down is virtually all fiction, with just a couple of exceptions.  One book I really enjoyed (and will again) was the 'Save Karyn' book, this one is not fiction and is about one woman's determination to get out of $20,000 worth of debt by asking 20,000 people for $1 each and her mission to keep working at her debt and not spending any money until she was debt free.  A really good read.

As you can see I've run out of shelves and this one must be the messiest of them all, I will have to do something about this.  Less books or more shelves .... oooh the dilemma!!

So to make it easier for you to see, here's a shot without the ones at the front ....

... and a close up of the thinner ones.

This shelf is a mix of cooking and healthy eating books.  The wooden box in the middle holds nightlights and matches for emergencies, and the little plant pot also contains a candle.

Down a shelf and it's our collection of Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall and River Cottage books, most of them picked up when we've been there and most of them signed by either Hugh or the author of the individual book.

(Haha spell-check gave me 'Hairsplitting' as a correction for Whittingstall ..... his hair wasn't that bad was it!!)

Also here are nearly all of my Nigel Slater books.  Nigel is one of my favourite food writers, in fact if I had to save one shelf from a fire I think it would be this one.

The next shelf down, after the above one being mostly male writers, rather weirdly has virtually all female writers, not planned that way at all, with just a couple of volumes from Monty, Simon, Bryn and Nick standing up for the boys.

Rachel Allen lives on this shelf with Lorraine Pascale and Nigella who is another of my favourite foody writers, strange that Nigel and Nigella are my favourites.  I went off Rachel Allan slightly after she lobbed a live lobster into a pan of warm water and slowly brought it up to the boil ....  poor thing, the lobster that is not Rachel!!  

So if I had to downsize my collection hers would be the first to go.

The bottom shelf belongs almost entirely to Jamie Oliver, he's very prolific.  I've watched him on television since his 'Naked Chef' days, and his recipes always work.  My favourite book of his is the Jamie at Home one, we also have the accompanying TV series on DVD, and when I'm having a 'can't be bothered to go out and dig day'  they can both inspire me to go out and grow my own food and then plan to use what I grow in the kitchen.

There are also a few vegetarian books on this shelf on the right hand side and my two newest purchases are on the top, The Natural Cook by Tom Hunt  I managed to pick up from a charity shop at a very reasonable price, but I have to confess to buying The Kinfolk Table at full price from Waterstones, not something I do very often but it is a beautiful book and I simply had to have it.

Was it a need or a want I really can't categorise, but I bought it because I had to have it, there's not much in the world that does that to me but books can!!

So there you go 251 more books.

If you want to see them clearer, just click on the pictures and they will enlarge, if you want to read more about them, including other peoples opinions on them use the link on the sidebar just under my name near the top entitled  'Find The Books on My Shelves' and you will be whisked over to Amazon to be able to put in the name of the book you want more information about into the search bar there.

There are now just 69 books you have not yet seen, so I'll be back tomorrow to complete this not so mini mission.

Sue xx


  1. Your shelves are so much better organized than mine. Love the pictures.

    God bless.

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  3. Sue, you need to hire a librarian part time to help you categorize all these books so you can find them quickly. I'd be overwhelmed to try to organize them into the right genre, etc. But I sure can see that you enjoy having them!

  4. OK you officially have a book problem, the Men with white coats will be turning up shortly.............. x

    1. Will they be bringing books ....... Lol :-)

  5. I thought that was the "humane" way to cook a lobster, rather than throwing it into ready boiling water. Can´t say I ever wanted to eat one personally, but that was what they did when I lived in Canada.

  6. Hi, Sue. I have been reading your blog for several years, and enjoying it thoroughly. I think I learned of you through "Life On A Small Island" blog.I love your chickens, and Ginger the cat, and your charming dogs, your LH, and your clear-headed way of talking about your life and dreams. You have already made many of them real! Can't think why I waited until now to comment, except that your "bookcase" blogs have been brilliant and I wanted to thank you for sharing them. I'd never heard of "River Cottage" books, but I now have one on reserve at the library.Can't wait to dig in. Please know you are thought of warmly and often in Issaquah (near Seattle), WA, USA. - Louise D.

  7. I relocated quite a few paperbacks to the charity shop recently just so I could store other books. We have several bookcases too & it's surprising just how quickly these books mount up x

  8. Hi sue, I too have been reading and enjoying your blog for well over a year now - thank you - and I have really enjoyed these book posts, fascinating! You have reintroduced me to Faith Addis - I loved those books when they first came out in the '80s. And your first pic encouraged me to read reviews of Elizabeth Luard's book on Amazon and I have bought it for my Kindle. By the way, I'm sure you realise you have 2 copies of Castles in the Air? Rehoming one would give you a sliver of space for a newcomer!

  9. Yes you definitely have more cookery books than me - about 100 more I reckon! My few cookery books are in the kitchen and I reckon they will be the last of my blog pictures, in about 3 weeks time maybe! I've not seen the Below the Breadline book so will have to search that out. But I do have some that you have like the Shirley Goode and Hugh FW and I've spotted an old book we both have - House by the Shore by Alison Johnson.
    I'm loving this book shelf blogging conversation

  10. Hi Sue,

    You have your books so nicely arranged.

  11. Wow, I love all you books!!! I recently decluttered my bookshelf and gave quite a few away. Unfortunately we don't have enough space to display them all as nicely as you. Love to see what other people read! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I love this idea of documenting your books. I went around the house the other day finding small collections of books. Most are in my husbands study but there is a small library in the guest room, a shelf by my chair in the small sitting room, my craft books in the utility room and a pile by our beds. Can I share the idea on my blog please? You learn such a lot from someone's book choices!


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