Updated Bookshelf Tour

Happy World Book Day! In celebration of this literary event, I thought I’d take you on a little tour around my bookshelves. Please buckle your seatbelt and don’t stick your hands out the windows.

Since my last bookshelf tour, my shelves have gone through quite an overhaul:

  • Last year, I moved out of student accommodation after graduating, which meant all of my books were in one place once more. This forced me to go through a rigorous rearranging process to accommodate all the new arrivals.
  • I donated a significant part of my collection, after admitting that I probably wasn’t getting around to reading about 5,000* books (*mild exaggeration, but still).
  • Still, my collection ended up essentially doubling — not only did I go to the 2019 Kolkata International Book Fair, but I also lived near secondhand bookshops all throughout 2018, which was a bad idea (or a really good one, depending on how you see it).
  • Cue more rearranging, squeezing books onto shelves and strategically disguising stacks around my room.

And here is the final result, after months weeks okay, days of hard work. To clarify, I have two bookshelves, and I’ll be referring to them as “the first shelf” and “the second shelf” throughout for clarity (or lack thereof).

Tier 1


I decided to stick with the colour coordination, as the amount of effort it took me the first time around still hasn’t paid off. The first tier on my first shelf houses all the dark titles (not necessarily only because of their covers — please note the copy of Perfume by Patrick Suskind, which gives me the creeps, and a collection of Roald Dahl’s short stories).

Front and centre is a special edition of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman– i.e. proof of my lack of self control when it comes to beautiful books (I already own a copy of this book, but apparently that wasn’t enough).

And yes, that’s a photo of a goat with a Santa hat on the second shelf. No, I don’t care to explain.

Tier 2

Notable new additions to tier two of the first shelf include Lullaby by Leila Slimani and The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore, which I bought after visiting an exhibit on the Romanovs at the Science Museum in London.

On the second bookshelf, the next two levels hold the blue/purple titles, and yet more proof that beautiful books are the bane of my existence (please take a moment to appreciate the masterpiece that is The Binding.)

Tier 3


Next up, we have a bit of an ombre and a gorgeous edition of Inkspell (are you noticing a pattern here?). I saved some flowers from a bouquet I got for my birthday, which now find a home here as well.

DSC_7384 (1)

Tier 4

The final tier in the first bookshelf has some more beautiful editions, including A Journey to the Center of the Earth with gold sprayed edges (which I got for one pound?!) and an illustrated version of How to Stop Time by Matt Haig.

On the corresponding levels on the second shelf, there is the absolute GIANT The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon — which I was dumb enough to buy at the airport and then had to lug around for the rest of my journey — and, to be honest, any books that wouldn’t fit anywhere else.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, I thank you wholeheartedly for reading. I’m happy to chat if you have any thoughts, and once again, happy World Book Day!

Until next time!


10 Books That Have Influenced Me

A while ago, I did a post about 10 books that influenced past me. I made that list when I was 18 and after four years and a literature degree, a few things have changed. Here are some of the books that have become important to me in the last few years.

1. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer [fiction]
I’m still reading this, but so far I’m quite in awe. This book manages to incorporate elements of mystery and thriller with what seems like a coming-of-age narrative, complete with a bit of an experimental format that involves playing around with form and images. The timeline of events is a bit confusing with the back and forth, but the pacing is tightly controlled. Even though I haven’t finished yet, I’m sure it’ll be a memorable one.

2. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry [Historical fiction]
This book is set during a time of political upheaval in India, and is one of the books that encouraged me to read even more Indian authors. I loved the characterisation and use of language — especially the way Mistry manages to convey the tones and cadences of Indian languages through English. If you want to know about it in more detail, here is a longer review I’ve written.

3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman [fiction]
As I mentioned in my recent reading recap post, this book’s themes of loneliness and finding one’s footing in social situations hit me hard. The characters are human and I started caring about them without even realising. The narrative is so multifaceted that there should be something to appeal to a wide audience — including stories of friendship, love, and kindness.

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The 9 Most Common Types of Bookstagram Posts

About three years ago, I accidentally started a bookstagram account. Since then, I have picked up quite a few things about how this sacred institution works. Today, I’m bringing you insider information on some of the most popular types of bookstagram posts, so that you too can start your journey to bookstagram fame.

1. The Flat Lay
This is a classic, but it can be tricky. It’s great for setting a mood through props (see some examples below) although I usually try to strike a balance between giving the picture interest without overcrowding it.

Composition is also key: depending on the look you’re going for, you might need to arrange and rearrange things a few (hundred) times.

Since this style is usually from a bird’s eye point of view, maybe also find yourself a sturdy chair to stand on.

2. The Throw it in (or Against) a Tree
A bookstagram classic. Are you really a bookstagrammer until you have ventured outside into nature and drawn curious looks from members of the public as you hold a book up against some foliage? Yes. But don’t let that stop you.

Alternatively, bring along a friend or family member who doesn’t get as easily embarrassed. (That’s my mother holding the book in the second photo.)

3. The Book Stack
Perfect for when you go to the bookshop “to look” and walk out with 6.5 things you didn’t intend to get. You can also live dangerously and attempt a book spiral (which is just a fancy book stack in my opinion), but I would recommend saving those for the days you really want to test your patience.

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