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

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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

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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.

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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!

Should We Support Problematic Books & Authors?

“For some he was a war hero, a philanthropist and a profoundly altruistic man. For others he was a bully, a misogynist, and even an anti-Semite.”

Can you guess which author these words refer to? Here’s a hint: he was a children’s author recognised for his imaginative and humorous stories. Some of his most well-known books include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda.

You probably know the answer — the person being referred to is none other than Roald Dahl.

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Roald Dahl | Source: Rob Bogaerts/Anefo, via Wikimedia Commons (licensed under CC0)

Apparently, the well-loved children’s author was not so universally well-loved after all. The article from which the earlier quote is taken describes how others have perceived Dahl as intellectual yet arrogant; determined, yet selfish; a source of joy for the world, yet also controlling and disloyal.

True, accounts may be subjective. But questionable personality aside, Dahl’s books also contain problematic elements, such as traces of misogyny and unrestrained cruelty against children.

This discussion might seem irrelevant, considering it’s been decades since Dahl passed away. But his books are still around — as are other authors similar to him, whose actions and/or works have potentially problematic aspects.

Continue reading “Should We Support Problematic Books & Authors?”

2020: The Year of Stories

Isaac Newton said that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Which is probably why, after blogging (nearly) every day for one month, I took the subsequent months year off.

My blogging hiatus was mainly due to a lack of direction. In the past, I’ve let my ‘creative adventures’ guide my content. But over time, I became unsure about the direction this blog was taking.

After taking some time to think, I found a common denominator in many of my interests: stories.

Continue reading “2020: The Year of Stories”