Thursday, 17 September 2015


All right, I don’t think I’ve ever posted an actual selfie anywhere, but shelfies... :D In one of my recent posts, I mentioned that our bookshelves are unhappy with the amount of books we buy. It’s a miracle that they haven’t simply collapsed by now... Here’s a picture of the three bookcases in our living room:

We also have three more (of a different kind) in the study, mainly reserved for reference books (history, mythology etc.). However, these shelves also accommodate other things (!) such as DVD and blu-ray disks; swords, daggers, arrows and leather vambraces; reprints of old maps, rum bottles... My daughter also has her own bookcase, and we have books stored in the closet and in various cupboards. In the main shelves, we’ve had to pile books on top of one another or in two rows:

We have no particular system for organising our books, except that we try to keep books in the same series together and books by the same author close to each other. Still, the shelves could do with some organising – it sometimes bugs me that not all the reference books are in the same place but divided between the study and the living room – but... yeah, that would demand time and space and abilities to get organised, and these days I seem to have very little of those.


  1. Jaahas. Nyt on Ulla kyllä hankittava uusi kirjahylly!
    Tai se unelmoimasi kirjastohuone!

    Kaunista syyskuun viikonvaihdetta teille, ystävät!

    1. Kyllä! Uusia kirjahyllyjä kaivattaisiin kipeästi (tänään tuli käytyä taas kirjaston poistomyynnissä :P ). Niille vain ei ole missään tilaa... saati sitten kokonaiselle kirjastohuoneelle. Mutta onneksi aina voi unelmoida! :)

      Ihanaa viikonloppua sinnekin! :)

  2. Hi dear Ulla,
    shelfies! What a wonderful idea - I love seeing other people's bookshelves and bookcases.
    We, too, have to deal with the problem of shelf space versus new purchases. Although I have to say that lately, for the past couple of years, we have been somewhat ruthlessly pruning our books, which gave us (and the shelves) a bit of a respite. (We use the method a friend with the same problem suggested - she'd read about it somewhere and I found it really good - that whenever you buy a new book, another book has to go. Or, if you decided to keep one book, a less favoured one has to go - thus eventually leaving you with a collection of only favourites. Although both these methods have their drawbacks ;)).
    I do have a sort of shelving system, and try to stick to it, and keep the shelves mostly tidy. The emphasis being on "try"... I think in another life I might have made an excellent librarian.
    Also, I know I mentioned it before, but this is exactly where an e-reader is an excellent alternative... but then we wouldn't be able to take these awesome photos of our bookcases... :D
    All the best,

    1. Thank you for your comments, Kathy. :)

      I guess the shelf space (or the lack of it, more likely) is a common problem among book lovers. E-readers have definitely made a huge difference there (we'd be in serious trouble without them). The systems of getting rid of one book every time you acquire a new one or choosing favourites both sound good... but don't you eventually reach a point where all the books on your shelf already are favourites and you can't give any of them up... but what's to stop you from gaining new favourites? What do you do then?

      Our problem is that even though we manage to find books we don't necessarily want to keep in our collection, we don't know what to do with them. Used bookstores don't want them since they're in English and therefore hard to sell in Finland. We tried donating them to the library, but they only wanted hardbacks (and only picked a few of those, too). It seems like such a waste to throw away books in perfectly good condition... no, we can't bring ourselves to do it. :/

  3. Thank you for sharing your shelfies! :D I agree with what you said and understand the problem... Sometime ago, when I tried to organize some of my books, I started gladly putting them in a kind of "subject" order, keeping the books in the same series/by the same author together etc... Long story short, I ended up laughing, organizing books by size. Yeah, if they fit in a gap, that's where they belong! Like tetris!

    As for having things other than books on the shelves, it happens, too. ;) Maybe certain things like DVDs you don't watch very often (or any other items) you could perhaps put them in (stackable) plastic boxes and leave them in a corner?

    1. Haha! Book tetris! Now there's an idea! :D But yes, filling the gaps, putting books where they fit - it's actually very reasonable in a way. Maybe you save some space that way?

      Oh, you're right! Most of the DVDs and Blu-rays are something we don't even watch that often. They wouldn't necessarily need to be on display at all... I guess we're just so used to having them there. And my DH likes to admire our collection once in a while. :)