On the Booklovers’ Shelves: DRACONISMOI HAS BOOKSHELVES!!!

Filed in Draconismoi , On the Book Lovers' Shelves Posted on June 7, 2012 @ 7:00 am 17 comments

I understand that it is ridiculous to write in ALL CAPS and than add extraneous exclamation points. (Dude, we get it already, you’re loud and excited.)

But allow me to assure you that today is a day totally worthy of duplicative emphasis. Why? Because today I GOT BOOKSHELVES!!!!!!

I’m a nomad by nature, moving across the country every few months, and subsequently living out of 3 pieces of luggage. One of which was always full of books. (I cannot tell you how many times TSA totally unpacked my carryon for being suspiciously heavy and dusted every single book for bomb residue. USians are not supposed to be aggressively literate. It is highly suspect behavior).

My mother does not approve of buying books when you can get them at the library for free. She never let me have more than a single small bookshelf growing up. I had to hide my collection under other pieces of furniture or amidst clothes (Which were, for some reason, totally acceptable to buy en-masse – even though I might not wear the article more than once.)

Now that I have a semi-permanent position out on the Tundra and a bloody lease, I can have things that don’t collapse for easy shipping. Without further ado, I present DRACON’S FIRST BOOKSHELVES:

I am not actually giving it backThis is the first shelf I got when I came to Alaska. My assistant gave it to me since I had no furniture. She didn’t specify if it was a loaner or destined for a garage sale. I am assuming the latter since she hasn’t asked for it back in 5 months.


These are all the carry-on duffle bag books. My favorites and TBR pile. That’s right, my TBR pile was only 9 (paper) books deep when I got my job! A year of unemployment give you a ton of time to catch up on reading. It was glorious….

Hilarious digression: Some of you may notice the yellow book on the bottom shelf by Inga Muscio (C*** – One of my all time favorites. 5 stars. READ IT NOW). When Boston-Logan TSA is going through your bag, and individually examining each bloody book for terrorist activity – they won’t touch that one. Every single time the person scanning would see the title, drop the book back in my duffle, and go make some lower-level minion run and get a paperbag to contain it.

But this is just the intro shelf. I also have two brand-new massive bookshelves. The kind of shelves a book addict can really grow into. Also, as my roommate said, they are super-classy.

Now I know exactly what you are all thinking right now:

“Psh! These pictures bite. I can’t see the titles! How can I be nosy about your reading habits without a title close-up? How can I be uttlerly baffled at your method of organization? How can I demand reviews of books languishing in my very own TBR pile/wishlist?”

I know this, because it’s exactly what I think when I spend time on bookshelf porn. Well, except for the last bit. But this is a review blog, so it’s a fair extrapolation.

Close-ups! First from bedroom shelf.

The top shelf has poetry and incomplete series. These are books I am waiting to purchase paper versions of the remaining books in the series so I have a complete set. My sets have to match. This can be a bit difficult when the original US publisher never bothered to finish printing the Obernewtyn series and now I am searching online in Australia’s used book stores to complete the series.

The second shelf has steampunk + random favorites. Took me forever to find copies of Poison Study and Magic Study with nice covers. I’m having similar difficulties with Touch of Power. I like the UK cover, but it’s out of print.


The third shelf has superheroes and my ever-growing TBR pile. Plus incense and my dragon dagger. An amazing friend bought it for me in Indonesia when she was studying abroad. (Thanks Juli!)

The fourth shelf is doubling as a desk since I don’t have one. Next to my laptop is a bunch of the YA and children’s classics I reread all the time due to their awesomeness. You’ll notice a high percentage of dragon-themed books. Allow me to assure you that I don’t love everything with dragons in it. I am very particular about my dragons. They have to be exceptional to warrant repeated readings.

The bottom shelf is all non-fiction. Sociology. Feminism. The Law.

Next up, the close-up from Living Room Shelf. Since this is a public area, I mostly put books I think people would be more interested in borrowing. Non-scifi fiction (that’s all to the right of the candle), and random YA (the left of the candle).

The lower shelf is classics. SF and otherwise. Books people are more likely to have heard of and not reject out of some ridiculous bias to genre-fiction.

The top shelves have DVDs. The bottom shelf has Huge Hardbacks I’ve gotten at garage sales for $.50 and cookbooks. There is a reason I don’t do hardbacks. They are huge and ungainly. They also mess with the aesthetic flow of my newly acquired shelves.

Last but not least we have….mass market paperback shelf! It is deep enough to stack double. Which is really good news since I just found a fantastic used bookstore with quite the eclectic collection of SF. The lower right corner section’s occupants are the result of that discovery.

I believe this is actually supposed to be a closet organizer. One of these things that you can stack and put cloth cubes in. But who cares? It was super-cheap and holds books just as well.

The TBR books are kinda mixed in with the already-read books. The thrill of shelf-assembling and book-organizing had pretty much lost it’s appeal by the time I got to this one.

So, anyone impressed by my shelves? They are remarkably bare. For now. Each shelf is deep enough for double-stacking and have been rated to hold serious weight. I was planning for the future here. Book Depository, here I come! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

(Update: In the time lapsed between me writing this post and it actually posting, I went to Book Depository twice. Did you know they have a .com AND a .co.uk? And for some reason the prices for identical editions vary. It’s very strange, but that did not stop me from buying 13 new books for my new shelves. And pre-ordering two more.)

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, my ebook collection dwarfs the paper books. It’s hard to say no to a free or cheap book/story when it doesn’t take up any physical space. I delete them if they are terrible – but I have to go through them to find out. Very time intensive. How about you all? Are you less picky when it comes to selecting ebooks since there is no need to find shelf space? Does your virtual TBR shelf taunt you the way your paper TBR pile does?

About Draconismoi

Draconismoi is a Legal Aid Attorney out on the frozen tundra. After two weeks of -30F, she started telling people she moved to Alaska because she loves the indoors. Right now you'll find her curled up under all the blankets she owns, surrounded by a pile of books. Every so often she emerges from her cave (when there is food) and wonders how she'll justify prolonging this behavior once the temperature rises and the sun returns.

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  • aurian June 7, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Awesome bookshelves Draconismoi! I am going to take a closer look now, to see if I can identify some Anne McCaffrey on them!
    And you had me and my boyfriend lauging about your customs officers. And I so believe they won’t touch that book!

    • Draconismoi June 7, 2012 at 11:50 am

      Oh yes, there is Anne McCaffrey. (Check random hardbacks and mass market paperback shelves.) She may be directly responsible for starting my dragon obsession. I got the original trilogy for my 9th birthday. Along with the Dune books. Dune didn’t catch my imagination for several years, but I burned through Pern, the Talents, and Petaybee books in no time.

  • Stella June 7, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Ooh great shelves and such enviable order! (I’m the Lover who still hasn’t done a Bookshelf post because my books are all over the place and I don’t want to disillusion anyone by seeing the bookish mess 😉 lol ) Great shelves, now you just need to fill them! (and yep, have always double checked the .com and co.uk sites of the Book Depo since the same books cost less or more depending on the site)

    ps. maybe you should do an “After” photoshoot in about 6 months or so and show how many books you’ll ahve then 🙂

    • Draconismoi June 7, 2012 at 11:52 am

      I think the best “after” shot will come right before I next try to move and finally understand why most Book Lovers do not indulge in nomadic behaviors.

  • Lynn K June 7, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Awesome shelves! 😀
    …and damn, bookshelfporn is an actual site?

    • Draconismoi June 7, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Yup! And just in case people were wondering, it’s a site about magnificent bookshelves. Not actual porn on bookshelves. Totally safe for work.

  • Marlene June 7, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Wait, I get to do a Bookshelf post? I might unpack my books for that! 🙂
    But seriously, they weighed our books when we moved out of Anchorage. It was not a happy wakeup call. We used to joke about owning a ton of books. Then we found out it was true! :#
    My problem with my virtual TBR is not only does it taunt me, it’s even less organized. I can alphabetize a physical TBR. Just because it hasn’t happened in this house yet, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible!
    But virtual TBRs! There’s no app for that. Or there are too many apps for that.
    And when you visit Anchorage, go to Title Wave. I hope they are still as good as they used to be.

    • Draconismoi June 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Yeah….I barged all my belongings up here in the back of my car. Mostly books. I know the exact tonnage of all my possessions, and since it was 75% books…..

      Title Wave was very disappointing. I was there my first week in Alaska. I has to spend a week in Anchorage training. Where did you think I would go? The mall? Hah!

      I have spent an obscene amount of time in Powells in Portland (Mostly the Gold room, but I would wander into the Blue room and Rose room on occasion), as well as every independent bookstore in the Bay Area. We’ll see if my opinion changes after enough time out here. For now? Eh.

      It reminded me of The Tattered Cover in Denver. People talked it up like it was the BEST BOOKSTORE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. And when I got there I was underwhelmed, because I have seen much, much better.

  • Susan June 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Yay. This is a momentous occasion! Nice shelves–and they’re actually organized, too. Feels good, doesn’t it? Enjoy! (Or, I should say ENJOY!!!!!!)

    When I was young, my family didn’t have a lot of spare cash and we literally moved every few months. Books were a luxury to buy and ship around to every new location. Despite that, my parents would let me give them a wish list and they’d buy (and store/ship) as many as they could swing. And if I got some birthday/Christmas money? Books. (I still have many of them, including that lovely hardback set of The Borrowers series.) My parents weren’t readers themselves, but they knew this was important to me. I’ve thanked them numerous times as an adult for their generosity, btw.

    The trend continues. I won’t tell you how many “real” books I have since you might be tempted to stage an intervention, but it’s a lot. My bookshelves overfloweth, so a large percentage are just boxed up in storage until I decide what to do with them. Makes me sad to think of parting with many of them, but I can console myself with the thought that I can replace at least some of them with ebooks. (The ebooks don’t count against my book total since they’re not “visible,” but that number will also remain my secret.)

    • draconismoi June 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm
      • Susan June 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

        The first one in the queue that came up was about the lady w/ a bunch of chickens. Chickens? I don’t have chickens! 🙂 Then I saw the description for another episode where the people had half a million books–but the preview didn’t show the books (if I was looking at the right one). Luckily, I don’t have 500k books. I feel like a voyeur, but I’d kinda like to see what 500k books in one house looks like!

        (These shows creep me out. All of these intervention-type shows make me very sad for the individuals on display for our viewing “pleasure”. . . even while I’m mesmerized by the train wreck.)

  • draconismoi June 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I only watched the episode with the books because of the books. I don’t know if it’s still online or not. I thought I linked directly to the book episode….sorry. I’m a bit scattered today.

    But as for how half a million books looked….it was incredible. Imagine every single surface of a house covered in at least 2 layers of books. Hallways were almost entirely blocked off, rooms filled to capacity. There were so many they couldn’t even access most of them.

    When I watched I kept yelling at the TV, “somebody buy these people a fucking ereader!” Then there would be no issues with lost knowledge or space. You can have a million books in a harddrive without threatening the structural integrity of your home.

    • Susan June 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      I’ll see if I can find it since I’m still curious about the visual. Thanks for the summary, tho.

      “There were so many they couldn’t even access most of them.” Zackly!

      “When I watched I kept yelling at the TV, “somebody buy these people a fucking ereader!” ” This too! No one would have to know how many ebooks they had, and they could actually enjoy them. Sigh.

  • sienny June 8, 2012 at 8:29 am

    congratulations!!! i understand how you feel about this. i used to store my books among my clothes cause i can’t have a bookshelf for them. so i experience the same feeling when i finally bought my bookshelf. it’s full and overflown now, and i’m still negotiating the permit to add another one.

    • draconismoi June 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      Once you start negotiating permits based on structural concerns or health hazards, then the bookshelf becomes a necessity. Just like new housing in a population boom. That’s the argument that you need to go with. It’ll totally work. 🙂

  • Alisha June 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Yayyyy! Let the bookshelf envy begin! ^__^ I really dig how you have everything broken up into various shelves. There’s something to be said for a dynamic storage space (as opposed to one big library-style block of books).

    Totally agree re: the benefit of non-physical-space-occupying e-books. If only there were some way to enjoy the covers. Would it be too weird to have an electronic picture frame cycle through all the pretty covers of e-books one owns??? Hm…

    Thank you for sharing with us, m’dear! Glad you finally got the books (and everything else!) settled in.

    • Draconismoi June 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Well I don’t know about “everything else.” I did mention the lack of a desk. And I’m still using my luggage to store clothes. Furniture is wicked spendy up here. Everything is imported from Outside, so the cost of living is vicious. When people say they make more money in Alaska, it’s because they need to!

      Also, I work for a non-profit. So I totally don’t make more money.

      Don’t knock the library-block of books! My dream home has a room where every wall, floor to ceiling, is shelves. Just waiting to be filled…..

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