Thursday, November 14, 2013

What's on your bookshelf?

Have you ever visited a friend's home and asked to browse over the books on her bookshelves?  While doing so, did you think of how much it says about her as a person?  I love it when friends ask to look at my books because it invites great conversation.  

Well, this is sort of what this post is like.  

My WEM friend, Adriana @ Classical Quest , linked up to The Modern Mrs. Darcy for "What's on your bookshelf," a synchro-blog event, and I thought I would join, too.  I'm a homeschool mom, and many of my books are homeschool related.  Only recently have I really started collecting books to read for my own enjoyment.

This is one bookcase in a little corner of my room:

The top shelf contains a partial collection of The Great Books of the Western World by Mortimer Adler that I picked up at a yard sale for $5; and the rest are my husband's theology books.

Another shelf (not shown) has binders of homeschool years, Scripture notes, and my commonplace book containing all of my WEM book notes.

On the next shelf, I have homeschool resources, reading resources, non-fiction, and some of my favorites: A Mom Just Like You by Vicki Farris, Let's Roll by Lisa Beamer, My Grandfather's Son by Clarence Thomas, and How Should We Then Live by Francis A. Schaeffer.

This lowest shelf is reserved for children's library books that rarely remained stacked properly; and I always hope they are returned to this shelf and never misplaced.

My favorite bookshelves, however, are in the living room.  Many years ago I envisioned a bookcase around our very ugly fireplace.  My extremely talented husband built this for me, and for awhile it stood quite bare. I hardly owned any books at the time, and I wasn't even homeschooling, yet.  But today it is overflowing with knowledge and stories about far away places and great people who came before us.

A bottom shelf is for the kid's journals that they fill up during the school years; and that ridiculously huge green monster is The Complete Illustrated Shakespeare, which I purchased at a library book sale for 50 cents.  I seriously think the librarian was mistaken about the price.  

Here is our Little House shelf for our Little House Year that we are doing right now:

And our art, music, and poetry books from our Art and Music Year; those are our Thinker sculptures made of Sculpey clay:

A shelf for our Medieval Year; I love reading King Arthur and Robin Hood by Howard Pyle to my children:

A science shelf; we love Jeanne Fulbright's Exploring Creation series:

This would be the Ancients shelf; more favs are In Search of a Homeland, The Wanderings of Odysseus, and Black Ships Before Troy:

This is an overflow from our Medieval Year mixed with exploration sources, including books on the early Christian church and more favorites: Here I Stand about Martin Luther, and The Story of Liberty by Coffin; right now our family is reading Monks and Mystics by the Winthrows:

I really love my American history shelves; another favorite is A History of the American People by Paul Johnson.  (The Book of Pirates needs to be with the exploration sources!)

Many of my important sources are here: The Five Thousand Year Leap by Skousen, Democracy in America, Common Sense, The Federalist Papers and a copy of The U.S. Constitution:

With an exception for a few books here, my TBR shelf is growing faster than I can read them. I hope to read Gone With the Wind, War and Peace, and maybe Les Misérables next year; anyone care to join me?

More TBR - Yikes!  Some of these are on my WEM history and biography lists:

This next shelf is a special because it is my pile of Well Educated Mind books. With an exception of Seize the Day, I believe all the novels from Bauer's list are here:

My other favorite shelf is this one where I store fiction to read to the kids: Wind in the Willows, The Hobbit, A Christmas Carol, Where the Red Fern Grows, Holes, The Courage of Sarah Noble, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little...

Here is a shelf of biblical topics and worn children's Bible stories:

Finally, the last shelf is for reference, with a green dictionary that I received as a Christmas gift when I was 9 years old in 1979.  Now my kids use it, too.

Oh, and just a few stragglers: my John MacArthur Study Bible, waiting to do Bible study with the kids, my copy of Seize the Day by Saul Bellow, hoping I will get a moment to read it today, and Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane, which I won in a raffle for Banned Book week at my library, waiting to be added to a shelf.  But where?  I am running our of room.


Jennifer said...

WOW - I just love everything about these bookshelves! Your description of the fantastic bookshelves around the fireplace literally gave me chills - "overflowing with knowledge and stories about far away places and great people who came before us." If only every bookshelf could boast such breadth! PS - your husband is one talented guy - those bookshelves are lovely!

Cleo said...

Thanks so much for allowing me to snoop about your bookshelves. It's my favourite pastime!

I absolutely love how all your books look READ ….. and loved. And I love the stacking ……. it looks very similar to how my shelves are starting to look; with 17 bookshelves there is not room for more, so some inventive placement has to happen. I see many books which are on our shelves too, both for homeschooling and for casual reading. An excellent collection!

Adriana@ClassicalQuest said...

Ruth, I'm stunned. I already knew you were a Reader with a capital 'R." But seriously, this is impressive. I agree with what Cleopatra said above -- I love how your books look READ.

Here's a picture of what your mind must look like:

Ruth said...

Hi, Jennifer,
Thank you for your generous words. When I look at what we have collected over the years, that is how I sum it up: so much learning and so many adventures that we have had through reading. I just love it! Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Ruth said...

Hi, Cleopatra,
You are very welcome.
I admit that a lot of my books are purchased used, so some of that worn look may be from a previous owner; but many of the books used by my children may very well be because of how often they look at them. They read them until the covers come off.
BTW, did you say you have 17 bookshelves?? WOW! Amazing!

Ruth said...

Hi, Adriana,
Thanks for posting this link up. I was so excited to do it, I didn't even wait for the kids to get up. I definitely appreciate the picture from pinterest that you included. I WISH my living room looked like that. But as for my mind, uh - probably more like a scattered pile of books. : D
P.S. I love your Pinterest boards. My daughter and I were looking through them last night. Absolutely beautiful collection of pictures.

Ginger - Just One of the Boys said...

What a wonderful collection you have! Wow - I could spend hours snooping around your shelves! :) Thank you so much for sharing!

Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy said...

I am SWOONING over your shelves around the fireplace. The shelves themselves are gorgeous.

And so many good books are packed in there! Of course I'm not a bit surprised, seeing how you and Adriana connected over WEM, but it's still so fun to see. I love that you have an actual TBR shelf (the actual books, as opposed to a list somewhere) and there are so many wonderful selections on it that I've read and enjoyed or want to get to someday. And I'm pleasantly surprised to see Possession on the WEM shelf (I'm not adhering to that list or I probably wouldn't be surprised). I enjoy Byatt's work--I think she writes really excellent characters--but I don't hear too much about her.

Thanks so much for sharing your shelves!

Ruth said...

You are welcome. Thank you for coming by.

Ruth said...

Well, thank you, Anne, for hosting this link-up. It was too much fun. I am definitely looking forward to reading Possession, so it is certainly encouraging to hear you say that you enjoy Byatt b/c I know nothing about her. And it is the final novel on the WEM list, and that will be a great milestone.

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

I see many friends on your shelves! I have that same edition of Les Miserables :-) Isn't Here I Stand and awesome biography? I also love Kitty My Rib, a bio of Luther's wife Katerina von Bora.

I'm glad I'm not the only one with more than one TBR shelf!

Ruth said...

Yes, I've read Here I Stand twice now. My favorite chapter is on marriage paints Katerina as an very special woman. I bet I would enjoy her bio. Thanks!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

LOVE the bookshelves around your fireplace! I'm due for a GONE WITH THE WIND re-read. Happy to join you. Just let me know the details, and I'm in.

Ruth said...

Great! It would be good to have a reading companion, especially one who has already read through it. Thanks!