It's #Shelfie Time!

I've wanted to write this post for aaagggeesss, but only now has my book photography reached the point when it's just about passable, so I hope you guys enjoy it. After all, it's #Shelfie time!

I know there are a couple of different versions of the Shelfie Tag out there, but I've completely lost track of who made this one. Sorry - whoever you are, good job.

Describe your bookshelf.

I've somehow ended up with a massive array of books, so, naturally, I also have a wide array of bookshelves.

At least, wideish. Three whole bookshelves is quite a lot, right? I share two - one in the dining room and one on the upstairs landing - with my parents, and the one photographed is my own personal story-holding mechanism, situated opposite my bed so I can stare at its amazingness.

(You can't really see on this picture, because I struggled with the angle, but my top two shelves are piled precariously with hardback nonfiction books. If I ever disappear, they have finally crushed me.)

How do you organise your books?

You think I organise my books? You, whoever wrote these questions, have so much misplaced faith in me. Sorry about this, but other than making sure my series / authors are together, my books just go wherever I put them.

I'm such a crazy rebel.

What's the thickest / biggest book on your shelf?

Thickest is most certainly my Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, because it contains seven. Books. The only reason it isn't much thicker is the use of weirdly thin pages, like in dictionaries or religious texts.

My biggest book is probably one of those vast hardbacks I mentioned: they would be my weapon of choice in The Hunger Games if flaming arrows weren't available. Yes, I can shoot a flaming arrow. It's awesome and I can totally help you guys out with the apocalypse.

What's the thinnest book on your shelf?

Apparently, I Spy (On a Car Journey in France). It's pretty self-explanatory - I basically get bored when driving through France.

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift?

I can't exactly remember. This might seem very short-sighted of me, but when one has a birthday on Christmas Eve, birthday and Christmas presents kind of mix together. Last year's haul was, therefore, so huge that I can't even fit it all in one photo, so I've used this one of Hoot by Carl Hiaasen because I liked the film grain.

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?

I can't quite get the #BookThroughPhone angle right, but here you go anyway.

Just a few. No-one knows what else to buy me for any sort of special occasion, so I get books constantly. Not that I'm complaining.  Books are awesome and I love getting them from my awesome friends who have awesome ideas for what I'm going to like.

I just can't remember exactly who got me what.

Katie definitely got me Ballet Shoes, but there's a few there from Briony, Maya and Carmen too, so thanks guys. You are amazing bookworms and I couldn't have as many books as I do without you.

Most expensive book?

I bought Ruby Redfort: Look into my Eyes (Lauren Child's first Ruby Redfort book) as soon as it came out, and before I had a Kindle. It's a big fat thing and it was very, very, very expensive (at least, it seemed that way at the time). I paid £12.99 and finished it within an hour and a half. TEN PENCE A MINUTE! It's also very, very heavy and threatens to kill my shelf.

The last book you read on your shelf?
I have shared this photo about ten times, but it was my first. I am proud.
All of the Above is so utterly fantastic, especially in its diversity; it's like someone stuffed a rainbow into the confetti cannon of acceptance, and then the fired sequins reformed into an awful lot of stupendously beautiful words. I adore that book so much I've still got a tiny bit of a reading hangover, and I read it two weeks ago.

Plus, look at that cover. Look at it! And that daisy means something . . . I shall say no more. 

Of all the books on your shelf, what was the first one you read?

That is a very very tough one, because I've been reading for as long as I can remember and the first book was probably before that. I do know that the first book I read in my head (as in, without speaking the words) was Ruby the Red Fairy from the Rainbow Magic series by Daisy Meadows. I absolutely adored those books, but have since been forced talked into giving them to younger relatives, so the only one I have left to photograph is Lara the Black Cat Fairy.

That one came out way after I stopped trying to own them all (there are over two hundred) but it bears my name and I just had to have it.

Do you have more than one copy of a book?

There was a point - aged about seven  - when I owned three seperate copies of Matilda by Roald Dahl, all with different cover art. I swear this was not on purpose; someone decided that I liked books and I should read a book about a girl that liked book. They then gave me that book.

Repeat twice and you get the idea. I eventually gave the two extras away because I had very little shelf space, but our house will never forget the tale of the triple Matilda.

Do you have a complete series?

Hello, my dearest Harry Potter treasures (I would stroke them and say "my precious"* but that'd be mixing my fandoms). DO NOT CROSS THE STREAMS**!

Oh, crud. This is about to get confusing.

It's elementary, my dear Watson*** - I love Harry Potter, possibly more than my own family. Faction before blood**** and all that. Also, that shelf is mahogany******. Have I thrown in enough references?

*- The Lord of the Rings
**- Ghostbusters
*** - Sherlock Holmes
****- Divergent
***** - The Hunger Games

I do own The Chamber of Secrets - don't think I'm cheating here. It's just on loan to one of my dearest friends (have you finished it yet, Lili?).

What's the newest addition to your shelf?

That would be the books I bought in London two weeks ago, and I've already talked about All of the Above, so we are left with Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story. I'll post the review once I've actually written it, but basically - you should read the book before you read the companion volume.

You should also know that the companion volume's a companion volume.

What's been on your shelf FOREVER?

I'm pretty sure most of the picture books I've inexplicably kept have been in my possession longer than that shelf. They've been in their places on the downstairs bookshelf for at least a decade (I'm THAT old), judging by the fact that they are very low down, low enough for three-year-old me to reach. I still need my books quite low down, due to the fact I am tiny short.

What's the most recently published book on your shelf?

This is going to make me an awful person, but I can't actually be bothered to go and check. You knew I was lazy *skips question*.

The oldest book on your shelf?

I have a couple of my Mum's old books, but the oldest would probably be a book given to me by her friend, which is called The Blue Door Venture, and was published in 1949. It's. Just. So. Beautiful. And I'm honoured that Claire would give it to me when I'm not part of her family.

Really, truly, thank you.

A book you won?


What my inner book tiger was trying to say is that, in the grand scheme of things, I haven't been blogging long, so statistically I am less likely to have won anything yet. 'Tis a shame, but my time will come.

A book you'd hate to let out of your sight? (A.K.A No-one is borrowing it. EVER.)

I will cheat a little here, because it's not a book you can read or the kind I would give to someone else, but I kept a diary for a while, two or three years ago. It contains the usual kind of secrets, of course, but the main reason no-one is borrowing it. EVER is the writing. It's utterly diabolical and an embarrassment to pretty much everyone on earth.


Most beat-up book?

Bottersnikes and Gumbles by S.A. Wakefield is falling apart so badly that I actually haven't finished it yet. See that page sticking out in the picture? It fell out as I got the book off the shelf, and every time I try to read it, that happens, and I become too anxious that I might get the pages in the wrong order - or lose some - so I just place it back on the shelf and back away slowly.

And if you think I should just get a newer, you know - readable - copy, I agree, but I actually can't. My Mum read it at school, but it went out of print in the UK and pretty much everywhere else except Australia. I found this at Old Pier Books in Morcambe, which I've already told you is the best second-hand bookshop in all of the world, and it was so cheap I may as well read it sometime. Even if it has to give its life in the process.

Most pristine book?

That would be my signed edition of Nidae's Promise, which was written by Jill Hopkins, a friend of my Grandma's. It's an amazing MG, that's for sure, and when I first read it, age about ten, I refused to believe it was over and started straight from the beginning again.


The reason it's so pristine is because I have two copies: my Grandma bought one for me when it first came out, and then after she'd told Jill about me and my writing (yes, my family was embarrassing me even then), she very nicely sent me a signed copy and personalised postcard. Other than to take that photo, I've never even cracked the spine of that one more than two centimetres.

A book from your childhood?

My books are my childhood. (Notice the lack of caps and crazed laughter. I'm serious about this.)

A book that doesn't belong to you?

This is my latest library grab, and I can't comment on it much because life has happened and I'm only about a chapter in. It does look interesting, though. The one thing that annoys me is the title - it's called Shine, and I can barely make a guess with a glance at the cover. Hive? Rhine? Perhaps it's confused because the character feels that way.

A book with a special / different cover? (Fuzzy, leather-bound etc.)
The remote is because this film needs to happen. Now.
Well, none come to mind in that sense, but Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell has the most beautiful cover in the world, so that's special enough for me. I love how it's not over-cluttered, and yet its entire story is there waiting to be discovered, decoded and realised with hindsight. Just like the book.

It's also the tiniest bit 80s (don't you think, with that yellowy-green?), and most of what I adore about Eleanor and Park is its 80s-ness.

A book that's your favourite colour?

My favourite colour has always been purple. I've changed a bit, maybe adding a complementary second favourite colour, like turquoise, or choosing a shade, like lilac, but purple was always in there somewhere. Behold my purple books (I actually have very few.)

A book that's been on your shelf the longest and you still haven't read it?

The original What Katy Did series, by Susan Coolidge (real name Sarah Chaucey Woolsey) is up there, having been given to me at least four years ago, and after deciding I couldn't deal with a classic right at that moment, they went back onto the shelf and stayed there.

I really should try those books at some point, partly because - come on - it should not take that long to get round to a book, but I also want to compare them with the Katy retelling (see below).

To be fair, I haven't finished Katy either. Bad me.

Any signed books?

I actually have quite a few, including books by Anne Fine, Judith Kerr and Gareth P. Jones, but the most beautiful one was The Gruffalo's Child, signed by illustrator Axel Schleffler. My amazing parents queued up with me for four hours (queueing for more than twenty minutes with a two year old deserves some sort of award). It took so long because he drew an individual cartoon for everyone, and I love mine.

I'm also very proud that I even managed to get hold of Katy by Jacqueline Wilson at Write On Kew, because there were a limited number of copies and they were only giving out one per group. That thing should have been marched out with an armed guard.

Sorry, everyone who didn't get one. Be safe in the knowledge that it went to a good home.

Whew! That was one long tag! If you guys have been wondering what took me so long to update, I have been working on this for weeks. Seriously. I tag Carmen, the first of my IRL friends to start a blog (isn't it exciting!) so she can get cracking.

Everyone read her stuff. She's a sassy ball of music and books and a tiny bit of drama queen-ness.

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