Bookshelf confidential

When I moved from London to NYC, packing up my beloved flat was heartbreaking. And the hardest part was handing boxes and boxes of books over to my mother. I am the proud owner of a ridiculous number of books. Seriously. I have almost all my childhood favourites, my vast, vast collection of early to mid-nineties YA, every book I bought for university and never read and the fruits of a six-year publishing career. And you know, all the books I actually love.

Realistically, there was no way I could bring all the books I loved, all the books I needed, over to the States with me, so I spent a good couple of hours weeping on the floor, breaking it down to one box while my mother intermittently came over, kicked me in the back and told me to stop being such a wuss because I still had to go through my clothes. It was a painful day in many ways.

Anyway, I got to New York, all starry-eyed and far too busy to read. Right? Um, according to the my newly completely filled bookcase, nope. How does this happen? And this doesn’t even cover my full to bursting Kindle. Heart the Kindle.

Anyway, here’s the bookcase as it stands right now:

Also my coats. I love coats. Anyway, since I’m procrastinating horribly, here’s a shelf by shelf breakdown.


The top two shelves have all my oversized books, picture books, teeny tiny US vinyl collection and a pair of Louboutins. Which aren’t books but are very important. And yes, that is a copy of Burnin’ Up: Behind the Scenes with The Jonas Brothers. It was a gift. I stand by its inclusion.

Second shelf down as a bunch of books from work, my beloved Mo Willems Pigeon books, my signed Louise Rennison and probably the most precious book on there, my leaving present from HCUK, Mary-Kate and Ashley and Lindsey’s HarperCollins Secrets. It’s an amazing spoof of a book I wrote for HCUK years ago filled with secrets from everyone I used to work with. Can’t pick it up without having a cry. This is why you should always work with/be best friends with a designer. Also, please note the inclusion of Wetlands. I still haven’t read it all. I just… can’t.


The next two shelves hold most of the books I brought over and the books I read most often. My lovely, lovely graphic novels, my beloved Bret Easton Ellis collection (mostly stolen from my brother), my collected works of Ezra Pound, a signed Donna Tartt book, battered copy of The Secret History (my most re-read book ever), Room, an amazing book I just finished that you should definitely read, my two poet buddies’ books – Laura Dockrill and Shafer Hall – my sad little collection of love letters from a boy who doesn’t send them anymore and Paula Danziger’s Remember Me to Harold Square, the book that introduced me to New York as a teenager. And ahh, look! There’s my graduation photo! Told you I’m a natural blond.

The next shelf down is my ‘To Read’ shelf, a combo of stuff from work, stuff I’m very easily bullied into buying every time I go into my local bookstore and some proofs from my friends at other houses. And double ahh, my amazing grandparents. This was taken at their 50th wedding anniversary and I’m pretty sure grandad was giving nana money to convince her to stick around for another fifty. Amazing.


And right at the bottom, I keep all the different editions of the I Heart books because I still find it slightly insane that they exist but can’t actually look at them. Too weird.

The biggest worry is, I already have another pile almost as tall as my bed and nowhere to put them. One day I’m going to have a house with a room full of books. Mostly because my mother has been quite vocal about me moving my stuff out of her place ASAP and there’s won’t be any choice but to have a room full of books. Or possibly a house built out of books. Might get a bit soggy in the winter…http://0

9 Comments

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  1. Hi Lindsey,

    First of all, I love your writing and thank you thank you thank you for the Glacier Berthillon tip. I was there 2 weeks ago. Win!

    Books are fab. I’m intrigued by the Hello Kitty – Guide To Life book. Must check that out.

    Keep it up, can’t wait for more stuff to come out.

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  2. I wrote that Hello Kitty book! So proud.

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  3. no way! It’s was just checking it out and it’s definitely going in my Amazon basket. Can’t have too many guides for life, especially when they’re of the cute and pwetty kind.

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  4. I love your book collection but the revelation of the graphic novels? Oh. My. Cod. I LOVE YOU! X

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  5. I love the comment book I bought for uni but never actually read a whole shelf of my bookshelf is dedicated to that

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  6. You wrote a Hello Kitty book – does your talent know no ends?!!?
    I did try google-ing you months ago to see what else you’d written but had no luck, please tell me if there’s any other I need to get my hands on.

    As for my bookshelf, well aside from my I Heart books, of course 🙂 pretty predictably I have the Harry Potters books (was actually surprised not to see them on yours), then shelves and shelves of autobiographies (mainly still to read – I’m justed addicted to buying them) a shelf of well thumbed favourites like To Kill a Mocking Bird, A Prayer for Owen Meany, In Cold Blood, Talking Heads etc etc, plus Rough Guides to my favourite destinations. Then there’s a collection of about 10 books my Ex bought me about 6 years ago, from the top 100 books of all time list, just because he thought I’d enjoy reading them – still not started on them tho. All of Marian Keyes books, several Jeremy Clarksons, a copy of the beauty bible, Susanna & Trinny’s What Not to Wear, He’s Not That In To You (so it would seem, lol!) How to Stop Worrying and numerous copies of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ as I like pick one up whenever I see a different cover/visit somewhere new – I stupidly forgot to look when I was in NYC

    So do tell, if you had to pick one, what would be your all time fave? If that’s too hard you can have 3 favourite desert island books… lol xx

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  7. I wish my bookcase looked as neat… I now am just resolved to piles on the floor…

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  8. I love people who love books this much. It makes me feel so much better about my overflowing book collection. I have a lot of trouble giving away books that I didn’t even like or couldn’t read all the way through and never let go of books I do like.

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  9. I read your I heart New York book today and loved it so much I ended up here, have a bit of a girl crush now actually! I wish I had half your products and could live in NY. I love MAC, but it’s all old as I am currently jobless and can’t afford to buy, well anything.

    Hope you see this old post, but just wanted to comment on your battered copy of Remember me to Harold Square – I too still have my copies of that book from my teen years and love it so much!

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