Book Chat

Take a Peek… at Crossing Bridges’ Bookshelf!

I think you can tell a lot about a person by what books you find on their bookshelves.  So, in order to introduce you to some of my favorite bloggers, I thought we would peek at their bookcases and see what they read… the good, the bad, and the embarrassing!
Today’s guest post comes from the awesome Olivia at Crossing Bridges.  I met Olivia my freshman year of college, and we spent many a broiling day (and night!) tailgating and hanging out by the pool.  It’s what we Southern girls do!  And now we’ve both graduated, married, and moved to major cities.
Olivia’s blog Crossing Bridges is all about her newlywed life in New Orleans, and it’s so much fun to read–she and her piano-playing husband just bought a beautiful new house, and her writing is filled with the unique backdrop of New Orleans.
I’ve been having so much fun collaborating with Olivia and getting to know her (even more) through her bookshelf!  I was so excited when she was on board to join in the fun 🙂
So now, without further ado, Take a Peek at Crossing Bridges’ bookshelf!
1. If your home was burning down and you could only rescue one book (the e-reader doesn’t count!), which would it be?

I don’t know that there’s one single book that I’d rescue.  Not sure if these count or not, but…when Charles and I first started dating, we wrote all of our notes to each other in spiral-bound notebooks.  There are literally VOLUMES of them (with the volume number on the inside front cover, along with the dates that it covered), and they’re all together in a red crate.  That’s what I’d rescue.  And they sort of count, because they’re noteBOOKS, right?

2. Do you keep books on display because they look pretty (no shame in  that!) or because they’re your favorites?

I grew up surrounded by books, so I’ve never really thought about WHY I display books.  They’ve just always been on shelves around me.  What else do people do with books? Put them in closets?  Now that I’m grown and have my own books/shelves/house, I guess I display them because they’re my favorites.  As hard as it is, I try to give some books away and keep the ones that I’m most fond of or can foresee reading again…but that’s pretty much all of them.

3. Have you kept any books from your childhood; if yes, which ones and why?  If no, why not and where are they now?

Absolutely!  I’ve kept all of my favorite books from school through the years, and I know there are tons of my “kiddie books” at my parents’ house still.  Most of my books from childhood are still at my parents’ house, but I definitely want to shift them to our house (once we make a little room for them on some larger, nicer bookshelves!).

4. Which genre(s) monopolize your bookshelf, and why?

I guess I have four main genres of books on my shelves–classic literature, young adult literature, African American literature, and Christian books.  I LOVE classic literature, and have kept pretty much every classic novel I’ve ever read.  When I’m looking for a new book to read, I tend to find myself perusing the “Summer Reading” section of the bookstore, since the classics tend to live there.  In college, I took quite a few young adult literature classes, and wound up purchasing a ton of books for them.  I love YA lit, so I kept all of them.  Same thing with the African American lit books–I chose to take a class on African American lit while in college, then my Senior Seminar class was also on African American lit.  I kept all of them too.  The fourth genre is pretty self-explanatory.  I’m not much of a fan of Christian fiction, but I love reading books on the Bible, interpreting it, studying it, and applying it to daily life.

5. Of the books on your bookshelf (or e-reader), which is the latest that has stuck with you even after you finished it? (I’m fishing for book recommendations here!)

I loved “The Help” and all it had to offer.  I haven’t done a lot of reading lately (shame on me), but my mother-in-law read it and passed it along to me to read.  It was incredibly easy to relate to, being from Mississippi, and made me both laugh and cry.  I love books that can do that.  I couldn’t put it down.

6. What is the most random/unexpected book you own?

Oh dear.  This is hard.  I think there are quite a few books on our shelves that certain people would find surprising!  I think the most surprising is probably a textbook left over from college that I kept for some unknown reason…”Human Sexuality.”  I needed an easy elective, it was offered online, and I took the class.  And I kept the book.  Don’t ask.

7. Do you prefer hardbacks, paperbacks, or e-books?

Hardbacks look nicer on shelves, but I much prefer paperbacks.  They’re so much easier for my small hands to handle!  I haven’t hopped on the e-reader train yet.  Charles has an iPad with the Kindle app on it, and I did read “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” on it…and I hate to admit that it was really convenient.  I like to think of myself as a book purist, but I think I could be persuaded to enjoy an e-reader one of these days.

8. Do you organize your books in any way?
I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but…yes.  I organize them by genre.  All of my YA lit is together on one shelf, the African American lit is together, the classics are together, the textbooks I’ve kept are together (yes that’s plural, I have kept more than one), and so on.  Our ever-growing collection of “…for Dummies” books are even together on the same shelf.  Within the shelves, I also keep books that look alike together–all those Penguin Classic novels with the black & white spines?  Yeah, they’re all together on the shelf.

9. What’s next on your To-Read List, and how do you choose what to read next?
I’ve decided to go back and re-read a couple of my all-time favorite childhood series–The Chronicles of Narnia and the full Harry Potter series.  I have to confess to never actually finishing the Harry Potter series, and I just can’t live with myself (or my sister) until I go back and do it.  Usually, when it comes to choosing what to read next, I look to lists like “101 Books to Read Before You Die” and pick one that I haven’t read.  I’ve found that books on those lists tend to be rather good.  Sometimes I also look to friends and family for recommendations, but I almost never look at the bestseller list.  I don’t really know why, but maybe it’s my way of rebelling?

10. Do you have a “guilty pleasure” book you’re a bit embarrassed to say you love?
I don’t think I’m embarrassed by it, but I probably wouldn’t ‘fess up to the number of times I’ve re-read “The Giver.”  It’s just so GOOD!  It was one of my all-time favorite books from my childhood, so I read it countless times, then I wrote a paper on it in a YA lit class in college, then I re-read it for pleasure…then I re-read it again…yeah, there’s a trend here.  Loving the book isn’t embarrassing, but the number of times I’ve read it might be…

So there you go!  Now I want to go re-read a bunch of my YA lit books!
Thank you so much, Olivia!  Go check out her blog Crossing Bridges for more of her life and musings!
Stay tuned next Friday for another guest post… get ready to Take a Peek at Unpunctuated Life’s Bookshelf!

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