Today, I thought I'd do something a little bit different and give you a tour of my book shelves!
I'm splitting this post in to two parts to keep the length down, and today I'll be giving you a peek at the books; obviously. You can't have a book shelf tour without books! Mine just happens to have other things on it, too.
This is my bookcase; the view at the foot of my bed. I'm stuck living with my parents for now because of my back problems, and I feel a bit like an over-grown teenager with all my stuff still in one room... but at least I have a roof over my head, right?
My bookcase is home to my DVDs, CDs, books, and a few little trinkets, and most of what you can see has been collected over the last fourteen or fifteen years. Like most people, I love movies, music, and reading, so naturally I have quite a lot of each in my collection. The shelves are deep, so each cube has a double row of books, DVDs, or CDs. Please excuse the eye-sore that is the wall above it; I'm still looking for some pretty pictures to replace the ones I took down.
I bought the bookcase from Argos for about £40 when I was sixteen or seventeen, needing something cheap and practical. While it's not the prettiest thing to look at, it's served me well for twelve or thirteen years, and it holds a hell of a lot of stuff. I'm actually surprised it hasn't buckled under the weight of it all... yet! (Especially since I built it from flat-pack)! One day I'd like to replace it with tall white bookcases, but I doubt anything will ever hold as much as this one does. (Also, how amazing is the vampire lips clutch bag from ASOS? I'm obsessed with it!)
Focusing on the books, I don't have a huge collection these days. I've only kept one book from before the Millennium, and most of my reading is now done on my Kindle. That's something I never thought I'd say; I used to hate the idea of reading a book through a screen! Now I couldn't live without one!
I've finished every book you can see on this shelf, except The Lucky One, and Haunted. I somehow finished reading 'Guts', one of the first short stories in the book, which is pretty much the most graphic, nauseating short story I've ever read. I felt so physically sick by the end of it, that I didn't have the stomach to keep reading. I had to put the book aside and read something else; anything else. No other book has ever gotten that reaction from me before or since! Thank God. The book is definitely NOT for the faint-hearted. I keep meaning to go back to it and finish it, but I keep finding other books to read. I know I'll go back to it eventually because Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favourite authors, and as twisted as some of his novels are, I love reading them!
My favourite book of all time is The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (tied with Stephen King's The Stand). It was one of those books I just fell in love with instantly. I adore the characters, the unique story-line, the writing style, everything. (Read the plot here). It's so beautiful, and I love it more and more each time I read it. One of my sisters bought me a beautiful cloth-bound edition a few years ago, and it's without a doubt the prettiest book on the shelf.
I think this shelf of random books shows that I enjoy reading a variety of genres. I'll happily read a bit of everything, although my favourite genres are horror, and dystopian fiction. My least favourite is probably chick lit, but I do read some from time to time; I just don't enjoy them all that much. As for Fifty Shades? Not a chance in hell.
I went through a bit of a Richard Laymon reading binge in my mid to late teens; I bought and read almost thirty of his novels in a few years, except for the two or three I'm saving for later. Laymon died of a heart attack in 2001, which I was gutted about at the time because I loved his books. He was a great horror writer, although not in the same league as Stephen King, but he wrote some fantastic page-turners. In my opinion, his best are 'Island' and 'Quake', but they're all well worth a read if you fancy giving his work a try.
I know it's a cliché, but Stephen King is my favourite author. His novels and short stories are always so imaginative, gripping, fast-paced, and well written; it's no wonder he's one of the greatest and most loved writers of our time. He's been writing (published) novels for over forty years, and the quality of his work is just as good today as it was in the seventies. That must be quite a rare achievement, even for the most talented of story-tellers.
I haven't read all of his work, or all of the SK books I own, but I'm slowly working my way through them. My favourites are The Stand (my all time favourite book tied with TTTW), Under the Dome, The Tommyknockers, and Misery. This whole cube is dedicated to King's books, and above it is a framed autographed picture of Ronan Keating.
Another author I return to time and time again is Dean Koontz, who writes horror and thrillers. I only started reading his books in my early twenties, so I haven't read all that many yet, but I've enjoyed every one I've read so far. I'd recommend The Taking and Sole Survivor.
Behind all of the books I've shown you are even more books, but if I showed you all of those, too, we'd be here all day! Among them are the Harry Potters, more Laymons and Kings, random coffee table books, autobiographies, crap chick lit paperbacks, and a few favourites from childhood, like 'Goodnight Mister Tom' and 'The Magic Faraway Tree'.
You may have noticed I don't really have a system for organising my books and that's because my space is so limited. I try to group each author's work together, but that's really where my system ends. If I had tall, classic bookshelves I would probably alphabetise them by author, but I don't, and what I have works for me just fine.
I hope you've enjoyed reading part one of my bookshelf tour. I'll be back with part two later in the week, when I'll be giving you a peek at my DVD and CD collections.
Have you read any of the books on my bookshelf? What are your favourite books?