When I moved out of my mom’s house two years ago, I had to pick and choose which books I wanted to keep and take with me to my dad’s. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, so I kind of just tried to grab everything I could (which turned out to be a lot, and mostly everything).
One of the things that I left (that I completely regret leaving) was my entire Nancy Drew collection. It was made up of Nancy Drew books that I’d bought at Barnes & Noble and at garage sales and at library book sales. I read them mostly in the 2nd grade, along with a lot of books by Andrew Clements (Frindle, anyone?). I didn’t own the entire series. It was the most rag tag collection of a series I owned, but it was mine.
I had an obsession with collecting books when I was younger, which I still have now despite a lack of space to keep them.
I think it’s because I like owning books. I like buying books, having my own to dog-ear and wear out and flip through and take notes in and just be mine. That doesn’t mean I don’t love libraries. I love libraries, or at least the concept of libraries. I like places with books that people have read, that have their own memories and have been worn by others. But there’s something I love more about keeping and having books that are my own and making memories with because they’re mine.
Anyway, I dumped all of the books that I had at my dad’s and that I’d taken from my mom’s in this little back room in my dad’s house that my sister and I kind of used as a playroom, and put off organizing them until now.
These pictures are the final product, post organization!
They’re not organized in any particular way– I literally just stacked them so they weren’t all over the place and they wouldn’t fall down. I don’t have a bookshelf, so it was kind of difficult to place them. Maybe one day, if I ever move and buy a bookshelf, I’ll organize them in alphabetical order or something to make it easier to find things.
Many of the books that I took to school with me were my all time favorites, or books that I was planning on reading. (For example: I took my copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and The Princess Bride, which are my all time favorites, and then The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer which I’ve been planning on reading forever and am reading right now.) I still haven’t completely unpacked my car yet (oops), so all of my books that I took from school are still sitting in the backseat and have yet to be placed in my library.
Going through all of my books that I hadn’t looked at in literally years was a nostalgic experience for me. I got to go through all of the books that I’d read as a tween/teen/little kid. I found the TTYL series by Lauren Myracle, and all of my old Julia Alvarez books. Julia Alvarez used to be one of my favorite authors. I loved how she wrote historical fiction, and wrote about strong, female characters.
I found my Cat Who series books by Lilian Jackson Braun. I read those all throughout the 7th and 8th grade, and they were a little bit too violent for me, but exciting to read. I also found that I owned an excessive amount of joke books, as well as creative writing help books and Audrey Hepburn biographies.
I found I had a lot of really classic young adult/middle grade books, like The Book Thief and John Green books. I found books from the Charlie Bones series by Jenny Nimmo, and my old Hebrew School prayer books, and Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris (which I LOVED). I went through a phase where I exclusively read cheesy teen romance novels, like everything by Emma Harrison, and discovered all of my old copies of those which was pretty cool.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t a Sarah Dessen fan.
I think that my favorite thing about organizing my library was remembering where I was and who I was and how old I was and what I liked when I had read these books. It makes for a nice collection of memories. It’s very telling of my childhood and growing up.
I’m wondering– if you have your own library or collection of books, what do you think it says about you? Let me know in the comments!