Query Response #1: Bookshelves!

Eve (from the movie Wall-E) guards a few of my animation books.
Eve (from the movie Wall-E) guards a few of my animation books.

Last week I asked, “What do you want me to post about?

You responded — and your wish is my command. It might take me a while, but I will get to each and every one of your requests (even Sarah W’s).


Today I’m going to answer a question posed by Anne, PamHarula, and Jilanne.

They wanted to know what I read. So! I present to you some pics of my bookshelves!

Some shelves from the living room/library...
Some shelves from the living room/library…

next shelf top

Mike Bookshelf Top

Mike Shelf Middle

Mike Bookshelf Bottom

My awesome Stickley.
My awesome Stickley.
Who needs a bannister when you can make bookshelves? Seriously.
Who needs a bannister when you can use the space to make bookshelves? Seriously.
And this is how the stair books stay in place. I took a decorative end of the a a curtain rod and screwed it into a wooden dowel. The dowel goes in the holes where the bannister supports used to be.  Yep. I'm crafty.
This is how the books on the stairs stay in place. I took the decorative end of a curtain rod and screwed it into a wooden dowel. The dowel is then inserted into the hole where the bannister spindle used to be. Yep. I’m crafty.

There are more shelves all over the house, but this is a pretty decent sample, I think.

Be sure to check in again. Query Response #2 is coming soon!

61 Replies to “Query Response #1: Bookshelves!”

  1. I love all the bookshelves in your house! My bookshelves consist of books being everywhere: under my bed, on my floor, in the bathroom…just strange places I can’t even fathom. I only have one bookshelf in my room, so a lot of them are either scattered all over the place or on the top shelf in my closet where the precariously tower over me.

  2. I desperately want those stair bookspindles! ‘Course, that means building an open flight of stairs, which means adding an upper story to the house . . . and I already have a summer project. Oh, well.

    (can I steal the stair pic for Random Thursday?)

  3. Wow, very impressive apparently dust free book shelves! Did you polish them just for us?! And I’m loving your crafty stair case spill over. Great selection of books indeed, you literary omnivore. You’ve passed:-)

    1. I did polish the shelves the day before I took these pictures, but not for the reason you suggested. I had a wall air conditioner installed in that room and the men made quite a mess of things. I spent the better part of the day cleaning that room from top to bottom.

      That said, my blogging friends DO deserve tidy shelves, so everything worked out just fine, I think.

  4. Tupperware Unsealed! Just Googled that one. Makes sense, considering the subject matter of “Sarah Gives Thanks.” I recognize the spines of many of those books, “Best American…,” for example. Is your Shakespeare tome inside the Stickley? Wasn’t “Sea Biscuit” awesome? I gave it to many of my relatives, including my father, who also loved it. A real equine page-turner. :o)

    P.J. O’Rourke and Dave Barry next to Frank McCourt. The U.S. History titles, Nixon, Lincoln, Adams. And Barbara Ehrenreich. Love it! What’s the title in the gorgeous book next to Lincoln?

    Apologize for the peripatetic nature of this comment, but I’m feeling a bit scattered right now. I’ve added your post to the list of folks on my blog who’ve been posting pics of their shelves.

    Thanks for playing! A few others who are on vacation right now will be adding to the “bookshelf baring” in the future.

    Oh, this does my nosy soul such good! :o)

    1. Hey Jilanne!

      “Tupperware Unsealed” is not a very well written book, I’m afraid. I saw a documentary about Earl Tupper and his brilliant saleswoman Brownie Wise on PBS and wanted to know a bit more — so when I discovered this slim volume in a used bookstore, I snatched it up.

      You’re right about the Shakespeare. If any author is worthy of a Stickley it is he. (That said, a signed first edition of Nixon’s “In the Arena” is also in there, as is the complete Harry Potter series.)

      Laura Hillenbrand is one of the best nonfiction writers I have ever read. I care not one whit about horse racing, but I could not put “Seabiscuit” down. Her “Unbroken” is even more impressive, I think. As for other excellent nonfiction titles, I would highly recommend, Charlatan, Hellhound on His Trail, Columbine, and just about anything by Joseph Ellis.

      As for the gorgeous book next to Lincoln, that is U.S. Grant’s memoir, which is an excellent read, especially if you have a pretty good working knowledge of the Civil War. The book also contains the personal correspondence of Robert E. Lee, which, I admit, did not interest me much.

      I had fun doing this — and I’m so glad I could feed your nosy soul!

      1. Yes, I heard Hillenbrand interviewed (I think on Fresh Air) once, and it’s amazing the health issues she has to overcome to get her writing done. Such dedication is impressive. I have “Unbroken” but haven’t read it yet. Will put it higher in the pile. Thanks for these other nonfiction suggestions.

        Have you read any of Erik Larson’s work? I’m thinking now of “The Devil in the White City,” about a serial killer and the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair? It was fascinating–especially the drama around the architecture.

  5. Very cool, Mike. Love the Solaman “History of Animation.” And those stairs are brilliant! Please tell me you didn’t get that idea from Martha Stewart. . . .

    1. Solomon’s History of animation is good, but I am partial to the writings of John Canemaker and Michael Barrier.

      There are a lot of animation books in my office that I did not include in the post. Was your Disney work ever included in one of those Chronicle “Art Of…” books?

      And fear not, I have never seen a episode of Martha Stewart. That bookend idea is all mine!

  6. This is even more fun than snooping through people’s medicine cabinets. Not that I do that sort of thing. I was starting to get sad that we didn’t have any of the same books until I got to the shelves with the history books. Then I saw a lot of friends…Lincoln, TR, Grant, Lee, Sherman… I have many of those same books! And I have the Jane Austen books. The only other book of yours that I also have is Frank McCourt’s ‘Tis, along with Angela’s Ashes (sidebar: he was my English teacher for 2 years in high school!). I also applaud your grouping of books by category. It drives me bananas when people just put them on the shelves willy-nilly. It’s wrong.

    1. McCourt was your English teacher?! And why has that never been a blog post?

      Does he mention you or your classmates in “Teacher Man?” Tell me! Now!

      I do so love history. Please be aware that the pictures above don’t represent everything I have on the subject. In the Stickley, for example I have my beloved, 21-volume Annals of America set, which I frequently flip open and peruse when I have a few minutes to kill.

  7. You’re going to need to be a rating on this site now, because that is some serious bookshelf porn. I’m staring longingly around my house for places I could tuck a few more books. *sigh* And you are crafty! Love the staircase idea.

    1. No worries, Susanna. Just click on the images to see them larger.

      And from now on I shall call my invention the “curtain rod-end-dowelly-bannister-book-end holder-upper-thingy.” It just rolls off the tongue!

  8. You should patent your ‘stairends’ (just made that up, instead of bookends, you have stairends). The coolest way to find extra space for great books EVER. You made me sad, with your bookshelves. I had built-in cherry bookshelves in our last living room that could (and did) fit hundreds of book. bBut then we downsized to a smaller place. Now I have books piled up on my hope chest, and my night table, and, well, you get the picture. Thus, an e-reader can be a fine thing. (You knew I’d get that in, didn’t you?)

    1. My Stairends (patent pending) will get me rich! RICH!

      Ugh. Are we talking about e-readers again? Willya just lemme buy a hard copy of your book? Willya?

      Actually, I’m planning to get Ellen an e-reader for her birthday, so I’ll probably read your book even if you never get around to putting it on good ol’ paper.

      But I’ll be grumpy about it reading it that way. Do you really want to make me a grumpy reader? Hm? Do you?

      1. Oh god no. You’re so nice, I imagine that when you finally get grumpy, you’re a bear.

        So I’m working on the ‘paper,’ but it will be awhile. (and it won’t be nice enough for your staircase…).

  9. Love all your bookcases, especially the one with the glass doors. But what is the design in those small, tan-colored squares on the door? I can’t quite make it out from the photo.

  10. Your cherry wood bookshelves look like mine, except the one with beautiful glass doors (wish we had one!), and are as jam-packed as mine.

    Seeing Eve on the shelf makes me a little jealous. That was such a cute movie.

    Your staircase bookend idea is brilliant, as has been said many times. We’ve been saving up to re-do the floors, stairs to the basement included, so will keep this idea in mind. Thanks for sharing your books with us! 🙂

    1. Eve is a rather elaborate radio controlled toy. At the push of a few buttons I can send her zipping around the room, have her fire her “laser,” and change her facial expression. She also talks.

      So very cool.

  11. I love your bookshelves, Mike! Especially the ones on the stairs.

    You’ve got some heavy selections there, interspersed with some Dave Barry. Love it! I completely agree about Laura Hillenbrand. I think Unbroken is one of the best books I’ve read in the last 10 years. Amazing.

    Thanks for sharing your books!

  12. Wow, I love that you read so much Mike (every good writer should..)! And I saw Wicked on your shelf, I think! A friend just recommended that to me. I will be sure to check it out

      1. The Grapes of Wrath, definitely. Steinbeck has never disappointed me.

        As for something more genre-focused, I am a huge fan of The Day of the Jackal. (The 1972 film adaptation starring Edward Fox is also one of my favorite movies.)

        And the authors I depend on for consistently good material: Barbara Kingsolver, Ken Follett, and Tom Perrotta.

        But, to be honest, I’m much more of a nonfiction fellow these days.

        OK. Your turn.

      2. Thanks so much for the recommendation! I will definitely check out the film, and I’m putting the books on my list! I’m actually reading some non-fiction myself these days, too (Seth Godin’s Linchpin right now, actually. Although its a bit cheesy, a really great read for people starting their careers.. But I feel like all of his books are so successful, you couldn’t go wrong with any of them)

        Although so unoriginal, I love the Bronte sisters and Jane Eyre especially. Its so dark and deliciously spooky for a female novelist of the time.

        Also loved the book The Power of One, a South African classic, and The Namesake. Just picked up The Alchemist and The Idiot from a used bookstore, so hopefully those are next!

      3. The first film you should see is Moonrise Kingdom. I just know you will love it. Go! See it!

        I am currently rereading a few of my very well-thumbed Bertie and Jeeves novels by P.G. Wodehouse. Hilarious and highly recommended.

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