Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Gracie's Bookshelves.

In case you don't follow me on Twitter or Instagram, FYI, I recently have made my bedroom infinitely sexy. I wanna thank my family for giving me this exciting birthday present – a day out in IKEA, and these breathtaking Billy bookshelves.


Oh wait, not just the bookshelves (3 all together, one wide Billy and a smaller skinnier Billy lad either side), also the spotlights. Yeah, I got spotlights. I am that guy now. I also got some extra glass shelves to add another dimension to it – a display area.

I really struggled with forming a scheme for these shelves, at first. I mean, so much space...so many books...gahh. I knew I wanted a series of differing sections; fiction, YA, non-fiction, classics...but there had to be an over-arching theme first of all.
I went with the standard colour-coordination, which I'd previously done with my minimal uni house bookshelves and then my somewhat dilapidated shelves at home (see below).


Of course, I knew if I was going to go for the rainbow look, I'd have to call in the pro. My whip-smart organiser supreme, Clare H-H. She dissected my many piles of books into the key colours, dark to light, within minutes. What a genius.
So the shelves began to take shape. YA and general fiction, top 2 middle shelves and the shelf below the middle glass. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purples, pinks. The monochromes were tricky to place – in the end I made the top 2 shelves on the right all white, ordered by the colour of the font on the spines. Yep. 


I then decided to put the black covers at the end of the rainbow; again ordered by the colour within the black of the spines. 
The bottom middle shelf is fiction hardbacks – and the annoyingly larger fiction paperbacks that wouldn't fit in with the others. I quite like that arrangement – hardbacks and paperbacks, living in perfect harmony, all of them awkward but able to fit together. 

Within fiction are classics. Well, classics are what began fiction. Wait, what? Idk. Whatever, I just felt the classics needed their own space. They deserve respect. So I gave them the top left shelf, where they can be admired but also left to their own devices.


So now we have the non-fiction. A genre that's actually become a favourite of mine ever since becoming a bookseller and having easy access to the Smart Thinking/Popular Science/Biography/Politics areas...*drools openly*
Although to be fair this isn't a new love of all things non-fic, I have liked it ever since I started seriously blogging. A lot of my favourite bloggers and vloggers have either recommended a non-fic treasure to me or written one themselves!
So my paperback non-fiction is on the left, below the classics. Then there's a glass shelf beneath that – but I'll get to that in a minute!
One more shelf down is the hardback non-fiction – note the exclusive Caitlin section, I can confirm Ebury publishers approved when they saw this.


Below the non-fiction hardbacks on the left, we have my random yet organised selection of what I refer to as 'the DIY books'; my Literary Listography book, the 642 Things to Write About range, Kerri Smith's genius creations, and the many colouring books I accumulated last year. Also the PostSecret publications; holy moly, I love PostSecret. The live event I was lucky enough to attend a couple of years ago was beyond powerful. I also have wedged in at the end of this shelf a Writer's Toolkit box my gorgeous Maddie sent me from Berlin. I'd been eyeing it up at work for ages! What a mega babe. 


Then under that one on the right we have a collection of my notebooks from years gone by! And an additional source of light, as I've found it gets darker down there, where my sexy spotlights can't quite reach.
I went through these notebooks as I sifted through the boxes and decided what was worth keeping; I was a little shocked at Younger Me. She had dark thoughts and was a little too into certain bands and certain boys...she was also deeply insecure at times. I am actually hoping to have a ceremonial bonfire soon to throw these pages, and these thoughts trapped within them, into the flames and release them from my hold. I'll probably write a blog post about that...



Going right over to the bottom right, we have my more academic books. My Writer's Yearbooks '16 + '17, Frantic Assembly's guide to devising, hardcore Sociology texts and a couple of Creative Writing helpers I had to order before starting the course. I also have some borrowed books stashed behind those – books lovely friends have lent me recently which I need to read ASAP and not unintentionally get used to having on my shelves. (Thanks for the lends, friends!)


And finally, my glass shelves. Left, we have 4 specific non-fiction books that I wanted to be left alone (one given to me by Keris, one School of Life, one my sacred Crystals Bible, one a book of cheesy mantras that actually give me life some days) and then a plate of my lovely tumbles. I pick one up as and when, hold it and sometimes carry it all day – at the moment my favourites are the clear Quartz.
Which brings me to the middle glass shelf! Ornaments. So many treasures; my stone Buddhas, the pin-on star from my high school, a glass goblet of crystals and pendants, the little time piece my grandparents gave me for graduation, a ring I can no longer wear but still deserves to be seen...
The shelf below the middle glass one is a bookish display area. I'll be using that space to show off my latest faves, and some eternal loves; at the mo I have 'Grief is the Thing With Feathers' by Max Porter (just read it, people), a collection of Angela Carter's most divine magic, the Book of Answers (freakishly perfect), The Princess Bride (hardly anyone knows the screenplay for the perfect film was written by the guy who wrote the book?!) and Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur (omg omg omg took my breath away). 


The right glass shelf holds my jewellery. The 5 heavily loaded ring holders and the little bowl of earrings. Boxes of the more precious earrings, too. And my address book - leaving it in this handy location was a good idea, I feel. Then there's the light-up G a lovely friend gave me for my birthday. 

Oh, and directly underneath the right hand glass shelf? Just my perfect fully-functioning typewriter. A blue 60s era Underwood. Bought in Brighton for just £18. Bloody steal. I am so happy to be able to display her at last after having her a while now. Her name is Sticky, due to excessively tricky and tough keys.


I haven't mentioned the bottom left shelf as that just holds my pens and pencils in pots, and my iPod dock. Boring, right? Also the toiletries shelves under the typewriter, on the right – they are basically just a ton of products thrown into handy neutral baskets that look plain yet tasteful from the outside, and are an utter mess inside. I'm working on that. 

I considered making up a separate section for all my signed books – and the retired ones that I refuse to lend out ever again, due to their insane personal value/decrepit and fragile bindings. Then I realised that a lot of my books are signed (yay, I freakin' love a signing) and working out another section and then rainbow-ing within that would be exhausting and messy, to be honest.


Okay guys, my fellow book addicts and travellers on this grand tour, we are done! Thank you for taking an interest in this epic project of mine – I really am proud of it and love that y'all asked me to share it with you. Expect many #shelfies in the future! 

11 comments

  1. Ohhhh I love it Gracie!!! This is definitely what dreams are made of, and spotlights! I love the glass shelf, really makes it feel like a display :) x

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    1. Thank you, baby! I am so proud of these beauties :) xoxo

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  2. I love these so much! Also: total bookshelves twins. The Billy bookcases give me life. I'm just missing some spotlights 😍😍😍
    Thanks for sharing lovely.

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  3. Yay! I've been looking forward to this post. I love your bookshelves, Gracie. I have spotlight envy. I posted about mine recentlyish too: https://theprettybooks.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/another-little-tour-of-my-bookshelves/ White Ikea bookshelves are the best.

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    1. Oh, thank you so much my darl! Your bookshelves are unreal levels of beaut, gotta love the IKEA goodness! xoxo

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  4. Looks beautiful Gracie! Gotta admit, made me beam from ear to ear to get a shout out haha you beautiful lil lady!

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    1. Thanks, angel. You get a prime spot - on my shelves and in my heart <3

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  5. There's something so beautiful and fascinating about seeing how people shelve their books - and indeed what books are on their shelves. I'm guilty of taking a peek at everyone's bookshelves when I go to their house for interviews and the like. Thanks for sharing Gracie - love these shelves! Very spunky xo

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    1. I agree! I always love seeing people's shelves and organising methods. Thanks for the loveliest comment, missy! xoxo

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  6. Aaaaah I love it! I feel a good old bookshelf tour binge on YT coming on now

    Mel ★ www.meleaglestone.co.uk

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