What’s on your bookshelf? (a link-up)

by Lesley on November 14, 2013 · 9 comments

in books

If you’ve been around here for even a short length of time, you’ll know I love books. In fact one of my favorite stories to tell about my childhood is when my parents sat me down in sixth grade and said, in a very serious tone, “We’re concerned about how much time you’re spending alone in your room reading, and we’d like to encourage you to spend more time outdoors.”

Ha! Poor 12 year old Lesley.

Whenever I’m invited to a friend’s house for the first time I make sure to peak at their bookshelves. My very best book discoveries have always come from friends’ recommendations, plus a bookshelf is a great conversation starter. The second best place to discover new books? Blogs and GoodReads–because basically these act as an online bookshelves!

Today, as part of Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up, I’m sharing my bookshelves.

Below is a peak at what you’ll find in my living room. We have two ladder bookshelves I keep neat and pretty. I try  to display books I love but they also have to fit into the room’s color scheme. I’ll admit there’s ONE book on the shelf that I haven’t read…I’m not going to tell you which one. Bittersweet, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Celebration of Discipline, Jesus Calling, Prodigal God, and Blink are some of my favorites.

books 5

books 6

In our guest room/office/Owen’s bedroom (poor baby) we have a large Ikea bookshelf that we purchased after moving to Sacramento. I’ve always intended to paint this ugly thing but it seems like a lot of work so we keep it in a back corner where it really doesn’t allow for much conversation. My hope is our house guests take time to rifle through the shelves before they go to bed.

You’ll notice a ton of Christian non-fiction books and writing books, with most fiction hidden behind these visible stacks. Clearly we’re out of room on our shelves which is further motivating me to donate books when we’re done with them. In fact, I only hold on to books I really like. Our house is simply too small!

books 2

…Moving on to the kitchen…

Here’s a photo of my desk bookshelf which holds all my food memoirs and cookbooks. Sadly a lot of these books are collecting dust, as Pinterest seems to hold most of my favorite recipes these days. The ones I’d never part with include: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Garlic and Sapphires; Bread & Wine; The Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook and my mother-in-law’s Friesen family cookbooks. The top shelf of my desk has my bible, a bunch of devotionals, and a few writing books I’m working my way through. I love Tell It Slant: Writing & Shaping Creative Nonfiction.

Kitchen bookshelf

…onto our bedroom…

My nightstand holds books I’m currently reading, have just recently finished, or are next in line. Jonathan’s nightstand is identical but much messier.

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I’ve been reading Godspeed for over a year (and that’s not because it’s bad. In fact, it’s quite good.) I hate to admit there’s a few other half read books on these shelves. I’m feeling newly motivated to finish them by year end.

photo 3

A confession: most of the books I’ve read in 2013 can be found in the little beauty pictured above…my Kindle. I’ve owned my Kindle for almost a full calendar year and I really like how convenient she is, but I hate that I can’t show you what I’ve read. I definitely cleaned my nightstand before taking this photo. Missing are a stack of magazines and my gratitude journal.

Also not pictured in this post are the 75+ childrens’ books we have scattered around the house in baskets, shelves, and closets. Anna has picked up on our love for books, and our house is littered with her favorites. Looks like I’m about 10 years away from having my own “go outside and play with friends” conversation.

What’s on your bookshelf? Hop over to Anne’s site and see what other people are reading!

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So pretty. I love all the personal items mixed in with the books!

Your Kindle case is super-cute AND the same fabric as my living room pillows. I'm sure that means we're compatible on some essential level. :)

Your parents' stern talk to 12-year-old Lesley is cracking me up. So glad you turned out okay. :) 


Oh man, there are so many books in my house! Too many to even think about. Current reading: Just finished Talking Taboo and Jesus Feminist. Reading tonight Jezebel Encyclopedia (research!) and a signed copy of Fifteen Minutes. Reading throughout the week: Invitations from God and various magazines. About to start Women, HIV, and the Church. FYI: my parents and my teachers had the same sit-down talk with me. Kindred spirits! Thanks for the post.... I love getting to know what others are reading!


I so very badly miss the convenience of having IKEA right there when I lived in Sacramento! The closest to Nashville is Atlanta which is far too far for my tastes :)

LesleyM moderator

@nextpagenash I LOVE Sacramento's Ikea. You're right, it's very convenient. But maybe you'll save some money? :)


Oh man, i love this post for so many reasons.

- the understanding of someone else who MUST look at other people's bookshelves
- the understanding of someone who expects that their guests would want to peruse YOUR shelves
- I spy a few Brennan Manning books, namely my favorite Ragamuffin Gospel

Most of my books are in my office (with overflow in a couple boxes in our garage). So stop by some Sunday or Tuesday and you can peruse to your heart's content. 

LesleyM moderator

@ragamuffinpc Yup, count me in on rifling through your books. Maybe you can just take my kids to the Starbucks counter while I do so? 

Kellie Edson
Kellie Edson

Love this! Time traveler's wife is where I first loved the name Clare. :) side note - go see About Time! It's like love actually and time travelers wife put together. So good! :)

LesleyM moderator

@Kellie Edson YES! I forgot the main character is Clare! Of course! Thanks for the movie recommendation too. :)