Hello and welcome to the latest in Other People’s Bookshelves, a weekly series of posts where you get to have a nosey at other book lovers bookshelves. This week we are back ‘oop’ north in England in Nottingham (which will instantly have you thinking of Robin Hood) where we join Clare and get to have a nosey at her shelves not a million miles from my old hometown of Matlock Bath. So grab a cuppa and a few biscuits which Clare has kindly laid on and have a rummage through her shelves…
My name is Clare and I live in Nottingham. I have a great and very deep love for books and even more so for bookshops my long held dream to be the owner of one. I think I can trace my love for books back to my Great Grandad who had a wonderful library in his home that I loved to spend my time perusing. I am also a collector of original Penguin books and copies of Punch magazine, the oldest I have is 1908. The best way I can think to spend a day is finding somewhere nice for tea and cake then bookshopping of course. I am currently discovering London and it’s bookshops too also love Lincoln and it’s wonderful bookshops.
Do you keep all the books you read on your shelves or only your favourites?
I have recently had a sort of my shelves so now I do have sections for my favourites especially for example my Penguin originals together and classics together. I normally carry a book or two with me for those moments when I can find a quiet spot,the table next to my bed holds one or two or maybe more of my favourites which usually have bookmarks trying to remind me to finish them before I start another.
Do you organise your shelves in a certain way?
Only very recently before it was very haphazard but now I hope there is some sort of structure to my shelves. I do like the spines of one author to be together especially when they are a classic author for example I have my Dickens all together and including the very lovely spine of a Sketches By Boz edition of 1904.
What was the first book you ever brought with your own money?
I think that would be Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. We had a wonderful bookshop in my village when I was little and a lot of my pocket went on Dahl and Beatrix Potter Books which are all still happily on my shelves.
Are there are guilty pleasures on your bookshelves?
Maybe Lady Chatterley’s Lover obviously considered such a scandalous books at the time of its trial it does feel like a very guilty pleasure although Lawrence is one of my favourite writers.
What is the first grown up book you brought?
Well the book was actually on my Aunt’s shelves and it was “Forever” by Judy Blume. I felt very grown up when I read it in my teens and now it does have a special place on my shelves.
If you love a book but have borrowed it do you find you have to then buy the book?
I have found many wonderful books through the library first, for example my love for Thomas Hardy started when I borrowed Far From The Madding Crowd read it at least three times before it went back then quickly visited the nearest bookshop to buy it and many more of his novels and poetry.
What was the last book you added to your shelves?
I think it would have to be two books… Where’d you go Bernadette by Maria Semple and On The Road by Jack Kerouac both wonderful novels. My next purchase needs to be The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt which I have seen people raving about and I’m very much looking forward to reading.
Are there any books that you wish you had on your bookshelves that you don’t currently?
I have always wanted a complete set of novels by Nancy Mitford a writer whose life and family I find fascinating. Also original penguin copies of Lucky Jim and the James Bond books these I hope to find on my next London Trip.
What do you think someone perusing your shelves would think of your reading taste?
I think they would see my book tastes as quite eclectic and I hope they would find something on each shelf that they would enjoy too.
A huge thanks to Clare for taking part in Other People’s Bookshelves, who is off with me to go and have a hunt through the caves under Nottingham Castle before heading to Sherwood Forest? Don’t forgot if you would like to participate (and I would love you to – hint, hint, hint) in the series then drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Other People’s Bookshelves, thanks in advance. In the meantime… what do you think of Clare’s responses and/or any of the books and authors that she mentions?