Other People’s Bookshelves #51 – Katharine Lunn

Hello and welcome to the latest Other People’s Bookshelves. If you haven’t seen it before this is a series of posts set to feed into the filthy book lust/porn and either give you a fix of other people’s books and shelves. This week we are off to Nottingham (where my great grandparents used to live and I would go every other Sunday) to meet blogger Katharine Lunn, or Kate as we are all friends here. Before we have a good route around her house, and interrupt her lovely Valentine’s Day evening with her boyfriend, let’s settle with a nice cup or glass of something and find out more about her…

I’m Kate and I’ve lived in or around Nottingham, in the middle of England, all my life. I’m currently doing a master’s degree in Creative Writing at the beautiful University of Nottingham and I work in a school. I started my blog, http://katharinelunn.wordpress.com, last May; I thought I would write about lots of things but most of the time the content is book-related. I do like to geek-out over books and am loving reading for pleasure, as well as reading brand new books, after finishing an English degree last year (though sometimes I get a strange hankering for Literary Criticism). I live with my similarly bookish boyfriend and putting our books together on the same bookshelves meant that we were serious. I also try to do Pilates every day but I eat a lot of chocolate to offset that.

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Do you keep all the books you read on your shelves or only your favourites, does a book have to be REALLY good to end up on your shelves or is there a system like one in one out, etc?

I want to look at my bookshelves and see lots of books that I love. I don’t really understand why people would want to keep books that they really disliked. I think that would just make me angry. I will have to implement a one in one out system soon because I’m running out of space to put bookshelves.

Do you organise your shelves in a certain way? For example do you have them in alphabetical order of author, or colour coded? Do you have different bookshelves for different books (for example, I have all my read books on one shelf, crime on another and my TBR on even more shelves) or systems of separating them/spreading them out? Do you cull your bookshelves ever?

Fiction takes up most of one downstairs wall and is one long A – Z by author’s surname (I worked in a library for four years and my boyfriend works in a bookshop, so I feel that this is expected of us). Non-fiction is more of an organised mess, grouped in vague sections, but it’s upstairs so less people see it. Books on psychology are grouped together and there’s a small section about diaries. Poetry is awkwardly placed underneath that. I’ve been thinking making about a TBR bookshelf for a while but I never get around to initiating it. I love culling books.

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What was the first book you ever bought with your own money and does it reside on your shelves now?

I really can’t remember what the first book I bought with my own money was. We had these little stamp books at primary school and you bought in 20p, 50p a week and saved up to buy books. I bought a lot of books that way. I remember there was definitely some Jacqueline Wilson and I was really into veterinary books, but all of those are probably still in my parents’ attic.

Are there any guilty pleasures on your bookshelves you would be embarrassed people might see, or like me do you have a hidden shelf for those somewhere else in the house?

I’m not really embarrassed by any of my books, so no. I probably should be embarrassed about a cookbook I own called Fifty Shades of Kale. But I’m intrigued about your hidden shelf.

Which book on the shelves is your most prized, mine would be a collection of Conan Doyle stories my Great Uncle Derrick memorised and retold me on long walks and then gave me when I was older? Which books would you try and save if (heaven forbid) there was a fire?

My boyfriend bought me a first edition of The Remains of the Day for Christmas. I think it might be my favourite book, so I would definitely save that. Also, I have a broken Roald Dahl cookbook I got when I was little. I made my first cake from that book – Bruce Bogtrotter’s Cake – for my dad’s birthday. The back cover has fallen off now. But those two books would be at the top of my list.

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What is the first ‘grown up’, and I don’t mean in a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ way, that you remember on your parent’s shelves or at the library, you really wanted to read? Did you ever get around to it and are they on your shelves now?

I remember an old paperback copy of Jane Eyre that looked interesting to me. I’m not sure how it found its way onto my parents’ bookshelf because neither of them were very interested in reading it. It used to intrigue me but looked too adult at the time. I ‘borrowed’ that edition of Jane Eyre and it now sits happily on my shelves.

If you love a book but have borrowed the copy do you find you have to then buy the book and have it on your bookshelves or do you just buy every book you want to read?

I do like to own real live books, and if I really love a book I borrowed from the library I probably will buy it (but still haven’t got around to buying Bossypants by Tina Fey). I like re-reading and making books my own: finding sand in the spine of a book if I read it on holiday, for instance. If I don’t like a book I bought I take it to the charity shop.

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What was the last book that you added to your bookshelves?

The last books I got were kindly sent from Bookbridgr – Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck and The Chimes by Anna Smaill. Wolf Winter is beautifully haunting and very readable.

Are there any books that you wish you had on your bookshelves that you don’t currently?

I’ve just got into Margaret Atwood in a big way, so I want everything she’s ever written. But she’s written so much! Also, there are a lot of new books that I‘m dying to read. I really want to read Elena Ferrante’s novels and the new Kazuo Ishiguro.

What do you think someone perusing your shelves would think of your reading taste, or what would you like them to think?

I think because my boyfriend and I share bookshelves they would look quite eclectic to a new eye. I like literary stuff, but readable literary stuff. I like reading lots of different viewpoints, so hopefully they don’t look too homogenous.

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A huge thanks to Kate for taking part in Other People’s Bookshelves! If you would like to catch up with the other posts in the series of Other People’s Bookshelves have a gander here. Don’t forget if you would like to participate (and I would love you to – hint, hint, hint as without you volunteering it doesn’t happen) in the series then drop me an email to savidgereads@gmail.com with the subject Other People’s Bookshelves, thanks in advance. In the meantime… what do you think of Kate’s responses and/or any of the books and authors that she mentions?

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Time Away From Books…

I have decided to bring something new to Savidge Reads. Over the next few weeks I will be introducing a potentially weekly new series of posts which are all about ‘time away from books’. The idea behind this has come from an unofficial resolution I have made with myself that every week I have to do something unusual and fun and have ‘something’ to look forward to. Not because my life is dull and boring, as if, just to motivate me to go and do more of the things I love once a week. This might be going to see track down red squirrels in a forest, it might be going to a new exhibition at a gallery, it might be going on a big old walk up a hill or by the sea, it might be a day trip/weekend away with friends or might even be going to a stately home and pretending I am in Rebecca

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

The only rules are that it can’t be really bookish (for example the stately home above is not actually in Rebecca and doesn’t have any literary links apart from having a bookshop that was closed) and it needs to be something a bit different and preferably involve culture, fresh air and laughing – the latter isn’t something I find difficult. These are vague rules because it’s a fun venture and fun doesn’t have rigid rules, if any rules at all. I just want to get out more and ‘go be do’.

What do you think? Have you any suggestions of things I should try and do – try and make them in the UK and ideally legal – as part of my plan-of-fun? What are your favourite things to do when you are having some time away from books?

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The Adventures of Bookmarks

I have been thinking about doing a post on bookmarks, which I seem to collect as many as I do books. Okay, maybe not quite as many. I still haven’t written that post, but am on it, yet whilst I faffing on the internet earlier today doing anything but what I should be doing I discovered this wonderful video about the life of a bookmark and so thought I would share that with you instead. It lasts about 5 minutes but is genuinely delightful, so grab a cuppa and then sit and watch it…

I love the idea that when you read your book mark goes on the same adventure with you. Funnily enough mine was in a boat on the ocean yesterday as I read Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and now its in the Wild West with Joe R. Lansdale’s The Thicket. Yes, well spotted, I am reading books set on boats or heavily featuring horses at the moment – it is like my bookgroup and podcast pals do it for the laugh, scowls. Anyway, where is your bookmark adventuring with you currently?

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The Bees – Laline Paull

For someone who always bangs on about how much they dislike horses in fiction, as I am so suspicious of them in real life, you might think I am not a lover of nature. Actually I am a bit of a nature geek, I will lose the tiniest bit of street cred I have left now by saying I used to be a bird watcher or ‘twitcher’ (we won’t mention the stamp collecting, oops) and any television show with David Attenborough I have to record and will then watch enraptured. It is my fascination with nature that led to a small obsession over the New Year that I simply had to read Laline Paull’s debut The Bees a tale about a hive of bees. Even the fact that these bees talk (and we all know that I am deeply distrustful of talking animals in general) didn’t put me off. I did wonder if it might be a little Disney like yet as I discovered it couldn’t be further on the opposite end of the spectrum, The Bees is a gripping and often chilling literary thriller – make no mistake.

4th Estate Books, paperback, 2015, fiction, 400 pages, bought by myself as my first treat of the year

The cell squeezed her and the air was hot and fetid. All the joints of her body burned from her frantic twisting against the walls, her head was pressed into her chest and her legs shot with cramp, but her struggles had worked – one wall felt weaker. She kicked out with all her strength and felt something crack and break. She forced and tore and bit until there was a jagged hole into fresher air beyond.
She dragged her body through and fell out onto the floor of an alien world. Static roared through her brain, thunderous vibration shook the ground and a thousand scents dazed her. All she could do was breathe until gradually the vibration and static subsided and the scent evaporated into air. Her rigid body unlocked and she calmed as knowledge filled her mind.
This was the Arrivals Hall and she was a worker.
Her kin was Flora and her number was 717.

And so Flora is born into the world of the hive and the hive mind. As a lowly worker Flora instinctively knows  from birth she only lives to do four things; accept, obey, serve and be prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen. But Flora is not like the other bees, something which one of the Sister Sage’s (the priestesses of the hive) notices from her birth, she is different. While mutant bees are usually destroyed by their own kind, Flora has talents others of her kin don’t (speech and the ability to act alone, worker bees naturally just collect and dispose of the dead until they are, well, dead) and so is removed from sanitation duty and is allowed to feed the Queen’s offspring, before becoming a forager out collecting pollen. However Flora is also different from all the bees in another way (which I won’t spoil for you) and soon Flora becomes both a threat to the hive and potentially its only hope of survival.

Laline Paull does so many brilliant things with this book it is frankly rather difficult to know where to begin. Firstly though let us start with Flora 717 who, after getting over the initial unusual narration from a talking bee, is a wonderful protagonist and the perfect antiheroine in a novel that i by its very nature one of totalitarian regime. She questions things, she questions everything, she answers back, she does things she shouldn’t and she’s blooming brave in the face of many dangers. She’s gutsy and we all like a feisty protagonist don’t we? She is also an outsider and so we have empathy for her, especially when things take a darker and more complex turn.

Paull also creates a dark, controlled and claustrophobic world where orders must just be obeyed and the constant threat of ‘The Kindness’ lies in the eyes of all the other bees working to one hive mind. These are not cute and cuddly bumble bee’s, these are honey bees which, pun intended, are not as sweet as they sound –  for example there is a massacre, which happens once a year,  that I found genuinely shocking. There is also the danger of the outside world as a constant threat to the hive. There are other insects (let’s just say that spider and wasps aren’t bees natural allies) as well as other mammalian intruders including humans ourselves. The latter, along with the chemical threats to a bee, also highlight how in many ways we are abusing and endangering bees, which the environment needs and how a decline in them could be catastrophic in the long term. It has certainly made me rethink the value of honey.

Then there is also the world of the hive and how it operates. For the bees it is normal and they know no different but as readers we naturally humanise it, meaning from the start of the novel we compare their world to a totalitarian regime rather than nature doing what it has to do. Paull knows this and uses it wisely to highlight the cause and effect of such a culture. She also brings much more into the analogy of humankind as bees, if you know what I mean, in terms of gender politics, class, monarchy, religion and being different. There are layers and layers and layers, it’s a brimming book.

I mentioned above that this is a gripping novel. There is the pace and directness of the prose which to me read like a thriller, each chapter leaves you wanting to read on be it that something had happened in the hive or indeed to Flora herself. You also want to read on because the life of the bee and the beehive is so utterly fascinating. Both during reading and since I finished reading I have been coming out with endless facts about bees that I learnt through the book to anyone who will listen and several who won’t. Did you know bees can sting other bees without dying? Did you know bees were actually related to wasps but flowers changed all that? Did you know that there is a special mating ritual with a princess bee and her suitors? I could go on.

All this came together to form an absolutely brilliant novel; if you haven’t guessed it by now I absolutely loved The Bees. It is one of those books that has, like a beehive, so many levels to it. You can read it as a fascinating nature book (Laline only embellishes a few facts here and there for fictional purposes, bees don’t live a year for example) with an insight into the world of the bee. You can read it as a literary novel about feminism, society and beliefs. You can read it as a thriller or a fantasy, almost sci-fi like, novel too. However it is you read it, do read it. I cannot praise it highly enough.

So there we go my instincts were right, it’s a corker. Maybe insects are my think as I have also read and loved Grasshopper Jungle recently another very different book for me. Anyway, I will be very surprised if The Bees doesn’t get a nod from those lovely folk at The Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction and even more surprised if it isn’t in my top five books of the year in December. If you would like to hear more about The Bees then listen to the latest You Wrote the Book where you can find me in conversation with Laline. Who else has read The Bees and what did you make of it?

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The Devil in the Marshalsea – Antonia Hodgson

I don’t read enough historical fiction, something I was mulling over recently, so when my lovely pal Barbara chose Antonia Hodgson’s The Devil in the Marshalsea as her choice for our newly formed book club I was intrigued. I find historical fiction, unless it’s set in the Victorian period, a tricky beast yet as this was a crime novel set in one of London’s most infamous debtors prisons I thought this would be an interesting way to give the genre another whirl especially with a novel that won the CWA Historical Dagger.

Hodder books, paperback, 2014, fiction, 400 pages, bought by myself for book group

Currently loans and debts are something most of us deal with in some way, be it credit cards or mortgages. Yet in times gone by you couldn’t get away with a court summons and paying something off in instalments or having the bailiffs round, you had something much scarier and dangerous, a debtor’s prison. It is in such a place, the Marshalsea in London, which Tom Hawkins finds himself after owing his landlord ten pounds in rent in 1727 penniless and ex communicated from his father.

Not only was a debtors prison somewhere you wouldn’t want to end up, it wasn’t somewhere you would want to get stuck in, only too easy in a place like Marshalsea where everything has a price, or indeed another debt attached. The only way it looks like it he might be able to get out again is to solve the murder of Captain Roberts, which someone tried to make look like a suicide as much as they could. What could make his mission all the easier, or more realistically all the more dangerous and terrifying is that somehow Hawkins has accidentally ended up in debt to and in the same room as the prime suspect, Samuel Fleet.

‘A roaring lion?’ Mrs Bradshaw sniffed. ‘A hissing snake’s more like it, slithering about the place, studying you with those nasty black eyes of his.’
Samuel Fleet. It had to be. I shifted uneasily in my chair.
‘Mrs Bradshaw,’ Woodburn tutted. ‘You cannot accuse a man of murder just because —’
‘He’s not a man,’ she cried. ‘He’s a demon.’
‘What’s this?’ Kitty called from across the room. ‘Do you speak of Mr Fleet?’
‘Mr Woodburn,’ I said quietly. ‘Do you believe it?’
He sighed and shook his head. ‘I cannot say, sir. But I fear he is capable of the very worst crimes.’ He held my gaze. ‘The very worst.’

From the start Hodgson had me with the novels tension and in particular with Samuel Fleet himself, who we initially see as the devil of the title, and his possible involvement in the murder (I am one of those annoying guessers who will instantly think what meets the eye cannot possibly be the case, you will have to read the book to see if I am wrong or not) of Captain Roberts. I was also hooked by the prison itself, especially the fact there were two sides and prisoners did all they could to avoid ending up in the poorer side where sickness and death were almost your only way out, well if your family could afford to pay to get your body removed.

Hodgson also creates a very good lead character with Hawkins. From the off she had me in sympathy with our protagonist’s predicament despite the fact he is quite clearly a bit of a rascal. We soon learn that despite his father’s intention that he becomes a man of the cloth Hawkins instead becomes a man who like to gamble and while away his time with the ladies or in the taverns of London’s West End, like Moll King’s coffee house. This is something else I liked about the book overall, it is a book about the cheeky, slightly scandalous and rather criminal people of London at that time and how both they, and indeed the richer echelons of society, would try and make as much money as they could out of any poor man in any unfortunate situation.

Grace had – no doubt with a good deal of pride and effort – managed to find me a bed in the meanest room in the filthiest ward in the worst building on the Master’s Side. The landings were filled with rubbish, full chamber pots still waiting to be collected by each door, fouling the air. As we passed one room I heard the familiar sound of a bed slamming against a wall, followed by a long guttural grunt of release. Grace’s mouth tightened to a thin line. ‘O’Rourke. Nine pounds, twelve shillings.’ A final grunt. ‘And tuppence.’

As fascinating as I found the Marshalsea, occasionally I couldn’t quite envisage it or understand it. For example I loved discovering how prisoners made businesses within the prison but I couldn’t understand why some people would gladly live there after their sentencing and not want to leave. Nor could I understand why when some of them were allowed to go out during the day they didn’t just scarper. I felt like I needed more of this additional detail, yet with all the characters and the crime and Hawkins background this would have made the book into an epic and as it was occasionally I felt it could lose the odd paragraph in each chapter, the pace was really fast for the first third, then seemed to really slow down until the final few chapters when it cranked up dramatically again.

Overall I thought it was a good solid twisty thriller, if a touch overly long, and found the historical elements of it really fascinating. Hodgson does that thing I really respect in clearly having researched the era and the prison, without hitting us over the head with a reference book. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the insight into the naughty, saucy and dark underbelly of London. I think my underlying issue was that every so often found I was less interested in Hawkins, and indeed the crime, as the novel went on and was actually hankering after the tale of Samuel Fleet and indeed the plight of those on the common side. So I guess I would call The Devil in the Marshalsea a bit of a mixed bag for me.

Interestingly most of my book group felt the same, we enjoyed it as an escapist read yet occasionally found ourselves confused by it and that Samuel Fleet was  the story within the story that we were actually the most drawn to. What I found fascinating was that the one member who doesn’t like crime novels absolutely loved it and did not want it to end. So as you can imagine we had a blinking good natter about it though, so an ideal book group choice. Who else has read it and what did you make of it?

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No More Book Buying Until March the 24th…

Dear readers it has come to my attention that I have been book bingeing. I don’t mean the occasional binge of just happening to pass a lovely bookshop and going a bit crazy one weekend, I am talking throwing myself into bookshops (almost every other lunchtime) and ‘clicking and collecting’ online whilst at my work desk/walking home/in bed upon waking. I know we need to buy books to keep the book industry a float yet in the last month I have bought over 40 books, that is more than one a day which is verging on it being a sickness or just being a naughty greedy sausage. So I decided January the 31st was the last day for buying books, so I went on a binge yesterday of course, until March the 24th.

I present a piece of evidence below for you to help you understand, be warned this image contains serious book porn…

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The column/tower of books on the left isn’t actually all the books I have bought, some have been read and some are being shipped from the US, but it is most of them. The rest are from lovely publishers, in most cases unsolicited bar five or six I actually asked for. When I am getting this many books it does beg the question (well the one The Beard has been asking, hands on hips) why do I need to buy so many more.

Part of it might be that I am buying my feelings in books. The last month has been a bit rocky in a few ways (and I am not just talking about joining the gym, ha) so I have been giving myself rewards as I get certain stuff done and tricky/awkward/tough objectives done, and nothing makes you feel better than buying some books does it. I also think it is partly a slight amount of guilt that I am getting all these free books, again most of which I don’t ask for but am so thrilled I receive, yet I know BUYING books is what means authors get paid and therefore more books can come – so I am buying.

The main reason is probably just the fact that I have wanted to and have been able to. I am currently lucky enough to have some spare cash to splash on books I am treating myself. This may not last, so I have embraced it for a bit. Now for a rest though, well until March the 24th(which just happens to be my birthday, I am no fool) and a chance to have some actual ‘reading rehab’ – mainly so I can catch up on some of the books I have bought, though I do think I am buying for the library of my future many, many, many years.

Do you ever have to bring your reading binges into line or get over buying guilt? Do any of you have rules that you set yourselves and/or limits in regard to buying books?

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Other People’s Bookshelves #50 – William Rycroft

Hello and welcome to the latest Other Peoples Bookshelves, which has now hit its fiftieth post in the series. I think this calls for a celebration, party poppers and lots of cake and so we are heading over to the lovely William Rycroft who has kindly said we can have a party round at his whilst we have a nosey through his bookshelves. I have known William through the blogosphere for quite some years both from his written blog thats now a vlog and sparkly new YouTube channel (hes so modern) yet next month we will finally meet in the flesh in London town, very exciting. Anyway, before we have a good old nosey round Williams shelves, and get celebratory cake crumbs in his carpet, here is a little bit more about him

Whilst working as an actor William Rycroft started writing about books online in 2007 with his book blog, Just William’s Luck. The blog came a vlog on YouTube in 2013 and his passion for books led to him recently becoming the new Community Manager for Vintage Books. Whilst that means he won’t be treading the boards he can still be heard reading at events, narrating audio books and talking all things Vintage on their various online channels.

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Do you keep all the books you read on your shelves or only your favourites, does a book have to be REALLY good to end up on your shelves or is there a system like one in one out, etc?

I used to keep every book I bought and was in fact very proud to see those shelves filling up as I grew older. Then there came a point when space became an issue – or as some people like to call it: marriage. Becoming a blogger obviously upped the ante, with books arriving through the letter box frequently to add to those I couldn’t resist buying. As you’ll see from the photos we are overflowing. So I have to be tougher now. Books I buy tend to stay, books I receive from publishers will only stay once read if I feel like I have to keep them on the shelf. I’m not a great re-reader so it isn’t that; it’s more of a statement along the lines of this is who I am.

Do you organise your shelves in a certain way? For example do you have them in alphabetical order of author, or colour coded? Do you have different bookshelves for different books or systems of separating them/spreading them out? Do you cull your bookshelves ever?

There’s a rather ad-hoc system in place. Special books like first editions, signed copies and collectibles tend to reside in my bedroom away from kiddy fingers. I used to have my books alphabetised and vaguely themed, and once I organised them by colour, but when we moved here things got all messed up and have never really recovered. I now have some books gathered together by publisher because I like seeing collections together on the shelf. As for culling, I had to force myself to do it a few years ago, something I would previously have considered unthinkable. But once I’d done it once I suddenly found it much easier to do it again. I don’t feel a need to keep all the books to retain their worth anymore. I’m not much of a re-reader as I said so why am I keeping them? The answer it seemed was that as I grow older I feel like I’m building up a library. There are simply some books I cannot let go, some that deserve their place and some that are trying to earn it. It’s nice watching it evolve.

What was the first book you ever bought with your own money and does it reside on your shelves now?

Oooh, I have a terrible memory so I don’t honestly know what the first book was but I’m sure I don’t have it. Funnily enough I wasn’t a huge reader as a kid. I remember loving those books where you had to make choices for the main character along the way and flick to different pages accordingly, a literary precursor to interactive video games. I do remember being gifted books by my dad however for significant achievements, one of which was an illustrated Wind in The Willows in a slipcase. I still have that and it’s on my kids’ bookcase now.

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Are there any guilty pleasures on your bookshelves you would be embarrassed people might see, or like me do you have a hidden shelf for those somewhere else in the house?

How very dare you! It’s all classy round here. Seriously though, I can’t really think of any guilty pleasures. The closest might be the trilogy of werewolf novels that Glen Duncan wrote recently but he’s a fab writer of literary fiction so there’s no guilt there at all.

Which book on the shelves is your most prized, mine would be a collection of Conan Doyle stories my Great Uncle Derrick memorised and retold me on long walks and then gave me when I was older? Which books would you try and save if (heaven forbid) there was a fire?

Very tough one to answer this. I might have to grab a few. I have an early edition of Mcsweeney’s (No.4) which is a box containing separate booklets. My wife gave it to me on our first anniversary so it’s very special. I have a few signed first editions on the same shelf so I might have to grab those too.

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What is the first grown up, and I dont mean in a Fifty Shades of Grey way, that you remember on your parents shelves or at the library, you really wanted to read? Did you ever get around to it and are they on your shelves now?

I remember hearing a discussion of a book called Deception by Philip Roth on the radio and then seeing it on my Dad’s bookshelf. I knew it was all about an affair and so hopefully filled with sex so I nabbed that to read. I went on to become a huge fan of Roth and I still have that very copy on my shelf at home. I also remember looking at those big Russian novels like War and Peace and Anna Karenina and had great fun on a binge of epic fiction many years ago, all of which still have their place on the shelf.

If you love a book but have borrowed the copy do you find you have to then buy the book and have it on your bookshelves or do you just buy every book you want to read?

I don’t tend to borrow books from friends, I prefer to have my own copies of things and like many book lovers, it’s the buying of the thing that first thrills.

What was the last book that you added to your bookshelves?

It was a graphic novel called Here by Richard McGuire which was recommended by Chris Ware who is a genius and who said that this book was a work of genius. It is.

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Are there any books that you wish you had on your bookshelves that you dont currently?

I like first editions, especially signed ones, so yes, there are loads of books I’d love to have on my shelves but they’re just so damn expensive. I hope to be able to add to my collection surreptitiously over the years.

What do you think someone perusing your shelves would think of your reading taste, or what would you like them to think?

What I’d like them to think: “That man has impeccable taste.”

What they really think: “What a ponce.”

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Huge thanks to William for taking part in Other People’s Bookshelves and being my 50th guest! If you would like to catch up with the other posts in the series of Other People’s Bookshelves have a gander here. Don’t forget if you would like to participate (and I would love you to – hint, hint, hint as without you volunteering it doesn’t happen) in the series then drop me an email to savidgereads@gmail.com with the subject Other People’s Bookshelves, thanks in advance. In the meantime… what do you think of William’s responses and/or any of the books and authors that he mentions?

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