For the latest in the series of Other People’s Bookshelves, a perfect read if you have managed to get up off the sofa after being so filled with food (or is that just me?), we are having a nosey around the shelves of the lovely Louise Trolle, another lovely commenter on Savidge Reads. Louise is 35 years old, Danish, living in Helsinge, Denmark, is married to Anders (whom she met at a role-playing convention), mother of two and proud owner of a Hokkaido dog and a Dachshund. Like all of us, she adores reading, has a BA in literature, and trained and worked as a bookseller for several years. Now however, she works in customer services for a stationary shop (why do all book lovers also love stationary?). Her and her family have a dedicated library/computer room in our house, and her husband is trying – slightly successfully, to keep all the books there… there are 2032 books at present! So let’s have a look through them…
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 generally keep all the books by certain favourite authors (Auster, Fforde, Rushdie, Byatt, Gaiman etc) and complete series. Apart from that, 1-2 star reads often go to my family or to the other ladies in my book club – as they might enjoy them more than I did 🙂
I collect books with owls and dragons on the cover, and general picture books with dragon stories. I recently negotiated with my husband that out staircase can be used for storing my books and his model airplanes. That has postponed the space problems.
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?
I have my sci-fi and fantasy books on one bookcase, my chick-lit/erotica has it own shelf, and so does my poetry, role playing books and short stories. Apart from that I just keep books by the same author together (and in stacks on the floor). Twice a year I host our book club, and I usually give them some of the books I don’t want to keep (including books I bought that I already have!)
What was the first book you ever bought with your own money and does it reside on your shelves now?
I honestly can’t remember, probably a fantasy book.
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 probably wouldn’t bring my erotica books to work to read on my break, or on a vacation with my in-laws, but I don’t hide them away either.
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?
Ugh that’s a difficult one. I’m very fond of my rare, clothbound Divine Comedy by Dante, and my signed, illustrated Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
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 think it was James Clavell’s Shogun series. I read it when I was about 12 and was very fascinated by the samurai society etc.
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?
If I really love a book, I probably would buy it (especially if there’s a lovely edition to be had). But I’m on a budget at the moment, so I try to use the library etc. as well (and the about 900-1000 unread books I have).
What was the last book that you added to your bookshelves?
It was The Mongoliad Book 1 by Neal Stephenson
Are there any books that you wish you had on your bookshelves that you don’t currently?
Well, there’s 793 books on my Amazon wish list… After reading Snow Crash I’m keen to read more books by Neal Stephenson and thanks to Simon I’ve now discovered the Persephone books…
What do you think someone perusing your shelves would think of your reading taste, or what would you like them to think?
I wouldn’t say that I’m a book snob, but I like the fact that I have very few “popular bestsellers” on my shelves, and I guess I like it when people notice that I have lots of books by less known authors (I love discovering new ones /quirky books). I guess most people would consider my shelves a bit nerdy/literary.
A big thank you to Louise for letting me grill her. Don’t forgot if you would like to participate (and I would love you to) in Other People’s Book Shelves series then drop me an email to email@example.com with the subject Other People’s Bookshelves, thanks in advance. In the meantime… what do you think of Louise’s responses and/or any of the books she mentioned?