Shelf Spy

Real Actual Hilary, formerly known as The Intern, bravely blogged a picture of her bookshelf yesterday and invited others to do the same.  Check it out here.  In many ways, the contents of a reader’s bookshelf are an insight into her soul, revealing her personal tastes, comfort reads, and favorite worlds to escape to.  Hilary’s book shelf is beautiful in its minimalist look and contents.  Not sure if I could ever cull my favorite books down to so few or display them so artistically.

Here they are: Jennifer’s many, many cluttered bookshelves:

As most of you know, I’m a very geeky structural engineer by day.  First we have my generic cubicle bookshelf stuffed to the gills with textbooks, design codes, industry magazines, and training manuals.  But wait, are there some books missing?

Found them, stacked on the floor of my home office.  I usually prefer to leave my engineering dorkiness at work.  Unfortunately, these days it has taken over the floor of my home office as well while I study for the seismic portion of the structural engineering licensing exam.  Again.  Which of these stacks of books doesn’t belong?  You guessed it – no engineering materials on that left stack.  Those babies are eagerly awaiting a book swap with a writer friend on Saturday.

I mainly write in my home office, so I keep all of my favorite children’s books in sight to inspire me.  There may also be a few shelves of Harry Potter Lego sets and Modular Building Lego sets on display in my office to nurture my inner child, but I’m not quite brave enough to post photos of those shelves.  Let’s all pretend we didn’t see them and move on.

In my family room, the one adult space in my house that’s nearly toy-free, I display my grown-up books.  Nothing too literary, and upon closer inspection I discovered over half of them are actually young adult. Perhaps that’s because I tend to borrow adult books from the library, buy e-books, or purchase paperback books that I pass along when I’m finished.  For some unknown reason I cling to childhood books in a completely different manner than I approach adult novels, and maybe that’s why I love to write for children.  Or maybe I’ve never fully matured into a grown-up reader.

Upstairs in my daughter’s bedroom we keep the bedtime stories, all of my childhood favorites and hers.  The collection has rapidly grown since she started Kindergarten because her awesome teacher has exposed her to so many great new picture book characters.  Her favorites at the moment are Pigeon and Pete the Cat, though of course when the first Scholastic Book Club flier came home she insisted on a princess book like so many she already owns because it came with a fancy necklace.  Sigh.  I won’t traumatize you with a photo of how many fancy necklaces and dress-up clothes my daughter owns.

My bedtime stories are stacked on my nightstand.  The largest collection of books fits into the smallest space: my Nook and Nook Color.  Maybe this is where all my adult novels are hiding.  Why both e-reader devices, you might wonder?  I definitely prefer the Nook for reading novels.  E-ink is incredible and you can’t beat the battery life.  But I also have a secret love for celebrity magazine gossip that requires color photos, and maybe a slightly unhealthy Angry Birds addiction as well.

There you have it, insight into Jennifer’s bookshelf inner soul.  What’s on your bookshelves?

About Jennifer Kay

Jennifer Kay is a KidLit author and Structural Engineer. She has a VCFA MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, is an SCBWI Rockford Network Rep, edits the SCBWI IL Prairie Wind, and belongs to Mystery Writers of America. Jennifer works as a writer, freelance editor, literary agency reader, and creative writing teacher.
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