Books, Lifestyle

Updated Book Shelves Tour

So it’s been a while since I’ve done a book shelves tour. And that’s a shame, really, because a lot has happened, book-wise. I mean, sure, I got some new books. But also – and more importantly: I moved twice, so naturally I got new shelves. Twice. For the previous appartment, I still left a (large) majority of my books back at my parents’. Because, you know, they have the room, and I don’t. Now, though, I’m in a more permanent-like basis, I’ve invested in some bookshelves. Six, to be exact. One’s for the bf, though, the others? Well, you’re about to get a grand tour!

Now, this is going to be a long one, so grab yourself a cuppa, get comfortable, and let’s get into my shelves!

Just a brief disclaimer to start off: I have a lot of books, I’m aware of that. What you’re going to see is not all of them. However, I’ve been saving books since I was born. When people bring me back souvenirs, it’s usually books. Same goes for holidays and birthdays. People know I love to read, so they get me books. I got some from family, that didn’t read them anymore. And I bought a lot of them myself. It’s the one thing I like to spend on for myself, just like other people like to spend a little extra on make-up, or food, or going out. I don’t really do any of those, for me it’s just books. In other words: please don’t leave any mean comments on that subject!


For those of you who are interested: I have 4 different kinds of shelves, all of them from Ikea. Two of them are the Billy (80x80x202) in white. The other three are all variations on the Kallax shelves, one each of the 4×2, the 4×1 and the 2×2. I like to play around with the heights a bit, as you can see above, and Kallax really allowed for that, which is why I love the system.

In case you are curious: the bf’s entire desk is decorated with IKEA-furniture, all of it in the brown-black hue. So naturally, shelves-wise, we also opted for that colour with a Kallax 4×2.

I have a couple of smaller shelves that I inherited from family as well (you can see those on the far left above), I mainly use those for any additional storage needs I have, but more on that soon!

Work shelves

So I’m a teacher, and a language teacher – that means I have quite a couple of manuals and various language instruction-books that I need to have easy acces to. It used to be that I would store some of them in a bin next to my desk, some other in the bf’s desk, some others back at home – which was, naturally, quite inconvenient when I needed them!

Now, though, I managed to get everything together and as such: make my working station a lot more functional!

From the top down, I have one shelf with all the manuals I could use, but don’t necessarily need that term. One shelf down, there’s the syllabi and manuals I’m using during the current year – on the left the one from the previous term, on the right there should be the ones from this term. When taking these pictures, however, I had just come back from teaching. So naturally, all my manuals were spread out on my disk. (Also known as: the reason you can’t really see that much of it!)

Going down from there, it’s much less strictly school-related and more so general working things. First, there’s a little thingy with all of my writing utensils (pens on top, pencils next, highlighters and velt tips one down from that and spare staples and those kind of things on the bottom one). What you see on the left is one of those old fashioned collectors for correspondence. Again, something I inherited, but I use it mainly for keepsakes. Pictures of my family, from activities, little bits and bobs that make me smile… You get the picture!

The last three shelves are, in order: spare inserts for my planner and anything I’m currently working on (so I can easily clean my desk when I need to). Personal administration, as well as some non-fiction I’m reading for auto-didact reasons come next. And finally, all the way in the bottom: spare A4 and A5 notepads and notebooks as well as some spare folders, should I ever need them.


Serious literature shelves

Now, before being a teacher, I was first a Literature- and Linguistics-student and then a journalism-student. That means that I’ve had a lot of set reading, a lot of manuals I actually enjoyed (yes, I’m that person). Also, it means I’ve developped quite a taste for more “serious” literature. Not quite the sort of thing I would want to cosy up in my sofa with. But still, I like reading them, and I like having them there, you know? Which is what these shelves are for!

First off, there’s some Agatha Christie. Now, honestly?That’s two layers. And I have a couple more back home at my parents’. I’m not saying I having a problem (apart from buying books, that is). But I do really like reading a good detective every once in a while and I very much so appreciate the way she sets up her works.

Next up is a combination of previous set-reading and fiction I really want to read. I’m talking a lot of French literature (from Beaudelaire to Camus to Proust to…), as well as some classic Dutch literature (see my Belgian literature-post if this interests you). Then, there’s an entire stack of Shakespeare – I have most of his work, again: literature-student. And then, finally, there’s some world literature-classics: Pilgrim’s Progress, Divina Comedia, that sort of a thing.

Oh, and I kinda like philosophy, so that stack on the bottom right? Yeah, philosophy. Manuals, general books, C.S. Lewis’ theology, Sophies Choice. The fun stuff 🙂

All the way down, there’s a lot of books about literature, about linguistics, about the history of the British Isles and the English royals… And of course, being a good Belgian person? There’s a beer-collection all the way below. I mean, I don’t even drink beer. But you’ve got to have it, right? (And yes, that’s exclusively different types of beer in the front. Again: #belgianpride)

Fun reading

Now, if the above shelves were my “serious literature”, the following couple of shelves are my “fun reading”. Basically: the books I do want to read when all cosied up in my sofa. Which is why I stuck all of them next to my sofa, naturally. 🙂

Now, at this point you’ve probably figured out I like to get quite compartementalised with my books. Make sure I know where everything is, you know? So on the right top and bottom, we have some books that I’m sure are going to be classics soon enough – my Mitch Albom books, The Book Thief, some of Marc Levy’s work… Next to that there’s my actual classics. On the top: Collector’s Library, Anne of Green Gables, on the bottom: Louisa May Alcott and Jane Austen. Behind those: all the classics I like less than those :p So that’s Charles Dickens, Brontë-sisters, Wordsworth Classics…


A little to the left from that, there’s two cubes of chicklit. Now, I have to say – I’m actually quite proud I could fit all my chicklit in just two cubes. Sure, they’re both two layers, but that’s still pretty good, right? Even if the top one is just Jill Mansell and Cathy Kelly! (I told you they were my favourites, didn’t I?)

The final two cubes for that first Kallax are just children’s literature favourites. And yes, the top one is just Enid Blyton, and yes that’s three layers of nothing but Enid Blyton, and yes those are two first editions that I got as a souvenir a couple of years back. And yes, I’m really proud of all that.

Below are some general childhood classics – Jan Terlouw is amazing! Behind those hide more classics, as well as – in a third row – my YA-books as well. I find myself not really reading them as much any more, so I’ve put them a little bit more to the back.

Then, we’ve arrived at the next Kallax unit which holds mainly childhood favourites. In the bottom it’s Beatrix Potter,  Annie M.G. Schmidt and (in the back) an entire series of boarding school-books. One up, there’s “some” Astrid Lindgren as well as some more “girly” books. The Little White horse, a lot of books focussing on dance and ballet…

Going up from that, it’s fantasy-series all around! Narnia, Dalemark, Cherstomanci, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter… The kind of books, basically, that I go back to on those days where I don’t have the energy to get up from the sofa to choose a book!

Other bits and bobs

Some general bits and bobs that might be of interest: all the book marks as well as the “Please Go Away I’m Reading”-mug I got over a year ago from a Bookwormboutique-giveaway, while I got the skull- and pumpkin-candle holders from my sister. The two candles in glasses I got from IKEA, while the wine bottle-shaped candle, I got for my 16th birthday from my sisters (the legal drinking age here). Another one from my sisters: the Polaroid was a gift for my birthday this year. The (fake-)plant is from IKEA as well.

I mentioned a third Kallax-unit earlier, which is used for a very noble purpose: games and puzzles! And, in line with the beer-collection from earlier: a beer-glass collection. Again: #belgianpride. And how cute are those smiley-mugs? 🙂

Finally, there’s one more pair of shelves that I’m using right now, which is for any books I’m currently reading or want to get to really quickly. The globe-book stand I got two of (the other one’s with my “serious literature”) from my sister, who apparently found them in a second hand-store. The good thing? If I’m on my laptop in the sofa, again, I’ve made myself a place to put all my stuff immediately. Anticipating my needs basically- I know I’m going to be needing places to put all my stuff quickly. Because, you know, I always have too much stuff with me. Story of my shelves, right?

And there you have it! That’s my updated book shelves tour! As I’ve mentioned throughout: I tend to get hyper-organised. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living in an appartment this last year and a half, it’s that everything needs a place. Otherwise it’s just going to be a mess. At least if I’m living there :p

How do you organise your shelves? Are you as much into a place for everything as I am? Do you have different shelves for different kinds of books? Be sure to let me know below!