By August 29, 2012 Read More →

What’s on your home office bookshelf?

Home office essentials

What's on your home office bookshelf?Yesterday I posted a photo of a bookcase on my Facebook page, along with the question ‘What’s on your home office bookshelf?’ It seems there could be all kinds of things as well as books!

I don’t currently have any bookshelves in my home office, due to not wanting to make any holes in the walls of our rented property, but I keep a small selection of books within easy reach on top of a small filing box – the Penguin English Dictionary, a thesaurus, my own book, for reference for blog posts etc, Steven Pressfield’s War of Art for a quick kick up the backside when I need it, and the Penguin Writer’s Manual for checking tricky points of grammar.

Over the last few years and several house moves I have culled my books to a few favourites I go back to time and again, and only buy new ones if I think I will read them several times. Instead I borrow them from the library – 80p to reserve a copy – so I don’t accumulate any excess. I know a Kindle or Kobo would be an even more minimalist way of reading, but so far haven’t found it sufficiently tempting.

I know people with hundreds of books who would view getting rid of some as akin to an amputation, they are so much part of their identity. I haven’t yet met anybody who’s got rid of all their books having invested in a Kindle, but no doubt it will happen, especially given the level of house prices and shrinking living space.

What does the bookshelf in your home office or elsewhere say about you? Is it a record of a learning journey you’d be loath to part with? Or a handy place to put lots of bits and pieces – our bookcase, once crammed, now has enough room in it to display some ceramics.

I used to wonder what visitors would make of our lack of books, but it doesn’t bother me any more because I’ve found a way of containing clutter that suits me. Are you drawn to other people’s bookshelves when you visit, and what conclusions do you draw from the contents?

PS Check out Emma Cossey’s Freelance Lifestyle blog for her favourite freelancing reads.

Posted in: Home offices

8 Comments on "What’s on your home office bookshelf?"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Kaitlyn says:

    I have ‘The War of Art’ as well, and a Penguin book about grammar and spelling called ‘Mind the Gaffe’. ‘The Psychology of Happiness’, ‘The Artist in the Office’ and ‘F*ck It’ take pride of place too. But mostly I have a lot of Pema Chodron’s books.

  2. I have a copy the clerk’s “bible” Local Council Administration by Charles Arnold-Baker. I’m probably one of the few people to get excited when it was quoted as a foreword to J K Rowlings book “A Casual Vacancy”.

  3. I have the following on my desk right now … “shedworking”, “small eco-houses”, “stylish sheds & elegant hideaways”, “wood”, “shed men” …. I think you are getting the picture. Yes, I am slightly obsessed by garden buildings.

  4. Size15Stylist says:

    Hi Judy…Have you invested in a Kindle yet? Fabulous essential office item, along with Atrixio hand cream for after continuous use!

    I have a dictionary on my shelf, along with the Penguin guide, On Writing(King) and novels I always intend to read but keep being distracted from! Also have a few lifestyle books, Be a Free Range Human and How to get Rich Blogging. There are a lot more books on my Kindle shelf!

    • Hi Emma, I have How to Get Rich Blogging on my Kobo! Must admit the title made me snort, but it was recommended by a fellow blogger whose opinion I respect so I bought it, but have been so busy I haven’t made much progress yet. Thanks for the nudge.
      I’ve read Stephen King’s book and was discussing it only a couple of days ago with a novelist who’s written a great guest post to be published on the blog this week about how she wrote and got her first novel published. And I follow Marianne Cantwell on Twitter.
      I find that handling lots of paper dries out my hands but didn’t know heavy ebook use has the same effect. Funny, that! Happy blogging 🙂