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Bookcase Showcase: Non from Catnip Books

Today on Bookcase Showcase we have Non from Catnip books who is one of the coolest booky people I have met since I've been blogging

I am ridiculously excited about taking part in this feature - thanks Kirsty! As well as bookish ramblings, I have fun game for you... see if you can spot the following:
·         An Atlanta Braves baseball
·         Asia (yes, the whole continent)
·         A coverless book (the Faber Book of Children’s verse, not that you can tell)
·         1001 Children’s Books you must read before you grow up 
-     A Player’s Player of the Year football trophy

Eighteen months ago when I left for a holiday to New York, this was an empty expanse of wall. Four days later, I came home to discover a set of shelves measured, built and painted by the rather wonderful Massive Dog. Gorgeous, aren’t they?

This is the children’s section (apart from an interloping shelf of travel guides). The classic children’s books are all from my childhood or Massive Dog’s (note the number of repeats in the Beatrix Potter collection). Top picks include the Joan Aiken books and Massive Dog’s favourite ever book, Watership Down

The bottom shelf contains all the books I worked on whilst at Usborne Publishing. The band of yellow spines are copies of The Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do, which won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books, which was pretty cool.

The modern shelves are my favourites; only books that I want to read again, or pass on to my daughter make the grade. I reckon that hefty selection of Robin Jarvis titles (above the Ness books) merits a mention as these shaped the way I read. Without Jarvis I don’t think I would have ended up in children’s publishing. (So blame him.)

Because I share my shelves with someone who likes grown-up books, a lot of the shelves are dedicated to them. I’m working on that...

Top two shelves here are classics, modern and otherwise. Bottom two shelves are non-fiction, including a rather sizeable collection of books about horses. I know my horse breeds a lot better than I know my Brontes.

Top shelf is Massive Dog’s Stephen King collection, then a shelf of books that don’t belong to us, then my pride and joy: The Dick Francis shelf. It’s not high-brow, but I’ve learnt a surprising amount by reading (re-reading and re-re-reading) his thoroughly researched thrillers. There is a signed first edition of one of his books there. This makes me happy. You can also see the little librarian sorting through some hefty tomes on rock music and films. She’s the high-brow one.

Top shelves are thrillers, SF and fantasy (the Gaiman are mine, nothing else), and below is the philosophy shelf which is the only evidence that I did a degree in it. Ask me to tell you what empirical reason is and you’ll get a blank look. Quiz me on the difference between a Dartmoor pony and an Exmoor pony, on the other hand...

On the bottom shelf is Massive Dog’s chemistry texts, plus his collection of Asterix books given to him by some wonderful person for his birthday. The Catnipper loves pulling them off the shelf, much to Massive Dog’s dismay.

Since I work from home some of my precious shelf space is taken up with Catnip business. There’s a mass of files and whatnot, plus a mountain of proofs, but I’d prefer it if you focused on the beautiful, neat rows of all our titles on the top two shelves! The spines of Victor Watson’s books (the blue and red with white typeface) designed by Nick Stearn really stand out. And I do think we’ve done the series of Jinny spines (top right) well.

There’s my stereo which is almost permanently tuned to 6Music, unless it’s playing some pop punk or emo, and next to that are some invaluable reference books – the most important being InDesign for Dummies. Working for a small company = no IT support. Without this book, I reckon I’d’ve thrown the computer out of the window by now.

The Catnipper has her own overflow in her room. Many of these books were once mine (Each Peach Pear Plum was my favourite) but she has some of her own. The board versions of the classics are her favourite for eating (she is a cross between The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Oliver Jeffers’ Incredible Book Eating Boy...). My favourite bedtime read is the signed Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka. My wolf voice sounds a lot like Mr Bean, which is worrying.

There is one set of shelves that remains unseen. This contains all the books I’m looking into publishing in the future... but I’m afraid I can’t show you those. Sorry.


Chrystal said…
love those built ins :) very nice
basma aal said…
its so wonderful
SisterSpooky said…
Amazing bookshelves!
Mel said…
Oh, I love the shelves being built for you! So many lovely books there - I love that everyone in your house reads - even your little girl! :)
ok firslty... do you want to send Massive Dog to me so he can build me some shelves? hehe
secondly, your books are very impressive!
Thirdly, awwwwww Catnipper!! :D shes a cutie!
Wow I'm drooling over all that space! I'd love to have a room with shelf space for all my books! Fantastic, thanks for sharing!
That is my dream, I am going to show my BF this picture and let him know this is what I want! ;)
Catnip said…
I am loving the shelf-envy! I have to say that I am eternally grateful to Massive Dog both for his DIY skillz and his willingness to put them to use by building bookshelves. The thing is, these ones are getting full...