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Bookcase Showcase: Author Ruth Eastham

Bookcase Showcase – Ruth Eastham

Thanks so much for inviting me, Kirsty!

I have a problem. It’s a big… small… kind of problem.
A space problem.

No, not that kind of space problem.

A problem of Severe Shelf Shortage.

While a small house saves a fortune on heating bills in winter (and in theory should stop hoarding habits) it’s not so great if you keep buying books and have nowhere to put them.

I know, I know - I should get a Kindle. But while I’m not a technophobe, there’s something so much nicer about a book with flickable paper pages that you can take in the bath.

I know, I know – I should use the library. But then you have to give the books back, and if they’ve been in the bath…

I know, I know – I could put up more shelves. But less house means less wall, and I’m about as handy with a spirit level as Mr Bean is with a dentist’s drill.

I do have one proper cupboard, where books can be kept behind glass under lock and key:

And some of the rest (of no less merit) I’ve gathered and placed along the window ledge:

(it’s luckily quite a LONG window ledge)…

There’s Patrick Ness (his Chaos Walking books, not actually him, obviously, if unfortunately) and Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy and the MG Harris Joshua Files quintet.

I’ve super books by writer friends, like Sarah Mussi’s ‘Door of No Return’ and Miriam Halamy’s ‘Hidden’ and Susie Day’s ‘Big Woo!’.

There’s tatty copy of The Memory Cage, with highlighted bits for book readings and school visits, and The Messenger Bird looking smugly new – yet old – next to it.

I’ve books that are on the UKLA shortlist with Memory Cage: ‘Sky Hawk’ by Gill Lewis, and Simon Mason’s ‘Moon Pie’. And I’ve an old, cherished copy of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with its cover dropping off that my Dad used to read to my brothers and me every December.

There’s excellent books for pure enjoyment and incredible books for pure inspiration, and (something beginning with t) books for pure thinking about how other authors do it. Such as McCaughrean’s ‘Stop the Train’ for dialogue, and Reeve’s ‘Mortal Engines’ for viewpoint; Siobhan Dowd for description, and Frank Cottrell Boyce for just plain everything that’s good about stories.

Not forgetting: Robert McKee’s ‘Story’ (to help me keep pondering what makes a story tick); a Roget’s Thesaurus (because it’s so much better than Shift+F7); and my signed copy of ‘The Illustrated Mum’ by Dame Jacqueline herself from a BBC writing workshop I won a place on back in 2001.

But my my daughters’ signed copy of ‘The Gruffalo’ fell down the side of the bunk bed and is impossible to retrieve without dismantling the bed. So no photo of that one, sorry. I will mention Michael Rosen’s ‘The Sad Book’ though, just in case I was thinking picture books were only for little kids.

So, like I said, I have a Severe Space Shortage. But that doesn’t seem to stop me. Soon there’ll be no more room for anything else in the house, not kids’ toys, not linen, not cooking utensils. Just books. Think how many more I could fit into the freezer drawers, for example. Or the fridge. Or that bunk bed…

Hang on, I feel a story coming on…

And for those of you collecting letters for Ruth’s mystery message competition:


Ruth’s website:

Link to Ruth’s Facebook page:

Follow Ruth on Twitter:!/RuthEastham1