Unsurprisingly, as an author, I'm a total book whore. If I'm having a bad day, I buy a book. If I'm having a good day, I buy a book. In fact, it's rare a day goes by without me grabbing a new book from somewhere. I often pick books just because I love the covers and then never get around to reading them. I know. I need help.
As you'll see, my bookshelves are an utter mess. Once upon a time they were organised by colour – yes, I had a long weekend to myself and not much else to do – and you may just about be able to make out vestiges of that system: white books huddled next to white books and the odd spattering of red. While arranging books by colour may look nice, it does make finding books almost impossible. So when I move (which will hopefully be soon) I shall be a little more realistic and might organise them by name.
In my front room, you can see I have a mixture of big hard back books, ornaments, photos and, tucked in next to that Chinese vase, my most treasured possession: a 1st Edition of The Romance of King Arthur, illustrated by Arthur Rackham. It was my leaving present from my old work when I left to go freelance and start writing. And it's one of the things I would take with me if I had a fire. You may also spy another of my prized posessions: my signed copy of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
The second shelf in the front room is a little more orderly as a lot of the books on there are my husband's (he's a big historical fiction fan.) You may also spy a lot of Moorcock there mixed in with some contemporary literary classics. In many ways this shelf sums up my random reading habits.
As we move into the hallway, things start to get much, much messier. These are mostly the paperbacks that keep finding their way into my house. Some of them literally jump into my bag without me realising. Honest! I tried to have a 1 in 1 out policy with books, but it failed. I just couldn't throw any books away. It's a mix of a lot of YA books, travel books and thrillers. There's also some penguin classics huddled together in the corner for protection from the onslaught of amazing commercial fiction. You'll see a fair few comic books stacked up there as well. But I also have piles and piles of them tucked away in boxes in the attic. The photo of the leopard drinking from a puddle was taken when on honeymoon in South Africa. My husband and I argue over which one of us took it (it was probably him, but don't let him know I said that). It's a beautiful picture, either way.
And finally, we have my to be read and just been read pile. You can't quite see from this picture, but that stack is two-books deep and about 6ft high. It falls over on a regular basis and terrifies the neighbours downstairs as it makes an almighty racket when it does so.
I wanted to make a special mention of my Kindle. It currently holds about 200 books and without it, I'd have even less room in the house. I'm lucky enough to have some advance copies of other authors' books on there – including some top-top-secret first drafts. And it has a pretty gel skin cover on it. So hurrah for the Kindle.