Things I am very good at:
- Buying books
- Reading books
Things I am very bad at:
- Taking photos
- Getting rid of books
I will start with my floor-to-ceiling bookcase, which my dad built for me six months ago. It’s so tall; I had to stand most of the way across the room to get the whole thing in. And, of course, it’s overflowing. But it is organised! The bottom shelf is actually double-layered and full of YA; the second is my academic shelf – school folders and the beginnings of my university book collection; the middle shelf with the lamp is literary theory and reference; and the rest are all classics. Yeah. Nuts.
These are the bottom two shelves: the most easily reachable from my bed, so I can grab these books at any time of the night when I get a midnight craving. At the very bottom is the Harry Potter series. I’ve read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone eighteen times, so you could say they have a very special place in my heart. I’ve also just noticed they are out of order...
The Twilight Saga, which is hidden by HP, also deserves an honourable mention. They inspired my own vampire writing, and the only reason they and their gorgeous covers aren’t on the front row is because they won’t fit.
Placed horizontally on top of Harry Potter are a collection of proofs and published titles from HarperVoyager, my publisher, who were kind enough to send me away with a goody bag when I went to visit. (They asked if I would prefer them posted to me, but they literally couldn’t tear them out of my hands). My boyfriend’s copy of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol is there too.
On the second row up are a pile of books ready for me to take to the University of Oxford, where I am embarking on a course to read English this October. It’s a terrifying pile, so to cheer myself up I store a proof of my own debut novel, The Dark Heroine on top. It’s only being published this autumn, so I am in still in the honeymoon period where stroking the cover makes me very, very happy...
I love the middle shelf here! It’s full of the wonderful Jane Austen. After all, who can resist a bit of Mr Darcy? There are also two books here that make me shudder a little – Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Golding’s Lord of the Flies – which are both books I had to study at school. The flags are leftover from a summer of patriotism with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, and the Canadian flag was a present from a Canadian friend. I keep it on my bookshelf because the writing community I started out on, Wattpad.com, is Canadian, as are my beta reader and editor. It reminds me of how lucky I am.
Lastly, the mammoth bookshelf from our living room. For the most part, it’s full of books on physics, war and machines. I don’t visit it very often.