I live in a two bed flat with my wife and son. I don't really have a lot of room for well organised bookshelves. So mine tend to be in piles around the house. This does make yourself vulnerable to that most dangerous of things - the book avalanche. This pile is a collection of books I was using to write Constable & Toop, my new book. It's a Victorian ghost story full of murders, intrigue and humour so there a few research books I used plus plots of the kinds of ghost stories written around the time, so I could attempt to get the language right.
There are always a lot of books on my bedside table. These are books I'm reading, have read or plan to read. Looking at this pile makes me realise how much of a scatter gun approach I have to literature. I'm not sure there's much to link any of these books.
The books that do make it on to the few shelves I have tend to be reference books. I realise that the internet can answer a lot of questions but there's something nice about finding the answers in a book. Also, some of these books are a great way to find inspiration by turning to a random page and seeing what you find. I've found ideas for a few stories this way
We're down in my garage now. One day I'll have a bigger house and these can come upstairs but for the moment they have to hide out down in the cold. I've always been interested in anything to do with language. I was never taught grammar or punctuation at school but I've always been fascinated by it. So when I worked on Richard & Judy I got handed me a book called 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' by Lynne Truss. This was before it became such a massive hit. I made a really nice little piece with Lynne about the confusion over apostrophes. A few months later the book became a massive hit all over the world - although I'm not sure I can take much of the credit. For years after that, every publisher sent me every book they had about words or language for years after. I love this collection. I can look up any phrase or language query and find the answer in one of these books.
And finally, all authors have collections of their own books. There are a few foreign editions on top. The Ninja Meerkats are accounting for a fair amount of space now but, as you can see, my new book, Constable & Toop is by far my thickest book. Which is odd because I had less time to write it than the others.