Prompted by Chrissi Reads, I thought I’d do Beth’s Shelfie by Shelfie (I seem to be on a book meme/book tag/book blogging community networking roll this week). This one requires me to share a picture of my book shelf and answer some questions.


This is an old picture (about 9 years old which I know from the big head boy, my botheration boo boo, in front of the book shelf now being a tween …which is crazy to me). But the shelf really hasn’t changed dramatically – some books have been given away (I do major donations to the library, prison drives, and such from time to time), some have been added (new and unread books are mostly on the next shelf up which isn’t pictured here). But as for a major overhaul…ain’t nobody got time for that.

1.) Is there any reason for this shelf being organised the way it is or is it purely random?

Let’s call it disorganized randomness (random disorganization?). The bottom shelf is mostly reference material and the next two shelves are fiction, poetry, and non-fiction that I either want to keep or am not ready to part with yet filed in some way that made sense to me at the time. Though I see some books I have since parted with on both shelves, and both shelves are way more crowded hinting at another major donation coming up.

2.) Tell us a story about one of the books on this shelf that is special to you i.e. how you got it/ a memory associated with it etc.

One thing that’s definitely the same is that book of post cards (third shelf up) turned out, with Edwidge Dandicat on the cover, and featuring images of so many of my favourite Black authors. It was gift, it has been a talisman, inspiration, #goals, whatever you want to call it (just as long as you don’t call me removing the post cards and sending them anywhere); it’s special to me and the author on the cover, especially so. I actually finally met her late last year at the Miami Book Fair…author to author (or author to fan girl if you prefer)…I’ve always said I don’t particularly want to meet my heroes and I was particularly nervous about meeting her… she was polite, it was uneventful…and I’m happy to have met her and a little sad that I’ll never meet her for the first time again (this time with fireworks and some special spark of recognition though we’re meeting for the first time). Anyway, she’s a dope writer and her Farming of Bones and Create Dangerously are among my favourite books.

3.) Which book from this shelf would you ditch if you were forced to and why?

Well, I already have…but in case I haven’t already, the Clinton autobiography…nothing against the former president but, though I remember it as a good read, I’m not particularly attached.

4.) Which book from this shelf would you save in an emergency and why?

Don’t ask impossible questions. Okay, you can’t see it but trust me it’s there, so, possibly To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the same copy I used back in secondary school.

5.) Which book has been on this shelf for the longest time?

The Communication book on the bottom shelf (top left) is probably the book I’ve had the longest, going all the way back to age 6, a gift from David.

6.) Which book is the newest addition to this shelf?

When this picture was taken, the book that was probably newest was The Dancing Granny by Ashley Bryan, who is an African American children’s author with Antiguan roots. I met and interviewed him that year and then he sent me a package of his books including The Dancing Granny, which actually became the play that the kids in my teen/young adult novel Musical Youth prep and perform – in part because I fell in love with it and in part, I think, because I witnessed how children would respond to it whenever I read it during school visits. Before I had my own children’s picture books, With Grace and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, I would often default to Anansi, and The Dancing Granny was one of the best Anansi tales I’d found after the ones in Philip Sherlock’s books and a certain King Obstinate (calypso) song from my childhood.

7.) Which book from this shelf are you most excited to read (or re-read if this is a favourites shelf?)

Well, my to-read shelf isn’t pictured and I don’t really re-read books…so I suppose the most accurate answer to this is anything from the reference shelf at the bottom, as needed, for one of my workshops or for me to brush up on something.

8.) If there is an object on this shelf apart from books, tell us the story behind it.

Behind the boy’s bum is a box of keepsake pictures.

9.) What does this shelf tell us about you as a reader?

Probably that I’m not penned in by genre but read whatever calls to me…I mean just behind the boy’s head is a pile that includes, a book about the wraethu (I think that’s how you spell that) – a fantasy series , a couple of E. Lynn Harris Black gay-soapy romances, a couple of woman-centred dramas – one a post-World War 2 drama set in a small town in England and one set in modern times in a small town in the US Northeast (by Stephen King’s wife! and one of my favourite books by a King), the first of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and Mario Puzo’s classic The Godfather.

10.) Choose other bloggers to tag or choose a free question you make up yourself.

What’s that you say? do I have a picture of one of my books on someone else’s shelf? Funny you should ask – this picture of With Grace on a classroom shelf was sent to me by a local school: KU1.jpg

3 thoughts on “Shelfie

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