We have a lot of books. And a lot of bookshelves. That said, this post might have also been titled “people who love IKEA Kallaxes” or “people who love stuffed animals,” and you will certainly see a lot of those in today’s post as well as the aforementioned books.
It was good timing that the iHomeschool Network decided to hold a linkup sharing a peek at the bookshelves of several homeschooling families, because we’ve recently re-sorted many of our family’s books. I was excited to work with our whole crew to share our shelves.
These aren’t all the books in our house by far, nor does a “book showcase” even begin to cover all the things on our shelves that make our unschooling lifestyle work – that kind of showcase would also have to include art supplies, movies, video games, board games and a ton more – but I hope you’ll have fun taking a peek at the book part today!
The title image for today’s post shows Ashar’s James Bond shelf. She owns every Ian Fleming James Bond book! Here’s a look at some more of her shelves.
These are some of Ashar’s fiction books. She collects the Goosebumps Horrorland series, Star Trek novels, and some favorites from when she was younger, like the Shel Silverstein series including The Missing Piece and the Mo Willems Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus set. Also included here is a book titled Zombie Apocalypse, which is told through emails and letters, and that gave Ashar the idea to write a zombie story of her own in the style of a set of journal entries from different characters!
I should mention that Ashar loves “presentation”-style shelving, with decorations and book covers facing out, where at all possible. Hence the great Poe shelf up there. Below are two series she has liked for years – the Percy Jackson series and The Alchemyst series.
This is Ashar’s set of books by fable and folktale author Ruth Manning-Sanders (more about her under Chris’s shelves). The custom bookends are dragons and inside, there is a tiny dragon hatching out of an egg! (At the other end is a wizard.)
Here we come to Ashar’s nonfiction shelf. This includes a huge set of Guinness World Records books, a big Van Gogh table book, some Sabuda pop-up encyclopedias of various animals, stuff about castles and forensics and the Titanic, biographies, and much more.
These are the books that Ashar either wants to read most immediately or still needs to organize. Do you see a trend? (She is currently reading More Matrix and Philosophy: Revolutions and Reloaded Decoded.)
Ah, the Batman shelf! Also a biohazard cup, a brain stress ball from my work, and some Batmobiles. The Star Trek series seen here was moved over from the fiction shelf because it’s the series she’s currently reading and she wanted it closer.
This is the zombie, biohazard, apocalyptic fiction section. Most of these are unread so far. Note the KEEP OUT tape on the closet door.
This is World War II history, some general nonfiction, and Things Related To Arnold Schwarzenegger. She read that entire huge Arnold autobiography at right over the course of a couple months, too!
This big Kallax sits at the end of the “Friends Bed” in Ashar’s room (she has the house’s master bedroom, with a queen-sized bed covered in stuffed animals, as well as her own twin-sized bed). The books here are new ones she got for Christmas, including huge Smithsonian history and wildlife treasuries.
Ashar also wants me to note that if anyone has any questions about her books and how she sorts them, she would be glad to answer, so please comment! She also said she’d answer ANY other questions you have, while she has your attention, about her interests and things like that, so fire away!
Chris submitted his own photos for today’s post, and they are much more artistic than mine. They also show only a small part of his large book collection.
Chris really loves older books, including those by his favorite author, Ruth Manning-Sanders. Chris is basically a biographer of Manning-Sanders, and writes about her extensively. You should definitely read more about her on his blog!
Here are more of Chris’s books, including multiple versions of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings books and some older textbooks.
This is the “Ghost Shelf” in Chris’s room, hence its artistic black-and-white treatment! You can actually read much more about all of Chris’s books here.
My mom has very few books (she reads a lot from the library, and on her iPad using the Kindle app), but even less shelf space for them, so my apologies for the crowding!
Most of Mom’s books come from her involvement in a ton of groups at her church. She also is very interested in all things Ireland (we were able to send her there for her 70th birthday!) and has always been a birdwatcher.
Mom”s biggest project is her leadership of the Stephen Ministry program at her church, and her books and folders for that sit atop her desk. (This is an amazing program that I highly recommend you read more about if you’re not familiar with it!)
Kaitlyn and Joan’s bookshelves
So these are almost all of mine and Kaitlyn’s “keepers,” books we’ve read and will likely reread. There is a rigorous order to these – fictions together, nonfictions together by topic, sizes and authors taken into account, and categorizations such as “fiction about computer-related things” in full effect. These keepers are vastly outnumbered by what you will see next.
These are Kaitlyn’s and my to-read books. (The two at left are my to-reads, and the rest are his, minus a few of mine living in the manga/graphic novel section, second from right on the top.) Also, all of those friends are excited that they got to be in a picture, especially Fwoops, the fabulous pink owl at left, and Swoops, the equally amazing brown owl above the graphic novels. Also, the Kallaxes are probably pretty excited too, but we decided a long time ago not to anthropomorphize things we might have to get rid of at some point.
What, another Kallax? This one is upstairs in our spare alcove (it’s like a spare room, except it doesn’t have any kind of door), and has some of our finished scrapbooks, all of our finished graphic novels/manga, some childhood favorites of mine, and some other miscellany. I’m sorry it’s blurry; the alcove barely fits this and a full-size bed, so I was bending off the side of the bed to take the picture.
A side note: Some of the book links above are affiliate links, where I will make a little bit of money if you purchase the item after clicking on it. I am in no way an affiliate of the IKEA Kallax, however, if anyone from IKEA is reading this and would like to hire me as your Official Kallax Spokesmom, PLEASE YES.
Keep up with our reading lists
We use Goodreads to keep track of what we’ve read, and, sometimes, what we’re in the process of reading. I definitely would love to invite you to follow us!
- Joan Concilio on Goodreads
- Chris Otto on Goodreads
- Ashar Otto on Goodreads
- Kaitlyn Concilio on Goodreads
More bookshelf fun
I’ve actually written about our bookshelves before, in 2012. Check out that post, titled But Where Do We Keep the School Supplies?, for a look at what our shelves looked like four years ago!
Also, if you want to see ALL of Chris’s current books, you might enjoy All My Books (or A Perfectly Ridiculous Way to Spend a Sunday), in which, as of this past January, he listed, as you might expect, all his books.
Finally, this post is part of the iHomeschool Network’s “My Organized Bookshelves”.
Click the image at right to read more about various homeschoolers’ shelves!