Listen/Watch/Read Pip-Life

I’ve Got This Thing About Books

pips books two pips books twelve pips books three pips books ten pips books six pips books seven pips books one pips books nine pips books four

When you move house, you REALLY know how many books you have. You know because you have to carry them all up the stairs at your new house, and if you are a real book lover like me (which you just might be!) your book collection probably trumps your ability to carry heavy boxes and you might even find yourself sitting on the floor of your new lounge room the day after you’ve moved in, weakly pushing boxes of books around with your ugg-booted feet.  Ugh indeed. True exhaustion.

Still. Before we moved I gave away about half of my books. Part of me wanted to lighten (the still enormously heavy) load on moving day and part of me suspected that the hoarder in me had gathered quite a few more than I would really ever be truly interested in or read.

I have a habit of saving books, you see. Maybe you have this habit too? If I see a book that I know is great (or even suspect is great) at an op shop or garage sale, I will buy it just to save it from the injustice of being unwanted and on sale. This makes no sense when you see the 12th copy of Jane Eyre or yet another Roald Dahl. Still, sometimes it must be done and those books can find their way to love and wantedness via me. (That’s what savers do.)

I realised today that this is the first house we’ve lived in where the kids books are pretty much all packed away (archived!) They are too old for them now, but we know they will want them again one day.  They’re holed up in our storage room waiting for the appropriate time. It’s very dry and pest free under there. Never fear! They’ll be okay.

The books in my photos are about half of what I own. I haven’t unpacked them all yet (and some are obscured by the couch and are tricky to photograph.) Most of my craft books are still packed up. I can’t wait to get my craft-room-slash-office sorted out. Maybe THIS week?! I really hope so. I am feeling a bit adrift…

What goes on with YOU and books? Do you have a lot? Or a special few? Do you save books? Do you collect a certain type of book or books by a certain author? I’d love to know more.

ALSO – are any of the books on my shelves favourites of yours?
AND – which books would you put in your top FIVE (at the moment – you can change your mind tomorrow!) and why?

Mine (at the moment) are:

Encyclopedia Of An Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal – something quirky + relatable
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – something moody + classic
The Strays by Emily Bitto – something yester-yeary + local
This Is How by Augusten Burroughs – something clever + useful
Craft For The Soul by Pip Lincolne – something pip + personal!

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  • Reply
    June 20, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    When we moved house I had a big cull, sob , sob. Then they were all in boxes under the stairs for ages until my wonderful husband built a bookcase now I think I might need another one, I too can not get rid of books.Even if they don’t get read they make a house look like a home.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    Oh, you have the Wes Anderson book – I saw that in a bookshop and think it is very special. I love how you have arranged your shelves, looks great! We have a lot of comic books/graphic novels at our house that my husband reads. Some of them are mine – I have Buffy and Lenore comics. But mostly I like craft books and kids books. I think the illustrations in kid’s books can be so lovely. I am a bit embarrassed that I have some of the books I have coz I think some people would wonder why I still have children’s stuff. But I feel that you and many of your readers would understand!!

  • Reply
    ericka eckles
    September 19, 2015 at 3:10 AM

    Hi Pip
    I love your book collection, they look lovely grouped by colour. I’ve spotted more than a few that are sitting on my own heaving book shelves or ones that I’m wanting to read. At one time I had so many comic books in boxes I was able to make a sofa (or chaise longue) with them all, I just rolled out a skinny mattress ontop othe boxes , added a throw and some cushions and tah dah…instant furniture!
    When I moved in with my boyfriend and had to pack everything up I had to cut the book collection by about 3/4 as he’s a book lover too and our house just wouldn’t fit both collections. A lot of my comics and graphic novels I gave to a local school that didn’t have a big library budget, a friend who teaches there said a lot of the children who aren’t so confident with their reading find those somewhat easier to cope with.
    I’ve still got my copy of The Little Wooden Horse, even though I don’t think I’ll read it again, I loved it so much when I was small that I can’t imagine not seeing it on my bookshelf.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2015 at 8:06 PM

    You have got it bad! Especially with cookbooks! My favourite shelf there is the blue one; I had a real jolt of nostalgia when I saw I Can Jump Puddles.

    My favourite books of all time right now in no particular order are:
    anything by Robin Hobb
    The Wool series by Hugh Howey
    The Narnia Chronicles
    City Of Ember -Jeanne DuPrau
    The Time Traveller’s Wife
    The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey
    Tomorrow When the War Began series
    The Book Thief
    Jane Eyre
    Jessica – Bryce Courtenay
    A Place Called Here -Cecelia Ahern
    A Thousand Splendid Suns
    The Kite Runner
    We Were Liars
    Dirt Music
    Life and Death in Shanghai
    Four Letters of Love – Niall Williams
    Grapes of Wrath
    The Narrow Road to the Deep North
    Pillars of the Earth

    Okay, so I got a bit out of control, but all these books are just amazing, and I adore them. xx

  • Reply
    September 15, 2015 at 4:25 AM

    I try to do regular book culls, but it’s the old ones I can’t bear to get rid of! The longer I’ve had them the harder it is to part with them, I have a secret obsession with children’s books and I re-read them regularly. Yours look very well organised in your new digs!

    Top five right now:

    The time traveler’s wife
    How I live now
    To kill a mockingbird
    My new roots (cookbook)
    The owl who was afraid of the dark


    • Reply
      September 17, 2015 at 6:23 AM

      We are about to move out of our home for 7 months while we renovate and we are paralyzed by our books. We were two book lovers who married after we had each established large book collections. Like you we have lots of travel books, cook books and classics with a few craft books (mine) and a few beer books ( my guy’s). Plus a million kids books still in use. Our architect tried to dissuade us from built-in book shelves b/c they tie you down. Had he not noticed that every single room in our house has a pile of books along a wall or in a corner in addition to the book shelves?!?! Even one shelf in our bathroom is given over to books. The shelves are going in. I’m in Canada and haven’t been able to get your latest book but it will be added- even during the move- to my collection of craft books.

      • Reply
        September 17, 2015 at 6:25 AM

        PS Meant to add that I love the pot. We had that pot when I was a kid in red! Hadn’t thought about it in years. So 70’s!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2015 at 2:52 AM

    When I moved house 5 years ago I managed to whittle down two rooms of books into two bookshelves! Bookswap sites have helped curb my addiction somewhat (although I have over 600 books for my Kindle!). Favourite book ever – Wuthering Heights.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2015 at 12:07 AM

    Oh Pip, I’ve spotted a few of my favourites among your shelves! Love the colour coordination too. I spotted Stephanie Alexander’s “Stephanie’s Journal” immediately, that’s one of my favourites, found tucked in a corner of Hobart’s Fullers Bookshop sometime in 2001 when I was about 19 and longing to travel in Europe (armchair travel was all I did back then). I see you also like Tessa Kiros as much as I do 🙂

    I’ve had an enormous TBR pile all year as I’ve been finishing my own book and haven’t allowed myself the luxury of reading too much. I made an exception, however, for all five of the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard, which I think you’d really like! A bit like Enid Blyton for grown ups.

    My top five changes all the time. Right now, if I could only take five to a desert island, I’d pick:
    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – a classic I adored, but I’ve only read it once!
    Secrets of a Family Album by Isla Dewar – I’ve re-read it at least once a year for 10 years
    White Heart by Heather Rose – ditto, but for 15 years
    Love and Hunger by Charlotte Wood – essays punctuated with recipes, I’d love to go to her place for dinner!
    Stasiland by Anna Funder – beautifully-written with so many compelling stories

    I probably need to go through my own shelves and do a cull. The problem with living near a great charity bookshop is I pick up so many good books so cheaply all the time, making the TBR pile even higher! x

    • Reply
      September 15, 2015 at 1:57 PM

      Pleased to see a fellow Rebecca lover! And I nearly put Stasiland down too! My daughter has to read it over the holidays for school. Hope she likes it too!

      • Reply
        September 16, 2015 at 10:03 PM

        Sounds like we have very similar reading tastes Carolyn – is it terrible I’ve not read Of A Boy though? (at least I don’t think I have) 🙂

  • Reply
    Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages
    September 14, 2015 at 9:17 PM

    I love books and prefer to have the real deal in my hand, or on my shelf but budget constraints have me borrowing books, downloading them or resisting the urge to buy a book just because I love it, or think I would. It is a real problem, you are not alone. My bookshelves are groaning under the weight. {Timely post, I’m sharing a book-ish one tomorrow ;)}

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 8:42 PM

    I love books! We are a family of five readers. I have all my old childhood books, and I will keep all my kids’ books, even when they have outgrown them. Occasionally, I will cull some books, but not very often. Our books overflow from our bookshelves, onto chairs, stacked up on bedside tables. I worry sometimes my books will decapitate me during the night! I love your colour-coded shelves – the blues have so many appealing shades. I have many of the same books – The Artist’s Way, Motherhood and Creativity, Craft for the Soul(!) … I couldn’t choose my top 5 books – it would be like choosing my favourite child! But I have just finished reading – The beast’s garden by Kate Forsythe – wonderful storytelling – The Scarlet Runner by Julie Hunt (children’s fiction), quirky and original – In the quiet by Eliza Henry Jones – grab your tissues. Looking forward to reading Rising strong by Brene Brown. Reading a YA – Cloudwish by Fiona Wood.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Hey Pip. After an inspection of your photos, I want to ask: what is The Enchanted Broccoli Forest? Enid Blyton meets Ottolenghi? Whatever it is, I like it. I’m a passer-on-er of books, but treasure a certain few. The Cook’s Companion will never be passed on (well, in case of death, OK), and Jerusalem, Plenty and Plenty More by Ottolenghi are constant sources of inspiration. Did you write this post after listening to the latest Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast by any chance? Because Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales discussed this exact thing, whether to hoard or chuck books (Leigh is a chucker, Annabel a hoarder) and their thinking behind their approach. If not, you guys are on the same wave length!

    Top 5 Books
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because it’s the best book ever
    Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl because who doesn’t want to go pheasant hunting with their dad
    Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding because I laughed til I cried
    Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner because it’s helped me no end in learning Chinese
    The First Stone by Helen Garner because I love her and Melbourne

    • Reply
      ericka eckles
      September 19, 2015 at 3:19 AM

      The Enchanted Broccoli Forrest is a cookery book by Mollie Katzen, it’s a beautiful book as each recipe is “handwritten” and has a little illustration to go with it. I ended up giving my copy to a vegan friend when I was having one of my cookery book culls (had over 200 and needed to be ruthless).
      The recipes are pretty easy to follow and the Broccoli Forrest dish is a gratin with the florets of broccoli sticking up on top like a little forrest.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    Bit of overlap in our bookshelves, Pip! I do have to cull books occasionally to make way for new ones. Lots of the kids favourite childhood books are up in our roof. My old books go to the Salvos. Favourite books today are
    The Book Thief
    Of a Boy
    The Great Gatsby
    The BFG

    • Reply
      September 14, 2015 at 8:08 PM

      The BFG! Yes! Maybe I should have said that Carolyn, instead of Danny, but I do love them both.

      • Reply
        September 15, 2015 at 1:54 PM

        But you have P and P on the list and I forgot all about that one! Too many to choose!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 7:17 PM

    I’ve just moved as well Pip, well back in July. I’ve just finished unpacking all my books and shelving them in my new library / office. Three walls are lined with shelves now and all my books in them, triple stacked in my shelves. I think I will need to buy two final shelves. I am like you Pip and have kept all my books from childhood. The childrens books are still packed away as my kids have grown out of them as well. My favourite book of all that I could never live without is my copy of Darcy Nilands “The Shiralee”. But in reality I could not give away or throw out any one of them. They are too precious.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 5:52 PM

    I didn’t even mention the cook books!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 5:50 PM

    My husband says I have a problem. I disagree. Books are brilliant. I do have Jane Eyre and your book and I do have a LOT of other craft books and a LOT of classics…..I certainly seem to collect books, only topics I am interested in of course, I don’t know if I save books, exactly but I definitely buy to add to my collections of: craft, classics, gardening and herbal medicine.

  • Reply
    Sue Kennedy
    September 14, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    I recently did some rearranging of rooms which involved moving (and emptying an refilling) several bookcases, during which process I made an attempt at downsizing…Which just makes room for the new/secondhand books I bought while the process was ongoing. I don’t think there is any hope for me – I’m a saver, too, not just of books either. Don’t tell my husband….:V

  • Reply
    Reannon @shewhorambles
    September 14, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    We have lots of the same cookbooks & I can see a few novels I have too.
    I recently had a ruthless book clean out & got rid of 5 boxes worth. It was hard at first because I get very attached to books but then I realised there’s no point in keeping books just for the sake of it. It’s better if they go to people who will read them.
    As for top five, right now they’d be
    To Kill a Mockingbird- forever & always since high school.
    A Table in the Orchard- because I want to live like Michelle.
    The Light Between Oceans- I haven’t been able to read a book since I finished this about two weeks ago. It’s still on my mind.
    Gone with the Wind- because it’s epic & amazing.
    Twilight- because I think we all need some vampire trashy-ness to fall back on.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    Best blog post of the month award goes to….Pip Lincolne! *loud applause*

    Well this is just the best, I felt like I was perusing the best book shop in the WORLD! All those fabulous titles, including Lark’s Rise to Candleford. I have so many books too, but I love them all. And only three copies of Jane Eyre so room for a few more copies there. I need more bookcases though. I buy a lot of books. I’m determined to help the book publishers of the world flourish!

    Top five books today are
    The Complete Gardner by Monty Don – because I need some spring Inso
    Honey & Jam – Hannah Queen – seasonal cakes are just my thing!
    Consider the Fork, Bee Wilson, A beautiful journal about the implements we use to cook and eat
    The Classic Rayburn Cookery Book, Louise Walker because you can never have enough Rayburn tips
    Septimus Heap :: Magyk Angie Sage, I”m reading this to Hugo, it’s a gripping tale!

    The End.

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      September 14, 2015 at 5:42 PM

      Haha! I am so glad you liked it. The simple ones are always the best, right? Is that Monty Don book the same Monty that wrote the cookbook you have (which I also now have!) I think it is… I think so!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 4:57 PM

    I re started my blog recently and last week posted about my love of books and my overflowing collection. Great minds think alike!!
    I think your collection is a bit more varied and extensive than mine. Do you catalogue them, or happily re discover books by accident?

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      September 14, 2015 at 5:43 PM

      I never catalogue anything because I am a bit disorganised!!! <3

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