Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How does your bookshelf grow?

My book collection – yes, collection – has morphed over the years.

In high school, I remember having a regular-sized plastic Target bag of about five or six random books that my aunt bought me the summer I stayed with her. Of course, she picked them out, so they weren’t really my “thing,” but that’s all I had that were my books before I graduated high school. Those books are somewhere under my bunk bed at my parents’, probably being a companion to the box of tapes I accumulated as a pre-teen. (Yes, before CD players!)

With our recent move, my books have now been able to come out of the boxes they were put in back in July. It was a hard thing for me to pack them all away and not see them, but now they are back! Since we have moved and gotten the absolute necessities unpacked – clothes, toilet paper, shower, food – I got to spend some quality time one night unpacking my boxes of books, which had grown from two from the move in July to three with the Great March Move. I had five piles of books under my nightstand that I bought since August, and it all fit perfectly in a third box. D locked himself and the dog in the bedroom one night and let me pour over my books for hours. Smart guy, right?

Without further ado, this is how my bookshelf has grown…

Jan 12

c. August 2011


c. December 2011

April 13

c. April 2013

*There was another photo taken after the one above, but prior to the move (below) where the books on the top shelf were piled sky high, about four feet, but I can’t find the photo. 😦



c. July 2013

Mar 14

March 2014


This is my physical TBR pile – everything from The Help and below on the top shelf, and the entire first shelf.

[Game of Thrones are D’s…even though he bought me the series for Christmas….]


This is my wonderful collection of YA (now hidden on the bookshelf behind another stack of books), and my classics (also double stacked).


Books I started gathering in 2013 for my classroom that have been packed away since July. Finally going to the classroom!


Books I decided I could part with without getting hung up over them.


From Brit Lit…this book and the assignments nearly killed me! Thank God it was all downhill from there!


Also from Brit Lit. I fell in LOVE with this book. It broke my heart.


Some of the reading requirements from my Adolescent Literature class, which I had to take to become a teacher.


An old birthday present several years ago from my best friend. I still had the note tucked away inside!


I am still in chapter 12 of Gone with the Wind. I started reading it as a sophomore in college, determined to get it crossed of my 100 Books from the BBC list


I also stopped reading it as a sophomore in college. I will read it, though!


Ironic that I found this inside of Gone with the Wind? I knew my future self would find some humor in it.

What’s on your bookshelf?

6 thoughts on “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How does your bookshelf grow?

  1. Tons of awesome books! After I began blogging years ago, my bookshelf grew drastically! Not only because I wanted to read to continue posting reviews multiple times a week, but also because there are so many people on here, with such good suggestions I can’t help it, I have to buy them!


    • Thanks you, Lisa. I try to not be a reading snob 🙂 My reading really started growing in college, when I had my own money to spend. Of course, being a language arts teacher hasn’t helped with my book buying! The recommendations and reviews of others definitely is a book buying peer pressure, so it makes buying so much harder to resist.

      Thanks for stopping by! I’ve subscribed to Turning Pages. 🙂

  2. My shelf grows, but then I regularly go through and get rid of stuff. I like for the books in my house to be books I’ve actually read or have some real intention of reading. Right now I’ve got two big bookcases, three small ones, the books on my desk for school, and books on my nightstands. Everything currently has room to breathe…but we’ll set how that situation looks in a year. Maybe I should document the growth like you!

    • Yes, my bookshelf keeps growing. Damn you, Half Price Books! 😉

      I could not imagine having that many bookcases! I just have the one small one. Oh, the number of books!

      I hadn’t realized just how many books I had until I put them on a real bookshelf, instead of tucked away in my headboard. A good number of them turned out to go back to my classroom, so that was a plus (until I have to pack up my classroom come summer!). I do have two series I am dedicated to that are lengthy, which together take up half the middle shelf. I actually need to get the newer books in those series…

      I do have quite a collection of American and British literature, which I read in my literature classes in college. (I was an English minor.) I don’t have any intention of getting rid of those. I think it makes me feel…cultured? Like you, I plan to have more once I actually buy a house, but not cat-collector old lady crazy style. I want my kids to know books, to know that D and I value reading.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing Tara!

  3. It’s really cool to see your bookshelf change over the months and years 🙂 I think I would fill up the entire house with books if I was allowed!! That’s why I visit my library regularly, otherwise I’d be broke and my house would be terribly cluttered. I wish I had an awesome organization shelving system going on in my house, but right now I just have a lot of piles lying around. I would love to have shelves for TBR books and ones for favorites. And ones for just books I liked. Someday!!

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