Piles of Books

I have piles of books all over my house, probably like many of you do. These piles are constantly growing and changing, and someday, I hope to actually have them put away, unless, of course, they are decorative piles. Until then, here are the current piles I have invading my house right now. And yes, some of them are dusty.  It looks like my books need a little more attention from me these days.

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How many piles of books do you have? Which books are in your piles, waiting to be read?

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73 thoughts on “Piles of Books

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  1. Pile on my bedside table:
    Zazen by Vanessa Veselka
    When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
    Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
    Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
    A Clash of Kings: Song of Fire & Ice Book 2 by George R. R. Martin

    The only one I’ve read is Dark Places – it just needs to be put back on its shelf. And I just noticed that with the exception of the Game of Thrones book, which I am currently reading, they’re all written by women.

  2. The first pile of books must be the prettiest I’ve ever seen. No need to tidy that one up. 🙂
    As I was looking at your piles, I was trying to guess which rooms on your house they were in. I liked seeing your daughter’s. Most of mine are in the living room/bedroom (yes, our bed is in the living room).

    1. I agree about that first pile, although the print in the Bronte book must be tiny! In what world could three Brontes be smaller than Little Women by Alcott?

    2. Oh man! Your bed is in the living room? You guessed right about my daughter’s pile (and her unmade bed). I have most of them in my room, but they spill into the living area.

      1. We moved to the living room to give our three kids each their own rooms once they got too big to share. I love being surrounded by the book shelves, but it’s a bit strange when we have company (luckily, most of our company is just family).

  3. That’s actually pretty cool, the piles of book piles are almost like art. They are displayed throughout your house expressing you and your interests. I haven’t ever had book piles in my house but I like the idea. Right now I have a pile in my closet 😦 (I’m living with my parents currently and that’s the only place I can store my stuff) and among my small stack are “the Tragic Sense of Life” and “The Guide for the Perplexed” kind of heavy stuff I wanted something to read that was a little lighter :/. Thanks for your post.

    1. Oh man! You need your own space so you can start piling. I’m glad they look like “art” to you. To me, they look like clutter, but clutter that I get to look forward to!

  4. I use the shelve under our coffee table as a ‘to be read’ pile but it’s now over flowing so I don’t think it counts anymore.

  5. I use the shelve under our coffee table to store my to be read pile but it’s starting to overflow so I don’t think it counts as a pile anymore.

  6. I also agree the first one is gorgeous. At the moment I’m doing most of my writing in my Kindle, so the pile is digital and doesn’t look pretty. Although I still have one in the studio…

  7. They look great! I have books on shelves and elsewhere (but honestly I borrow more from the library than I buy). They look nice stacked under a small lamp, vase or frame, which I’ve done around my house.

    1. I used to borrow more from the library, too. And then I started school and had to buy everything to write on and make notes. I look forward to those library visits.

  8. As a bookworm, my hands are simply itching — I would love to reach through the screen and look at a few of those books, read the back covers, flick through the first chapter…. 😀

    We downsized to a smaller house a few years ago, so we had to part with quite a few books. However, my bedroom bookshelf and bedside table are stacked with books. These are the ones currently stacked on my bedside table:

    The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver (just started reading this)

    The Road to Character – David Brooks (an interesting book about resume virtues vs eulogy virtues. Brooks draws on Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik’s observation of two accounts of creation in Genesis and the argument that “these represent the opposing sides of our nature”, Adam I and Adam II values. Adam I is “career-oriented [and] ambitious” whereas Adam II is the “internal Adam” who “wants to embody certain moral qualities” — these quotes are from the intro).

    Hard Choices – Hillary Clinton (I confess I’ve only read a few chapters so far as I have found it a bit dry, but I will return to it at some point).

    Love May Fail – Matthew Quick (I received an ARC of this and I didn’t like it).

    Prodigal Summer – Kingsolver.

    Pass your exams – Andrew Holmes (I’m still waiting for my degree result, but I feel positive about the way my finals went 🙂 ).

    At the Water’s Edge – Sara Gruen (a historical novel with some supernatural aspects. It was okay as a quick read, but not very memorable).

    1. This sounds like a great pile! I hope you enjoy Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible. I remember loving it. In fact, it may be time for a reread. That was such a great book. I guess I might have to skip Hard Choices. I was tempted, but if it is THAT dry, perhaps I’ll skip it for now.

  9. I was going to compliment your color palette in the first pile as well. How lovely. I have many piles of books, the most unruly of which are my cookbooks that slide down and cover the back of my very limited counter space in the kitchen. I’m actually making progress on my To-be-read pile, though. I’ve only got 3 more left until I can go get a new pile!

    1. Wow. You are putting me to shame. My TBR piles are all over the place and not in danger of shrinking any time soon, thanks to the dissertation transcribing I’ve been spending all of my time on!

  10. Our next remodel will likely feature the addition of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (with one of those sliding library ladders!)….somewhere in the house other than the kitchen. Until then, we continue to carefully navigate around the piles.

  11. I LOVE the purple pile. Also the Tapas pile. Both are awesome! 🙂
    I get an office in the new house we are building and I have a couple of books that have a bird theme (I don’t know where they came from to be honest hahaha) and I had this random thought that I could get one of those decorative cages and put the books in it and hang it from the roof in my office. Hubby looked at me like I had lost my brain then said, “Why? What is the point?” I said it would look pretty… he shook his head. I took that as a no 🙂

    1. I think the bird cage book thing would be awesome, but maybe just stack the books with a birdcage on top or nearby on a shelf. Your new house and office sound really cool!

    1. I’ve read I Am Malala, and my daughter had it in her TBR pile. It is a good one. I am in the middle of Bad Feminist right now. Very enjoyable.

  12. Current pile on our bedside table –
    One Up on Wall Street-Peter Lynch (Hubby’s reading this one)
    Francesca’s Party – Patricia Scanlan (I Just finished this)
    Game of Thrones (FOMO got me)
    and my trusty Kindle with tonnes of things in there 🙂
    Loved the pile in the first picture . That sure is Decorative!

  13. Emily, I have multiple piles as well. One book I want to read is “1491” which discusses the Americas before Columbus almost arrived here. Yet, many of the piles include books my wife and I are working or longing to start or have not put away. Just don’t trip over them. BTG

  14. I’m admiring your copy of Little Women – I’m currently in search of a good copy, myself. I rather have quite a few stacks of books around my place, as well. Each one has a purpose or meaning that only makes sense to me! Enjoy!

  15. I’m pretty contained about my to-read piles, but gosh, you should see my coffee table! And my husband has books all over the house. That first picture has some of my favorite books in it!

    1. Of course you have books all over too! I love having them close so I can reach for them, rather than going to the shelf, but it can get overwhelming if I don’t put them back.

  16. I just had to add to the many comments here. I adore your piles of books and I have them all over my house too. One room (supposed to be the guest room) has a pile of books like the leaning tower of Pisa. It keeps getting too high and then crashes. I am in serious need of more book shelves, but I know that will mean I will buy more books and so it goes on. In one of my piles is ‘The King’s Curse’ by Phillippa Gregory, ‘Anam Cara’ by John O’Donoghue, ‘The Lives of Women’ by Christine Dwyer Hickey, ‘Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party’ by Alexander McCall Smith and ‘H is for Hawk’ by Helen Macdonald. Phew!

  17. The first pile of books are so beautiful! My room is being decorated so I’m taking over everywhere else trying to find space for my books right now!

  18. Books and books and piles of books even though I got rid of perhaps 75% of my books last year. Amazing how much lighter I felt and was able to appreciate the books I kept even more. Still, the piles tend to grow…..

    1. Confession: I had to chuckle at your idea of “piles” of books, Emily! I refuse to take photos and share our many “piles,” which in comparison are “mountains”!! 🙂 I have so many different authors, etc. represented in mine. Everyone once in a awhile I just grab one and read it! 🙂 Did that last night–Please Don’t Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr. It is a 1957 edition! I purchase most of my books used, so I end up with some yellowed pages, etc., though many times, as with this book and my copy of Gone With the Wind (published in 1964) which I obtained several years ago, they’re obviously very old, but never read! I would love to know the ownership history of each…ooh, there could probably be a book in that statement! 🙂 With five cats chasing each other through the house…well, let’s just say that each and every day I manage to “replace” books on top of piles because they’re lying askew on the floor! Oh, and this is NOT due to lack of shelf space we have two whole rooms with little visible wall space due to the tall bookshelves lining the walls…and as you might suspect–they contain books!! Yikes! An avid reader should never live with (or marry) another reader!! 😉

      1. I can see how readers marrying each other could be a problem! I’ve got plenty of my own bookshelves and piles and thank goodness my husband doesn’t, or we’d be hosting mountains like you are. I love that you purchase old books. I mostly do too. Sometimes I swap them online as well. It is fun to see different editions, and yes, I wonder what their histories are too.

      1. Other than become a super-speed reader (who can still understand everything I read) I don’t know how the piles will ever stop growing! Throwing away until I’ve read them is simply not an option.

  19. I love that gorgeous first pile! A million points for color coordination. I’m always trying to decorate with strategic piles of beautiful books and my husband is always “tidying” them back onto a shelf. He doesn’t really get it.

  20. I don’t have piles around my house, mainly because I don’t have a small 1 bedroom space, so I just stack and stack on top of my bookcase until it is precariously and insanely high and quite possibly dangerous to go near.

    1. That’s funny! I brought home more books today, and I actually wondered what would happen if I put all of my to-read books on one pile. It would be high!

  21. I have a pile of about 40 falling out of the bookcase. It has spilled over into the wardrobe where a pile of 10-15 await. There is also a pile on the Kindle of 60+ waiting to be ready. …..life one book at a time! Are you planning a trip to Ireland?

        1. I will have that chance. We are staying in Limerick for the conference but plan to do some day tours around the country. If I end up in Cork, I’ll let you know!

  22. Oh, my gosh! Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child practically saved me as a brand new mom a decade ago! A little dry for my taste, but it’s sure got it where it counts. It was even more crucial when my next baby had colic!

    1. It saved me ten years ago too! I pulled it out a while ago because my husband was a little uncooperative about putting our 5 year old to bed by 8 pm, so I was trying to convince him that she NEEDED that sleep. 🙂 I won.

      1. Of course you did! Hard to argue with that book! More sleep is always the answer! That book, From Diapers to Dating, and Emily Post’s Guide to Manners for Your Kids (or something like that) are the only parenting books I use anymore.

  23. Nice Post. I have around 156 books all around me ranging from Sci-fi ,thriller, fiction , nonfiction etc.

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