Any reader of this blog might have guessed that, from the amount of book making their way onto Mount TBR recently, a bookshelf crisis might be brewing – and they would be right! The Virago and Russian shelves have been filling up to the extent that I couldn’t cram any more volumes in, even lying on top of other books. Enough became enough, and I had a bit of a shuffle around this week.

Why is it, though, that moving books about is so exhausting? All I did, in essence, was move a couple of shelves of not-often-read volumes into Middle Child’s old room where there was a little space, plus free up one shelf which had non-books on it. That was ok, but the actual expanding of the Viragos and the Russians onto the newly cleared areas seemed to be unnecessarily stressful, and I ended up dropping a large Nabokov on my toe at least twice. However, the books are now in a much more manageable state and here are some images of the improvements:

Newly tidied Viragos

This is the main VMC collection – it may look smallish but it is two deep so there are quite a few volumes here…

More Viragos - not the main collection!

More Viragos – not the main collection!

I pulled these Viragos out of the main collection for a number of reasons – firstly, the books at the back are non-VMCs like the Travellers or Biographies or fiction books or even modern fiction. Secondly, at the front are may Taylors and Pyms and Lehmanns which in some cases are mixed editions and it seemed to make sense to have them separate.



Then there is the Persephones – not so many of those so far, but they are given pride of place at the front of a shelf (particularly the two “Miss Buncle” books which were my LibraryThing Secret Santa gift and which I really *must* read soon – half term next week should be very busy….

General Russian Fiction

On to the Russians – there are a lot of them…. (well, I have been collecting them since about 1972).These two double depth shelves have general Russian fiction – note the large Nabokov which is very bad for toes.

Bulgakov and Dostoevsky

Bulgakov and Dostoevsky

Bulgakov and Dostoevsky – well, there are so many of them that they get shelves to themselves. Behind the Bulgakovs are the Mayakovskys, which are just as numerous…

Russian non-fiction

Below the Russian fiction is the Russian non-fiction – again, much of this I’ve had since my teens so there is quite a lot. And I have to say that I *have* read most of these as I had/have quite an interest in Russian history.

Solzhenitsyn and others

Solzhenitsyn and others

The Solzhenitsyn collection also takes up most of a shelf on its own, which is understandable as most of them are rather old too. Underneath are other books of interest – Bright Young Things and Mervyn Peake mainly.

This was a job I’d been putting off for a while (well, since my last revamp) and I’m glad things are a little more in order. I’ve also left space for expansion…. not that I should, but knowing what I’m like I will need it! And despite my best resolutions, I did come home from Saturday’s trip to town with a few bargains.

First up, a really lovely Book Club edition of Rumer Godden’s “The Greengage Summer”:

I picked  up three of her Virago titles via The Book People last week and then came across this – for the ridiculous sum of 75p and it’s in really marvellous condition. Frankly, the cover alone is worth the price – I do love Book Club covers!

This modern Virago edition of “The Yellow Wallpaper” was a 30p library decommissioning bargain – it has the title story plus other pieces, so I was well pleased!

But the final find was the most interesting – in one of the newer charity shops, Youngest Child pointed out a box of hardback book club editions lurking, and a dig through brought up this book:

I confess to  never having heard of Fred Basnett or his books, “Travels of A Capitalist Lackey” but the title attracted my attention and I think this is going to be a gem – a travel book of Fred’s experiences going through Soviet Russia and beyond in the early 1960s! The book is in perfect condition and comes with map and pictures – all for £1.50. Very happy to say the least…