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Hazel & Wren Staff Shelfie: Taylor Trauger

2015 September 24
by Taylor Trauger

The Writing Life

Editor’s Note: Dear readers – today, we take a break from the normally scheduled What We’re Reading reviews to share with you another one of our shelfies. AaronWren, and Jessica have shared their shelfies, and we’ll have more to come. Read on, into our dear, writerly souls.

When you see my shelfie, you also see my boyfriend Kyle’s shelfie. We moved in together last year, and I spent hours organizing, alphabetizing, and displaying all our books on Billy bookshelves from IKEA. Eventually the books were joined by photos from our Key West vacations, (fake) plants, dinosaurs, LEGOs, and a corgi. Naturally.


Welcome to our IKEA living room. Now let’s take a closer look at bookshelf number one.


The corgi’s name is Jackie C, named after Jackie D, one of the nicknames Tracy Jordan gives Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock. But on to the books.


The potted plants separate our books by genre. First we have my French books, many of which I bought in France. Next we have plays—mostly Shakespeare, thanks to my English degree. The second shelf houses my poetry collection, including quite a few Coffee House Press poets. Then we have a comics and graphic novel section—the first sign of Kyle’s influence on the bookshelf. Only Fun Home, The Three Paradoxes, and Maus belong to me.

Moving on to fiction.


My favorite things on these shelves (besides the dinosaurs) are those two tiny books next to the plant. I bought them at Shakespeare and Company in Paris.


Tiny Shakespeare!


After taking a closer look at my bookshelf, I started noticing which books are missing. I have Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall, which I haven’t read yet, but The Hours is on loan to a friend. Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love have been divorced from my shelf longer than the authors have been divorced from each other. (Hey friends, please return my books). Hemingway wins for having the most books on this shelf (7). And Where the Red Fern Grows is the oldest book, a hand-me-down from my mom.


It’s even missing its cover. Poor book.


Fiction continues onto Billy bookshelf #2.


I was so happy during my organization when I got all of Harry Potter to fit on the same shelf. Goblet of Fire is gone because Kyle and I are going through the series together, taking turns reading out loud to each other—except for the 14 hours we listened to the audiobook on a road trip.

Fiction ends with Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road, and we move on to memoirs and books of essays—my favorite section. Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle is my all-time favorite book. Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things (on loan), tie for second.


Nonfiction continues. Kyle’s art and design textbooks and other large books (like The Wes Anderson Collection and Oh, the Places You’ll Go!) occupy the shelf that’s sagging from all the weight.


We even have a book about our bookshelf on our bookshelf.


Then we have books on economics and history (everybody should read this one about work), The Science of Harry Potter, Literary Rogues, and various books on music. The bottom shelf has reference books, dictionaries, and a section on writing. A couple of astrology books, cookbooks, and travel guides finish it off.


We have a third Billy bookshelf that is primarily filled with board games and LEGOs, but the top shelf houses our anthologies. And a couple coloring books.


My shelfies reveal how many of these books I have yet to read! So many new books were added to my collection when Kyle and I moved in together, and some of my own have never been opened. We’re both trying to make progress through our shared collection, because one day I want to have read every book we own.

What would you pick up from our shelves and read next?

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