My Mother’s Bookshelves


My Mother’s Bookshelves (aka My Own Personal Library)

These pictures are taken from my Mom’s most recent house, but these books have been moved several times since I was young, and will probably be moved again.  Every time they are moved, there are more of them.


I have been reading books from my Mom’s bookshelves since I was in Junior High.  I’m sure there were some books then that I should not have been reading yet, but I did anyway.  I still borrow from these shelves today.  I love browsing through them, looking at the spines, reading the covers over and over.  It’s so hard to choose just a few, and because her library is always expanding, it never gets any easier, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.


Some of the first books I ever read from these shelves include: James Herriot’s books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon, Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M. Auel,  Misery by Stephen King, and A Love Story by Erich Segal.

In High School, the most memorable books I read were: The Eight by Katherine Neville,  The Man From St. Petersburg by Ken Follett, Roots by Alexander Haley,  The Colour Purple by Alice Walker, Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg, Time and Again by Jack Finney, Congo by Michael Crichton, and Christy by Catherine Marshall.

I have continued to borrow from My Own Personal Library over the years, and hope to for years to come.  There are no due dates or late fees, and I get to visit my parents and My Library in the same building and at the same time.  There is also a children’s section!

I was at My Library just this weekend, and these are my most recent finds (hopefully I will get to them soon):


What are the most memorable books you read in High School?  What books did you find to read that belonged to your parents?  My favourites at the time were The Eight, Roots, and Christy?  Who remembers these books?

19 thoughts on “My Mother’s Bookshelves

  1. Sarah says:

    I love this post! The bookshelves are as fabulous as I’ve always imagined them to be! 😉
    I definitely remember reading Roots in high school, and loving it.
    I also read quite a lot of John Grisham during those years and we had a few Erich Segal books that I really liked (Doctors was one, I think). Our tastes sure change over the years, huh? 😉

    • Naomi says:

      As I was looking back at the titles I read back then, I was laughing at some of my choices. A few were definitely good ones, but others were obviously more about curiosity and trying things out. So fun to look back! 🙂

  2. Cedar Station says:

    Awesome post. I wish my parents had kept a lot of books around but neither one of them reads very much. We did have a 1986 edition of the World Book Encyclopedias for kids, and I loved looking through those!

    • Naomi says:

      I remember looking through those, as well, except ours would have been from the early 70s. It’s sad to say that my kids will probably never do that. The internet is too convenient.

  3. Candiss says:

    What an awesome post!

    I loved The Eight! I read it when it first came out in the late ’80s. (I was 17 at the time.) I loved it so much that I bought a copy a few years ago, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to crack it open for a re-read. I’m terrified it won’t hold up for me now, and many reviewers have reinforced this pessimism. I think I’ll just keep it as a keepsake, a symbol of my younger reading years. (I have a copy of Mists of Avalon for the same reason.)

    Your mother’s bookshelves look super! I really wish my mother would read even a bit. She’s never had an interest in reading. My father, who died when I was 7, was a huge fan of science fiction and historical stuff. He got me into reading very early. I wish my mom had kept his books or that I had been old enough to realize I might advocate for keeping at least some of them myself.

    • Naomi says:

      My Mom still has the original copy of The Eight that I read all those years ago. I actually did read it a second time after recommending it to all my university friends, but that was still almost 20 years ago. I would be nervous to read it again now, too, but also curious.

      Some of the books on those shelves are my Dad’s. His are more science fiction, or puzzlers like Dan Brown’s books. I remember reading Dune and Contact by Carl Sagan. I tend to prefer my Mom’s books, but when I read one my Dad recommends, I usually really enjoy it. We shared The Passage a couple of years ago, and were both creeped out.

  4. Ngan R. says:

    Hi Naomi, this is a lovely post—I wish I had a personal library, too! Your mom’s shelves look beautiful to me with their rows and rows of books. Sadly, my mom and I cannot trade books because we read in two different languages, but we do trade stories! In high school, I read a lot of Faulkner, Toni Morrison, and Willa Cather. I remember loving these authors all for different reasons, but finding in them a common trait high school English couldn’t give me: thinking outside the literary box.

    • Naomi says:

      Hi Ngan, Thanks for coming by my blog! Those books are impressive high school reading. I still have yet to read any Faulkner. I had only read the required classics at that time, and didn’t really start reading other classics on my own until university and later.

      • Ngan R. says:

        I had a high school teacher who lent me her Faulkner collection because she could tell I was bored of Chaucer. I enjoyed Faulkner back then because of the multiple POVs and the darkness of the stories. I don’t consider myself well read in the classics, though, and intend to read more in the near future.

  5. Cecilia says:

    What a wonderful post, Naomi! I love seeing your mother’s beautiful and full shelves and I love that you had and still have a library to go home to. This is really more the reason why I need to keep acquiring and collecting books!! 😉 Maybe someday my son and his family will be able to enjoy my library as well. It’s interesting to see this post because right now I am visiting my parents’ home and I’ve been raiding my old library, the basement, and the attic to look for my old books. You’ve inspired me to blog about this as well and to take some photos. Yes, I do remember Roots 😉 I watched the miniseries on TV and then got the book, though I never finished it. How did you like Clan of the Cave Bear? I just re-discovered the books and became very curious about them.

    • Naomi says:

      At the time, I devoured Clan of the Cave Bear, but that was when I was in grades 8 and 9, and maybe shouldn’t have been reading them. I wonder what I would think of them now?

      Yes, take pictures and write a post, so we can see! It was fun writing about my mother’s bookshelves. And I hope she enjoyed it, too.

  6. Melinda says:

    Love the bookshelves. I should be raiding my mothers’ bookshelves, but I’ll just add more pressure on myself, so I’ll stay away from it for a while.

    • Naomi says:

      I know what you mean. I have sworn off book holds at the library for a while. I’m trying, anyway. There are always exceptions to the rule. 🙂

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