I can fit 150 books in my nightstand, now I just need to read them

I have been on a bit of a book buying binge lately and the to-be-read pile has grown ever larger. I keep my TBR pile in my overly large nightstand (which is actually a Florence Knoll credenza), but the recent acquisitions have started to overwhelm the capacious interior of that fine piece of furniture.

Here you see the nightstand in its natural state: uncluttered, sleek, hiding all of its secrets behind its ebonized doors.

Once the doors are open, however, you see a different story. Organized chaos. (Yes, my chaos must be organized or I can’t sleep at night.) In some cases I have three rows of books lovingly crammed in.
There are a few advantages to having books double and triple stacked in a cabinet. Yes, many of them are hidden from view. And after a while I forget what is in there. But that is also the beauty. Re-organizing the stacks offers endless hours of entertainment for someone like me who likes to look at, hold, and smell books just for the fun of it. Plus each time I pull them all out I get excited about things I forgot I had and get to reassess what I should read next, even though I almost never follow my own future reading plans. (I have a hard time being told what to do, even when I am the one telling me to do something.) Besides, this way, when I finish a book, I get to open the doors and root around for the next thing read.
This past weekend, in an attempt to fit as many books in as possible I took everything out and stacked it up. This way I could see what I had, what might be read next, and come up with a plan to fit my new additions into the cabinet.  It turned out I had just shy of 150 books that I needed to get inside.
I could stare at the stacks for hours. Go ahead click on the photo, see if you can make out any of the titles.  In the picture below I give you a little better chance to see some of them, including some of the newer stuff, which includes 6 of the 12 Persephones that are on their way to me…
…and all but two of Penguin’s English Journeys series. Since taking the photo below I recieved another one from The Book Depository (free shipping anywhere in the world). But alas, the volume with A Shropsire Lad is out of stock. I am blaming Cornflower’s book club on depleting the supply.

22 thoughts on “I can fit 150 books in my nightstand, now I just need to read them

  1. Paperback Reader October 29, 2009 / 10:59 am

    How lovely! I spy Mariana on the nightstand, the new Persephones, some Bloomsbury Group titles and newly designed Vintage Classics – all some of my favourite published books!

    I also find joy in rearranging my books and simply spending time with them (as I can't find the time to spend inside all of their pages).

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  2. verity October 29, 2009 / 11:00 am

    Wow = what an impressive selection of books. You make me feel a little better about my TBRs, although I've made progress this week – I'd love to get them under 100. It is fun as Claire says to “play” with your books, and in fact I spent a happy ten minutes first thing this morning having a little move around.

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  3. Book Psmith October 29, 2009 / 11:03 am

    Holy minolies…now that's a nightstand. I love that it conceals book treasure…coming upon something like that would take my breath away. Not only are the books beautiful but so is your floor:)

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  4. Lezlie October 29, 2009 / 11:06 am

    Love it!! And I see the 1001 Books *and* Book Lust there just itching to help you refill, you know, just in case . . . 🙂

    BTW — I got the bookmark the other day. Thank you! It's lovely!

    Lezlie

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  5. Thomas October 29, 2009 / 11:23 am

    PR: The volumes you mention are there as a direct result of discovering all you book bloggers who indtroduced me to these things.

    Verity: I am not sure I could get my TBR below 100. I had a commenter the other day who has 600 in hers.

    Book Psmith: Normally I like my books out where I can see them. In fact the picture of them lined up along the wall is how I would like to have them all the time. But keeping the bedroom tidy is one of those concessions that coupled folks have to make to keep the peace. And since he lets me have stacks and stacks of books infront of the full bookshelves in the living room, I figure it is the least I can do.

    Lezlie: Book Lust has been the source of many a great read. I don't think Nancy has ever steered me wrong. Glad you like the bookmark.

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  6. verity October 29, 2009 / 11:40 am

    Thomas – does it not scare you though that maybe you will not read them all? It scares me, hence making a concentrated attack…

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  7. Thomas October 29, 2009 / 11:49 am

    Verity: Accepting that no life is long enough to get to read all the books you want to read frees up the headspace to accept the accumulation of these delightful objects as a glorious end in itself. Having said that, by TBR is pretty much limited to books I do plan on reading. I have others, that I haven't read that aren't in the TBR that I own for other reasons. (Looks, reference material, too good a buy to pass up…)

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  8. claire October 29, 2009 / 12:36 pm

    I would one day love to own all the Penguin Great Journeys. I so envy your tbr! Thanks for the peek, it's so very gratifying to ogle someone else's stacks and shelves and to figure out what titles you have. I made out the Persephones but can't see the Vintage Classics titles. The Book Lust books should indeed be staple nightstand objects!

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  9. Ti October 29, 2009 / 4:05 pm

    The Persephones caught my eye right away. They are so lovely.

    Your nightstand reminds me of the treasure box at my kids' dental office. They root around in there for way too long in an attempt to find that special something.

    My nightstand doesn't have too many books on it. One Persephone book and one other which I cannot seem to remember.

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  10. trish October 29, 2009 / 7:13 pm

    That is the best nightstand ever! Now I need to find one just like it. *sob*

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  11. Jeane October 29, 2009 / 7:13 pm

    I love seeing pictures of people's book piles. How wonderful the sense of discovery when you can dig through those stacks to find the next new read! My nightstand won't hold double (or triple) stacks I fear; the shelf boards are too thin and bow under the weight of one row. So the surplus flows out onto the floor…

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  12. Mrs. B. October 29, 2009 / 8:06 pm

    Oh wow, now I feel so much better about my bookside pile. You have so much more! I try to move them to the regular bookshelves in our study if I know I won't be reading them. I'm amazed how you can keep them organized.

    I see Mariana on your night table. Do you like it so far? I loved it! I did lend it to a friend who couldn't get through it though.

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  13. Thomas October 29, 2009 / 10:09 pm

    Claire: The Vintage Classics are the four Nevil Shute titles that have the fabulous artwork. I hd already read two of the four, but loved the covers so much I had to buy all four anyway.

    Ti: I will be doing a Persephone specific post when I have all 12 in my possession. I haven't red any of them yet.

    MEP: I love the pictures from your travels in England. The one of the church is especially nice.

    Jeane: I love looking at stacks of books as well. I love to see what other people have in their piles. And especially love when there is overlap with mine. Kindred spirits and all.

    Mrs B: I put Mariana on my nightstand because the cover is so pretty. I haven't started it yet.

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  14. Amanda October 30, 2009 / 1:48 pm

    ohhhhh ahhhhh……

    I love book organizing; it is so peaceful. Good thing I work in a library!

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  15. Matt October 30, 2009 / 2:45 pm

    The night-stand is like a bookcase to me! With the 1001 Books You Must Read, that's an extra 1000 books in there my friend!

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  16. Darlene October 30, 2009 / 2:46 pm

    Oh, I love looking at other people's book stash! Seriously lusting after that gorgeous collection of Penguins you have there.

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  17. JoAnn October 30, 2009 / 2:54 pm

    Just look at all those Persephones! Several others are in my tbr pile, too. Thanks for sharing the photos, and I'm glad I found your blog!

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  18. Thomas October 30, 2009 / 3:15 pm

    Amanda: From time to time I have done clandestine, wildcat organizing at the library. Once spent a half hour trying to get the Trollope section in alpha order.

    Matt: Thankfully my OCD does not apply to 1001 and Books. I love the book, but I would hate to feel like I needed to follow it too closely.

    Darlene: Since I first saw that Penguin series I knew I had to have it.

    JoAnn: Thanks for stopping by. I don't know where to start with the Persephones. I might just have to close my eyes and pick one.

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  19. savidgereads November 3, 2009 / 12:07 pm

    Oh now any posts which have this many pcitures of peoples TBR's always interest me and always make me feel better that other people have loads of books too!

    Lovely nightstand, most jealous!

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  20. Nan November 13, 2009 / 11:39 am

    Oh my gosh, this was so much fun – I loved looking at your books. I couldn't see all the titles, but I could always fly down, couldn't I? :< ) The one I want to write to you about is Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. I know all the stuff one reads about him, but this book, oh, this book is a wonder. When I last read it, I wrote: 'Now this is writing. A true masterpiece.' I couldn't believe how modern it was, though written in 1926.

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  21. Thomas at My Porch November 13, 2009 / 4:18 pm

    Simon S: I am the same way, I could look at endless pictures of TBRs.

    Nan: It has been a few years since I read The Sun Also Rises, but I did give it a 9 out of 10 when I read it. Over the years I think I heard so much anti-Hemingway stuff that I have been surprised at how much I like his work.

    Like

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