New Brunswick, Canada

Tell us about your bookcase

I have lived in my current home for about four years. The very first thing I did when I moved in was to have my brother build bookshelves in a rather awkward foyer space. I recently moved the red shelf into the same area. It had previously been packed with crap in a storage room and it was too pretty to leave it there. My ideal book space would be a sunny room, a comfy chair and wall-to-wall bookshelves, cup of tea and my cat close by.

Talk us through your library 

I think my library reflects my personal reading taste and it’s pretty nostalgic, too. I love literary fiction, thrillers, chick lit, mysteries, horror, YA.  I have a good collection of books related to  Buffy the Vampire Slayer because I used to be big into that fandom. I still have a few books from my English degree.  I have a fair number of travel guides. I know you can find loads of info online, but I love to read physical books before a trip. I have a lot of my old childhood books The Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Beldon, etc, and I love books about books. I have no preference between hardcover & paperback. Just no ebooks for me, thanks. 

To Be Read…

How have you organised your books?

For the most part, my books are organized alphabetically by author, fic and non-fic together. A smaller shelf houses my childhood books, travel books, university books, BtVS books, books belonging to my kids etc. I have another huge TBR shelf which my son and I colour blocked last spring when Covid shut schools and his job, and we thought it would be fun. (Sadly,  – or happily, depending on your pov –  that’s not all my TBR books.) My red book shelf is a work in progress. 

Are these all of them?

Hahaha. I have a huge stack of books beside my reading chair. And there’s usually a couple on my bedside table or right beside me in bed. Books don’t steal the covers or snore. I have plans for two more built ins this summer. More shelves equals more books. Am I right?

Be honest now, have you read them all?

If they are on the alphabetized shelf, yep, I’ve read it. 

Oldest book

Buster Brown and His Sister Sue by Laura Lee Hope. It’s inscribed “To Frank w/ best wishes Frances Malone, 1926” although I have no idea who these people are or why I have this book.

Newest book

The book that I most recently purchased (via ABE) is Kristin McCloy’s novel, Velocity. I actually bought two copies because I love the book, and I loaned my hardcover to a friend who lives in Ontario a few years ago.

Most reread

I have read Velocity 20+ times. It’s the story of a girl who spends the summer at home with her dad after her mother dies, and deals with her grief by sleeping with a local biker. 

Biggest influence

I don’t think I can answer this question. Books are transient; they come into our lives when we need them, but if I had to pick one I’d say Jane Eyre  because it was the first ‘adult’ book I ever read as a kid.

Marginalia? Pen or pencil?

If it is a book I am talking about with students – I am all for writing all over the pages, and pen/ink/highlighter are all fine by me.


I see their appeal, I guess, just not for me because I like the tangible object, and the look of books on my shelves as a reminder of my reading journey.

Favourite bookshop

I’ve never met a bookstore I didn’t like.  I love The Strand in NYC, but how often do I get to go there? I prefer bricks and mortar stores, but I will shop online – just not Amazon. 

Any books you just can’t finish?

I used to muscle through all the books I started, but I am more inclined to abandon them now. So many books, so little time. One book I’ve attempted a few times and just haven’t been able to finish is Stephen King’s The Stand. I know, it’s supposed to be his magnum opus – just, too many characters or something. I read and loved IT, and there’s lots of characters in that, too, so I don’t know why I could never finish The Stand. And I am a King fan. I have a pile of books I’ve started but just couldn’t get into for whatever reason, but I am not quite willing to abandon them yet. I have had a few instances where I’ve given up on a book and then returned to it later and fallen absolutely in love. The Book Thief  by Marcus Zusak and  The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness fall into that category.

Any books you can’t get rid of?

The only books I can get rid of are books I really, really didn’t like or books I’ve culled because I have lost interest in ever reading them. I keep most everything else.

Any glaring omissions? 

Not sure I understand the question. 🙂 But let me just use this space to tell you that my classroom library is the bomb! (And having a library at school gives me another excuse to buy books.)

What’s by your bed?

Whatever I am currently reading. 

Ten books you’d save from fire or flood

Oh dear Lord! What a question. Okay

1. Velocity by Kristin McCloy (can I just add to what I’ve said above by saying that this book is both incredibly erotic and beautifully written and that it reminds me of a very specific time in my own life.)

2. The World of Pooh & The World of Christopher Robin by A.A. Milne. My mom used to read this book to me and my younger brothers all the time and although it’s in rough shape, I love that I still have it.

3. The Practical Encyclopedia for Children. It’s inscribed “Wishing you a very happy Xmas to you dear Roberta. Love fr. Auntie Em and Uncle Ted, 1949.”  Roberta is my mom. She would have been 10. 

4. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. It’s an orange hard cover and would have been the edition I first met Anne through. 

5. Better Than Gold, a really ugly book, but a lovely collection of poetry given to me as a high school graduation gift by the guy I went to prom with in 1979. 

6. Buffy and Angel Conquer the Internet by Mary Kirby Diaz because I am mentioned in the acknowledgements.

7. Uncle Wiggly Stories by Howard Garis. My mom loved Uncle Wiggly and this would have been a book she bought for my kids.

8. A Child’s Garden of Verse by Robert Louis Stevenson. Another book from my childhood.

9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I have several versions, but I would grab the version I first read. Hard cover, two columns of text. Illustrated.

10. All my Carolyn Slaughter books. It’s cheating, I know, but they are hard to find now. (And because they’re all together, they’d be easy to grab.)

One book you’d recommend to everyone

Impossible choice! The Book of Lost Things by John Connelly because it is a beautifully told story about grief plus fairy tales and should appeal to adults and teens alike.

Anything you’d like to add

My bookish life, which began on my mother’s knee, has given me so much joy. I am so happy that both my kids are readers. 

Christie Walker is a high school English teacher who would rather buy books than just about anything else. Her dream job is bookstore owner in Italy.  You can find her on Litsy, Instagram & Twitter as  @theludicreader and at her blog

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