Welcome to my Bookshelves- Guest Post by Claire Varley

The Bit in Between by Claire Varley is published by Macmillan (RRP$29.99)

A review of this book was published on August 14th.

Over to Claire!

I buy more books than I can afford and will no doubt end up in the poor house because of it. Online bookstores are my drug of choice and oftentimes books arrive at my door that I have completely forgotten I ordered, thus is the extent of my problem. Every book is special to me – I get upset when people want to borrow books and become anxious they won’t give them back. I share books like a four-year-old only child – begrudgingly and only after being promised sweeties.

Because of this addiction, I have taken to calling my bedside table my BOOKside table (chuckles to self). I am aware that it is actually a chair. We repurpose things in this house because I spend all the actual money on books. Also repurposed are the books propping up my bedroom mirror because there’s no more room on the bookshelves and we aren’t going to mount the mirror on the wall because we would like our bond back. In this picture both my hair and mirror need washing.

In our salon (ie the bit of the unit that is not our bedroom) my books are ordered thus: on the big elegant faux-antique bookcase that I scored after my mother modernised her furniture I have memoirs/autobiographies at the top, poetry in the middle, and hobby books (gardening, sewing etc) at the bottom atop the schmancy wine section we have filled with cleanskins. I like to think of this as my grown up bookshelf – the one I would present to the Queen if she dropped by. To the right of the poetry section you can see my older brother and I being the nineties.

On the BILLY series IKEA bookshelf that has really weird shelf spacing because I assembled it in a windowless room, are the rest of my books. There isn’t much organisation: travel books, non-fiction at the bottom, bath-damaged Penguin classics, then everything else. I arrange my favourites towards the front so that the Queen would be quietly impressed if she glanced over whilst touring the more elegant bookshelf. Above, atop the actual bookshelf, are my boyfriend’s engineering textbooks. I would remove them if I could but I’m too short and the chair is otherwise occupied by the bed.


  1. Oh my goodness! I'm ridiculously anal about my bookshelves and have several set up next to each other (and there are 2-3 Billy bookcases there - one of which has a front screwed on backwards as I live alone and was struggling to hold each end up etc). I really noticed a huge array of books there as well which is great. I love it when people's tastes are varied. (As mine are so narrow!)

    Thanks for sharing Elimy and Claire!


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