An editor's bookshelf

18 February 2014


There's no such thing as a typical editor's bookshelf, though they all tend to hold many more books than they were designed for. We hope our bookshelves reveal a little of our book selves. (Sorry.)

You can see our virtual bookshelves on by clicking on our names in the post.

Francesca MainThat copy of Jeffrey Eugenides’ My Mistress' Sparrow is Dead is all mangled because I had it on a windowsill and a SNAIL crawled in and attached itself to the spine.


Kris Doyle: This is the groaning bookshelf in my living room: two rows deep on all three shelves, books shoved in every gap and piled as high as I dare on top. You can probably tell that I don’t really go for alphabetization or organization of any kind. The only thing that makes this shelf any different from the others in the house is that it’s the one closest to my desk, so it holds a rather well-used dictionary for ease of access. The two postcards of Henry Moore’s work come from a recent exhibition at the Ashmolean in Oxford, and the print behind them is from the big Hockney show at the RA a few years back.


Sarah Blake: Organised chaos – on the walls and in the bookshelves. Unbelievably, I can always find my favourite books when I need them.


Rosanna Boscawen: I got some new bookshelves for Christmas which was ridiculously exciting as it gave me an excuse to spend hours carefully arranging all my books, only to find there wasn't room for them all. These are the Ds and Es (with a few Cs and Fs), though I don't imagine they'll stay alphabetical for long. William Dalrymple's City of Djinns and The Age of Kali are very dear – not only are they brilliant but they survived being carted around India in my rucksack for three months.


Nick BlakeThe Tupperware box contains my kit for the National Archives: pencils, batteries, notebooks, but not, of course, a rubber or a sharpener. The clock is from Australia. It has never worked. The bottom three shelves mostly contain naval journals and first-hand accounts that informed Steering to Glory. Not quite in this picture are James's Naval History and Nelson's Letters and Dispatches.