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Shelf Tours: Jean

Shelf Tours: Jean


You’ll find books all over the house, but welcome to our main family library! If you look really closely, you’ll find my shelf of shame—which is where I put all the books I recently finished but haven’t had a chance to find a proper space for haha.

On the top left, I have my non-fiction (mostly autobiographies, some science and business titles), classics, and poetry collection. Fun fact: my copy of No Matter the Wreckage was signed by both Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye when they visited Manila a few years ago.

The kids’ section are titles that I really enjoyed when I was in grade school or early high school. You can probably tell my favorite authors—Roald Dahl, Eoin Colfer, C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, and E. L. Konigsburg.

They all had such a profound impact on me at such a young age—to this day, I still dream of getting my Hogwarts acceptance letter, running away to the Met, or sailing away to the edge of the world on the Dawn Treader. (Also, that's my older sister’s collection of romance titles!)

The middle shelf is where most of my books are, in no particular arrangement except for the top middle cubbyhole, which has most of the books that I’d bring to a deserted island.

As you can see, my collection is largely contemporary fiction. I love the lyrical prose of Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz, the comforting words of Cheryl Strayed and Lorrie Moore, and the heartbreakingly beautiful stories of Madeline Miller and Lauren Groff. I also try to read as many Filipino and Asian authors as I can, including Jia Tolentino, Mia Alvar, and Gina Apostol. The middle left cubbyhole is the home of my favorite books in high school, including The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the hilarious Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series. The lower left cubbyhole is my small—but fast-growing—collection of graphic novels, including the amazing Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, which I’ll never get tired of recommending to people.

An author who is super popular in this household, but whom I’ve never actually read, is Stephen King. My parents and sister both love his works, but I’m far too much of a scaredy-cat.

Most of the other shelves are for my parents’ and my sisters’ collections. It’s great because they each love their own genres—my younger sister enjoys Joe Hill and J.G. Ballard, my mom loves Ann Patchett and Elena Ferrante, and my dad is a big Robert Ludlum and Vince Flynn fan.

I think the only sad part about our library now is that this is a pared-down version of what I grew up with. My older siblings’ collections are no longer here since they moved out, so I’ve had to say gooodbye to Gaiman, Tolkien, Christie, and so much more! 

I’ll have to rebuild my own collection of their works myself soon. We also had to let go of books when we moved (which is why I can’t find my old Judy Blume books huhu). :(

This couch is super comfy and it’s got the best light for reading. I don’t usually use bookmarks, I just keep track of what page I left off on. I also read before I go to sleep—it’s a nice way to wind down after a busy day. That’s why I have a pile of books on my bedside table.

I read for a variety of reasons—to learn, to escape, to enjoy. It helps broaden my horizons, by allowing me to put myself in other people’s shoes, and letting me imagine new worlds.

But for the most part, reading has always been a restorative practice for me—it keeps me in the light, and calls me back to myself when I’ve gone adrift.

That's it from Jean's shelves! You can find more shelf tours here on the blog and there are more to come soon so stay tuned. Share your shelves at Bookworm Corner at Fully Booked.

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