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The Purple Shelf

Posted on | January 23, 2010 | 25 Comments

It’s been a while since I featured a coloured bookshelf but with the acquisition of Inkdeath I finally accrued enough purple books in London to make s shelf of their own (some of these were on the pink shelf so I may recreate that at some point; I have a copy of 2666 by Roberto Bolaño that should easily replace them).

Reflective of my collection as a whole, this shelf contains the obligatory Angela Carter texts as well as some secondary material. Frances Hodgson Burnett appears in duplicate as does Colette (I adore Colette and I adore the Vintage editions of her books). Armistead Maupin is given a place as is another beautifully-written (and Scottish) LGBT book, Trumpet by Jackie Kay. For the first time, I think, in my bookshelves series we have a biographical work, Captivated: J.M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers and the Dark Side of Neverland that lends its hue wonderfully well to the shelf. I shall leave you to browse the other titles but I will point out that the pale lilac of Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie may be at the lighter shade of purple but for the title alone had to be included.


25 Responses to “The Purple Shelf”

  1. Nymeth
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    Tis beautiful! I'd always flirt with that book on Angela Carter's use of fairy tales at the library…I'd bring it to my table, read a bit of an essay here and there, etc. But somehow I never actually checked it out. I guess I wanted to read all her actual books before, as critical works often inevitably give away key plot points.

  2. verity
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    Lovely – that's so zingy! Did you see Dove Grey Readers post about purple books this week?! I have quite a lot of those books but not all with purple covers.

  3. Kay
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    Yay! I love color-coordinated shelves, plus purple is my favorite color, so I cannot but envy you your wonderful purple shelf :)

  4. Kirsty
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

    'Trumpet' is an amazing book! I have recommended it to so many people. 'What a Carve Up' is also great – probably my second favourite novel by Jonathan Coe, after 'The House of Sleep'.

  5. Molly
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

    I currently organize my books in a very practical, boring manner (by genre, then alphabetical by author's last name). Some day I am going to let go of that ho-hum method and experiment with your idea of color coordinated shelves. I LOVE the look!

  6. Frances
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    Ooo. Love all that purple. And it less used in book cover design than most people think. The follow-up to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is coming out soon in a lovely lavender. That Funke series is a favorite in our house. And Captivated interests me as well. Happy to see another colorful shelf this morning.

  7. claire
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

    Purple Hibiscus works perfectly fine with the rest. :) I was thinking of reading it, though, but not sure as I had this impression it was YA.. not that I don't read YA as I do, just not in the mood for them at the moment.. how did you like it? And I know which are your favourite Angela Carters but how did you like Love?

  8. Vivienne
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

    I do love your colourful shelves. It makes me want to do mine the same. I used to read a lot of Angela Carter years ago; I may need to do have another read of them.

  9. Jenny
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

    I love the purple shelf! I wish I had all purple books – it's my favorite color apart from maybe yellow, but purple looks better on books. :)

  10. anothercookiecrumbles
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

    Oh! I've missed these posts. What a beautiful shelf. Don't think I have any purples on mine, unless you could Purple Hibiscus.

  11. Aarti
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

    Oh, so pretty! I have some purple books, but the one that dominates that portion of my shelf is The Lies of Locke Lamora, followed closely by A Song for Arbonne (though that's more a lavender). It's strange how few books are purple! It's so pretty :-)

  12. savidgereads
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    Oh I think this is my favourite so far as purple is my favourite colour. Also I have to say that the selection of authors add to its charms.

  13. Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    I love the purple shelf! A lot of my books are in boxes and I can't wait to get them all on shelves.

  14. Dana
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

    Oooh, great books; I love all the purple!

  15. Jodie
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    Love, love, love and your copy of the Truth looks well read, looks more purple in the papaerback.

  16. kay - Infinite Shelf
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

    This is so pretty! Every time I see your shelves I feel like color-coordinating my books, too! (Except that I can't live with the idea of books from a same series being put apart, so I guess I never will). I think your purple shelf is one of my favorites.

  17. Paperback Reader
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

    Thanks, Ana; I likes the pretty :) . I understand your point about the fairy tale book although it's primarily about the fairy tale texts (i.e. Nights at the Circus and The Bloody Chamber). It's wonderful to dip in and out of but if you're looking for a good general book on Carter then I highly recommend Flesh and the Mirror, which contains essays by some great female writers (like Atwood).

    Verity, it does zing! I haven't read any blog posts since before I was offline so hadn't seen DGR's post – how uncanny!

    Kay, purple seems to be a favourite colour of a few people (along with pink it is one of mine too!)

    Kirsty, Trumpet is such a beautiful and original novel. Have you read any of Kay's poetry? In Off Colour she uses The Broons as characters! Too funny. Both What a Carve Up and House of Sleep are shamefully unread on my TBR, which I must rectify.

    Thank you, Molly. I love doing weird and wonderful things with my books; I have never been practical when it comes to ordering them, always employing my own system yet never lose anything! Sometimes I organise by colour, author and/or theme.

    Frances, I'm happy that I could brighten up your morning :) . It is a rare colour but so lovely, especially the lavender (the Pym is a favourite from this shelf although is lighter than it appears).

    Claire, Purple Hibiscus is about two teens (brother and sister) and is told in a very simple, accessible style but I wouldn't call it YA. I thought it a beautiful and powerful debut (I wrote about it for my Master's in comparison to Achebe's Things Fall Apart, of which it is an homage). It lacks the intensity of Half of a Yellow Sun but is a well-written, gentle novel.

    As for Love: very interesting short novel that owes a lot to Carter's interest in Poe. Rather unusual.

    Vivienne, glad you're a fan of the shelves and of Carter – I am a HUGE fan of the latter.

  18. Paperback Reader
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 10:51 pm

    Jenny, yellow is an odd colour for books, agreed, unless it is a buttercup yellow. Purple is far richer and hardly surprising that it is the colour of royalty! I too wish that I owed all purple (including lavender) books.

    anothercookie, I do count Purple Hibiscus, it's just that it was so much lighter than the rest.

    Aarti, I wish that more books were purple! I need to seek some out as it is such a pretty colour for book covers (and spines).

    Simon, the authors do indeed add to its charms and some are my very best :) .

    Jennifer, you have my sympathies as my books were in boxes for eighteen months and it drove me insane! I love the visual of them on the shelf as you can tell!

    Thank you, Dana! I'm so pleased that I had enough books for a purple shelf.

    Thanks, Jodie. In actual fact, I haven't read The Truth yet! It's been well-read by my boyfriend.

    Pleased you like it, Kay. I understand your dilemma as I hate having series and authors separated but love the aesthetic!

  19. Bybee
    January 24th, 2010 @ 8:13 am

    Beautiful…it's like a garden!

  20. Becky
    January 24th, 2010 @ 9:44 am

    What a great idea – i try to organise my bookshelfs by height, but this is so colourful I might have to give it a try one day!

  21. Paperback Reader
    January 24th, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    Hi Bybee, thanks for commenting. I love that image of a garden!

    Becky, glad you like it and good luck with re-organising your books, if you do go ahead with it one day. I do love the different injections of colour.

  22. Tracey
    January 24th, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    I love your coloured bookshelves and Colette sounds intriguing – I'm off to do some investigating!

  23. Vintage Reading
    January 24th, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

    That's a very striking shelf! Good to see A Little Princess in there. Love that book.

  24. Paperback Reader
    January 25th, 2010 @ 11:17 am

    Tracey, Colette is wonderful! I hope your investigation proved fruitful.

    Nicola, A Little Princess is one of my favourite books from childhood and I would be hard pressed to choose between it and The Secret Garden as I'm so fond of them both.

  25. Claire’s Corner | Paperback Reader
    April 21st, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

    [...] are by far some of my favourite books in my collection (and contribute greatly to a number of my coloured bookshelves).  Often books you buy hold a cherished memory or significance and my Claudine novels have a story [...]

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