Sorting Out the Shelves #5

Hello Bookworms!

Welcome to another edition of sorting out the shelves! I haven’t done one of these for a while and although I thought I’d mostly covered the books I wanted to get rid of, when I looked harder I still have loads more to get through. So, it looks like this feature is here to stay!

Today, I’m looking at books that I bought when I became interested in two very different topics – fantasy writing and gardening! Soooooo… it’s time for Own or Re-Home!


Assorted works by J. R. R. Tolkien

I love that edition of the Hobbit…


The copies of LOTR are some of my most battered books (having been obtained when I was a student and surviving four different house moves – including a period where they were kept in my Grandma’s shed) but they’re also amongst my most loved books. Confession: I essentially stole them off my then boyfriend and never returned them – oops – but that was fifteen years ago and he never asked for them back, so… yeah. Mine now! He recommended that I read them despite my initial trepidation – I’d made an attempt at reading The Hobbit when I was about six or seven and thought it was the dullest book in the world. Surprisingly, I loved them and that started my journey into fantasy. I bought the special edition copy of The Hobbit mostly because it was pretty but when I actually read it again I loved it – I think I’d just been too young the first time round. Now, I fondly look at these books as a kind of gateway drug into a world that I didn’t know existed and even though I really don’t like my ex I’m grateful that we had a relationship purely for the book recommendations!


A selection of gardening books that all pretty much say the same thing…

We have the internet now…


All of these books have been gifts (because what else do you buy for someone who likes both gardening and reading?) and although they were initially useful, they’re pretty basic and the internet has much more up to date information. I haven’t referred to any of them in years, so off they go to the used bookstore at the library.


Do you have any “long term loan” books lurking on your shelves that you’ve never got round to returning? What were your “gateway” books that introduced you to a specific genre? Are reference books even remotely useful in the 21st century? Let me know in the comments!


6 thoughts on “Sorting Out the Shelves #5

  1. I have no books from other people except for my mum, but we do share books.
    I would say that Arthur C Clarke was my gateway into science fiction.
    Reference books… interesting one. So the info is going to be out of date soon after publication but maybe for some tasks, you want to have the resource right there and it’s not practical to look at the internet at that time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Philip K Dick was my sci-fi gateway but I remember reading 2001 at around the same time.

      I’ve kept one of my gardening books because it focuses on layout and the techniques for zoning your garden in 3D (i.e. height of plants/features as well as where to put them) and it’s easier to see that on paper, especially when you’re walking round with it outside.

      In terms of reference books being out of date – it’s interesting to see how climate change has affected advice from the 1950’s (plus lots of varieties have been bred to be far hardier, so can be planted out earlier/later). However, they often have good tips that you can sometimes recreate with a bit of imagination – like putting a sponge through a mincer and adding it to your hanging baskets to retain water!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Also, if you have no internet or a rubbish connection, then a reference book would be best!

        That’s interesting about climate change affecting the gardening advice. I never really considered that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow your LOTR books have been through a lot! I’m so glad you ended up loving the Hobbit and that those books ended up being a gateway drug!! Also I *love* that edition of the Hobbit. I think I do have “long term loans” in storage from a family member I’m no longer in contact with- tbh I’d get rid of them if I didn’t feel guilty about it cos they weren’t any good- sometimes complete tools can give good book recs though 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, poor things. Maybe I should treat myself to some nice shiny new editions?

      Oh that’s an awkward situation. At least they’re not sitting on your bookshelf reminding you of a horrible person like mine are! You’re right – my ex was a twat but he had excellent taste in literature 😂


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