Only a third of the books I own can be found in my Brooklyn apartment. Which is sad, really, since this is the first apartment I’ve ever had that actually has room to house all of them.
Six years ago, I made a sudden (and disastrous) decision to move to France. So I crammed all of my books into a storage facility in Queens. When I returned to New York nine months later, I rented an apartment on the third floor of an old brownstone. The stairs were so steep that I pitied the moving men I’d hired to transfer my belongings from storage. I left most of my heavy book boxes in Queens. That was three apartments ago.
The books you see in the photos are either books I needed to write my own novels—or books I purchased for pleasure in the last six years. (Fortunately for me, there’s a fair amount of overlap between those two groups.)
There’s very little organization involved. (I keep expecting to move my other books out of storage, which would screw up any system I might develop.) My dining room bookcase (the one with the plague doctor mask on top) holds my favorite books. You’ll find everything from Poisons and Antidotes to Rats to The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. (And yes, my last hardcover copies of Kiki Strike and The Empress’s Tomb.)
The shelves in my living room house a truly random assortment of books. (And believe me, things get really random at my house.) I’ve filled a little alcove between my dining room and living room with my heaviest tomes. (Most are devoted to art, weird places, or the history of New York City.)
The books I’ve read most recently can be found beneath my bedside table. (Or on my Ipad, which is always on top of the table.) I’m working on a haunted house/horror novel at the moment, so many of the books are ghost story anthologies. (I highly recommend the ghost stories of Edith Wharton. Who knew, right?) Also, if you look closely, you’ll see the first two Nancy Drew books.
And last but not least, just yesterday I received a package of galleys. The books stacked on the radiator next to my desk are copies of my latest novel, How to Lead a Life of Crime. Unfortunately, they won’t be staying here for long!