Around the world in 100 bookshelves

So have you all heard of the Around the World in 100 Bookshelves project? No? Go over to and read about it there. It’s been on for a while and as usual I promised myself I’d do it someday but procrastinated. I finally pulled up my socks and hesitantly mailed the pictures in a couple of days ago wondering if it was over, but I was in luck. They are still running the project. So here you go. The Brat and Bean’s bookshelf makes it to the papertiger bookshelf project!

And since we’re on the topic of bookshelves I thought I’d share some of mine too. We should have a bookshelf project for adults too!


This one is in my bedroom, under the TV with the DVD player etc on top of it.


The old CD rack comes back in a new avatar. Anyone remember that I used it in the bathroom in the old house?

This is the lounging corner in the living room. Music and books -what more could one want?


From left to right, Tambi and the OA as babies.

Just a close up so that you can see the books are all mixed up and not arranged by author, genre or alphabet. A fact I intend to remedy really soon.

The bedside table that doubles up as a bookshelf all the time.

The bookshelf that holds my *choke* cooking books. It is rarely touched but much loved.


44 thoughts on “Around the world in 100 bookshelves

  1. Loved the pics!! 🙂 How many bookshelves do you have at your place, lady?? Am so J! 🙂

    BTW I loved the look of that Gulzar lyrics book. Will check it out at a bookstore here.

  2. Just lovely! 🙂 please please please tell me how you maintain these books? More so, as I see most of them being open as in not in enclosed bookcases. How do you manage the dust? Being an avid reader myself with a house prone to a dusty surrounding I am restricted to placing books inside covered shelfs. Would love some tips from you to maintain them looking so neat!

  3. Can you smell someone burning with jealousy behind your screen., yeah! that’s me. Actually,its not jealously, its plain awe. I loved your shelves. How i’ve dreamt of having shelves like these or one big shelf from wall to wall with all my books. Now that we’ve moved into our place, i will start working on it… loved the pics… what a treat to the eyes…

  4. So when I take you guys up on the offer to come stay over, that pretty room with the wrought iron bed and the beautiful blue covers is what I get? 😀
    You have a lovely house – not so much because of the decor (that is already a given), but because of the very obvious love that seems to go into how everything came to be, where it is!

  5. Thanks so much for joining in and spreading the word about our Around the World in 100 Bookshelves project. Thanks also for sharing the photos of the ‘adult’ bookshelves in your home. Looks like there is a nice sunny spot on the stairs to curl up with a good book!

  6. MM, your home is so beautiful. In these pictures, I can imagine a hot summer outside, while it is cool and cosy inside, with dappled sunlight streaming in. The pictures reminded me of childhood summers at home.

    You have to promise me that whenever I get around to growing roots and having a home where I know I will live for more than two years I can come to your house and copy all your ideas from my own home.

  7. Love the pics. I was telling my sis today books are like an addiction for me. I can’t goto the library and not check out some or go to a sale and not buy some. But then , my bookshelves are full and now there are books strewn all over the floor. I am so so so J seeing the furniture and bookshelves you have – I find it so difficult to get a decent one here.Most furniture shops don’t carry one or they just are too flimsy. You should post bigger pics of these , so we can see the books 🙂

  8. Lovely pix, MM.
    I so need you to come over and organise our books. In return I will err.. treat you to lovely weather!

  9. Oh, hi! I thought I was to be redirected to, but I see that I’m at! Is this one of them ‘Lavanya D’ pranks played on the hapless unsuspecting mad momma? Hmmm…. I’m confused.

  10. Loved the first a tower! How do you manage to keep them so clean. Within a week i have dust bunnies sitting on mine. Nost just the shelves even the books get dusty 😦
    Don’t tell me you take out each one of them to dust :O

  11. MM,

    I absolutely love your blog, I had been reading all your old/ new blog post for past few weeks, We have our own 5 year old brat & had a Bean on 14th May! I can so relate to many of the posts here!!

    This post was simply love the shelfs & your old & new house!



  12. love it I used to have the lounging corner with books and music in my old house. miss it terribly here 😦

    and I like the idea of CD stand but does it take the weight of books?

  13. Wow! I have a small bookcase which is packed with books just like yours 🙂 Only difference being that they belong to the library. But someday I’m going to have a wall to wall bookcase filled with my Agatha Christie’s and Mary Higgins Clark’s. A girl can dream right 🙂

  14. I love everything about your bookcases. I can see myself settled in your staircase with one of the books. Will I get a cup of chai ? I promise not to dog-ear the books.

    CD rack reuse is fabulous. How on earth do you keep your open bookshelves dust-free ?

  15. Will actually have to give it to the brat and the bean to let you keep your bookshelves like that :).

    Lovely spaces. Loved the shelves & the look. Loved the hanging pots in your stairwell too. So looking forward to your house tour now. This is like a tease :).

  16. Love your sturdy, simple, wooden bookcases – exactly what I dream of. I’m in such a conflict.

    I don’t want to buy shelves to fit my rented apartment. Designing a home around furniture would be horrible. And I want the furniture to be minimum right now, because I’m such a gipsy. But then, I don’t know when I will be able to really get custom made shelves.

    I’m feeling really guilty about accumulating books. Adds to clutter; and what about all that paper! I’m trying to warm up to using my new Kindle. Yeah…it doesn’t give that personal connection that you feel with a book – warmth, nostalgia….Sigh!

    By the way, I noticed that you also have rows of books stacked one behind another, just like my bookshelf. It sometimes drives me crazy. Makes it hard to lazily run my hand over them and pull something that catches my fancy.

    Ah well! One can’t have everything.

  17. i am doing up our first house as we speak, and my favourite favourite place in my tiny 8.0 x 7.5 study in which we have 2 walls full of 6 feet tall bookshelves, and a huge desk. all conceptualised by me, yay!

    but i’d love to have some nice bookshelves in other parts of the home too, love the one u have put up on top. love the plants too. HOW HOW do u keep so many? and not kill them?

    btw, i noticed a pretty floor lamp in the first pic. i am torn. i love these tall floor lamps, but are they safe for say when a baby starts crawling? or do they topple them over? i tried to topple a few at the stores and they’re pretty easy to go over. which leaves me with only the option of hanging lamps – which is okay, except that i havent seen many which look as great as the floor lamps do. small floor lamps, abt 2-3 ft high are ok, but i am sure the one u have up there is 5-6 ft.

    • You know, I just did up my house as I liked. I never did think of babies. So there are sharp corners, stairs, drawers they can open and glass ornaments everywhere. The Brat broke a bottle of fish pickle when he was 1.5 yrs old and I think I shrieked in terror when I heard the smash. We were young, setting up home the pickles were all on a low painted steel trunk on the floor. That was the last time he went near it. No injuries. The Bean broke a pickle jar two weeks ago. That has been the extent of damage the kids have done other than the odd scribble on the wall. So I am the wrong person to check with. I’ve lived as I have pleased – in terms of decor and partying. And I’ve taken the kids along on the ride. You need to figure out how much you will be around in the house. In fact I have a rocking chair that people always worried the kids would smash their fingers under as I rocked and worked. They always neatly crawled around and never squashed a finger or a toe. Luck?

      • whoooo! so many years and two broken jars of pickle to show for it… very cool, very lucky, God bless! May the jinx not get broken.

        we have put these beautiful pebbles in a floor niche, and i keep getting worried that when babies start crawling they’re gonna swallow them and choke. compulsive worrier, that’s me! not that i do much about resolving worries, but i like to worry i guess, as a passtime 🙂

        • LOL! no jinx, don’t worry. Stuff comes and goes. It’s only material stuff. And you can’t put life and beauty on hold waiting for kids to grow up – at least I can’t. No matches or knives lying around but the rest they need to learn to accept as their home.

  18. Hey….the twin effect again! Just did a post linking to this droolicious post on bookshelves

    and have been agonising over designs and placements in our upcoming apartment…I’m spending sleepless nights over this, so thanks for the pictures! And congrats on being picked to be featured…off to check out more ideas!

    Are all these bookshelves you’ve featured here readymade ones, or did you get them made?

    • All are readymade. I don’t think I’ve ever found a carpenter I could trust… Mail me if you want help with the organisation. I do this online consulting thing where you send me pics on picasa and I help you set up the house if you want 🙂

  19. Wow! So we are finally getting to see bits and pieces of your home. And what a lovely way to unveil it! Amazing that you can maintain so many books like that in open racks – Im so scared that I will not be able to keep them clean and the books will loose their ‘smell’ – you know? Im planning for a full wall book shelf and have been thinking of keeping it closed or open…
    Sigh! Now I want to come to your home and just spend days reading all those books …

  20. Wooooow! i mean Woooooow!! ur so good at maintaining them books!

    mine are stored in a box..and once a year..i donate them to the local library. Though some books like ‘Black Beauty’ , ‘Tom Sawyer’, ‘Gone with the Wind’ n a few other all-time favorites…I carry with me, to everyplace I move.

    BTW..what are your thoughts on E-reading i.e kindle, ipad ? i’m old-fashioned that way, need a book to hold and a page to flip. I recently , read a pretty strong article against people who cant seem to get themselves to use ebooks. I know 10 years down the line, there won’t be much of a choice…but for now, its paper-books for me.

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