Bookish kindred spirits and the conveyor belt of books.

books by Emily Freeman

Other People's Bookshelves with Emily Freeman

Today we’re continuing our Other People’s Bookshelves series. View the previous posts here. For a reminder on how this series got started, head here

Today we’re snooping the shelves of Emily Freeman, who is giving us a virtual tour of her bookshelves. I can recognize Emily as a bookish kindred spirit by the way she speaks fondly of her favorites and talks about her books “living” in her home (mine do, too).

I asked Emily to tell us about her shelves, how they’re organized, and to show us her favorites. Here are Emily’s shelves, in her own words:

I never really realized I had a system until you asked.

I haven’t re-organized in a while, so you will notice a few strays that don’t belong, but for the most part you will see the pattern.

Emily Freeman bookshelves
These two shelves by the fireplace are the most general of my shelves. Many of the books here I’ve already read, but some I haven’t yet. But the ones I haven’t read are not yet on a to-be-read list. So they are shelved here, kind of by color.

Although you will notice the shelf on the right is reserved for “dark books” (by color, not by content) with two exceptions. First, the middle row of books is a collection of hardcover children’s books we found in the garage when we moved to this house and I can’t bring myself to separate them from one another. So they stay together in their own colorful array and are not mixed with the other books.

Second, the Harry Potters have to stay together without exception. (Editor’s note: of course they do.) If that makes sense to anyone except for me, I will be shocked and awed.

Emily Freeman bookshelves

the same two shelves, closer up

Emily Freeman bookshelves

The bottom two shelves here are the next step up from the fireplace shelves. Here is where I choose books to go on my to-be-read list. Some of these I’ve already read, but many I haven’t. From the ones I haven’t, I will choose books to go on the next shelf in my office. I like this shelf. It feels like home.

Emily Freeman bookshelves

This little shelf holds the books I’m currently reading and the books next in line. I only recently added this shelf in my office when I realized I needed a place for my to-be-reads to live.

Emily Freeman books

Currently reading: Seasons of Your Heart, To Bless the Space Between Us, and the Celtic Daily Prayer books are more devotional than read straight through. But they basically stay on Currently Reading Always.

Emily Freeman bookshelves

next in line to be read. (Editor’s note: good stuff!)

Emily Freeman bookshelves

I also have a stack of books I only read in the morning and they stay together next to my sofa in my office. Right now, those are my Bible, my journal for Morning Pages, The Circle of Seasons by Kimberlee Conway Ireton and Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner.

*****     *****     *****

books by Emily Freeman

Thanks so much to Emily for sharing her shelves with us! Head over to Emily’s blog Chatting at the Sky for more about her, and be sure to check out her books:

• A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live: Emily’s third book, published last October, and my favorite.
• Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard LifeEmily’s first book, written for fellow “good girls” (myself included).  
• Graceful (For Young Women): Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life: Emily’s second book, for young women (and their moms, in my opinion). I need to read this again because my oldest daughter keeps getting older. Like mother, like daughter, etc.  

Read the rest of the posts in the Other People’s Bookshelves series here.

more posts you might enjoy


Leave A Comment
  1. danielle says:

    It is amazing how to me how happy I get looking at other peoples book shelves 🙂 I am glad I am not alone. I recently had a friend over and her mother came with her, her mother did not know me at all but the second she stepped into my house she went to the bookshelves. We smiled at each other and I knew I had found a kindred spirit 🙂

  2. Kristen says:

    I love the little shelves with the next to be read, so smart! I can’t bring myself to colour sort my books, I have my own weird sorting thing. My husband’s books are about 90% black so that takes the fun out of it real quick 😉

  3. This is the first time I ever thought of organizing books according to their to be read status. Super basic, and yet I’ve never thought this way.

    I’ve had SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN on my shelf (unread) for years and years. Must, must get to it.

    Fun to see you here, Emily!

  4. Misha says:

    Thank you for this little delicious glimpse… it’s like candy, only healthy and fun! I love The Wednesday Wars so much and so rarely hear of people reading it… it made me smile to sit it sitting amongst the greats.

  5. emma says:

    The Wednesday Wars is a very good book! 🙂 I think I’ve read it twice 😉
    I looove how you organize your shelves, I think I need to go reorganize mine… not that all the books really fit, so I often end up with my to-be-reads in a stack on the top or at the front of one of the shelves lol… 😛

  6. Teresa says:

    Books are such great friends. I could never feel at home without books around me. They are scattered all around my house. There is almost always a current reading pile on the ottoman. I think the utility and bathroom may be the only rooms in my house without books – I need to remedy that as soon as possible. Darcy, thanks for inviting Emily to share her shelves – and Emily, thanks for letting us peek into your shelving and reading system. Bread and Wine is on my current reading list and I love it – I already want to read it again.

  7. erin says:

    i *love* this series idea!!!
    i post a monthly “review” of the books i’ve read that month {along with the books my 11yo daughter and 10yo son have read, too}…and i’ve commented several times that you can learn a lot about people by snooping through their bookshelves.
    thanks for this peek!!!

  8. Emily! Thank you for including my book on your special morning reading shelf. The same shelf as Lauren Winner’s, no less! I’m pretty wide-eyed with disbelief. And tickled pink, of course 🙂

    Also, I love that your shelves are arranged by color. I did that once, but then I was the only person in the family who could find books, and it got wearing, so I put them back in the more traditional fiction by author/non-fiction by topic. But come to think of it, I’m still often the only one who knows where a given book is. Since we’re moving, I might go back to organizing by color…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.