Project: Bookshelf with Kazia Berkley-Cramer

Welcome to PROJECT: BOOKSHELF, a continuing series in which Mackenzi Lee tries to read every book on her bookshelf in the course of a summer while friends, writers, and readers drop in to tell us about their respective shelves. This week, in our final edition to this series, we are joined by the lovely Kazia Berkley-Cramer, a library science student whose career choice will come as no surprise when you learn how much she likes rearranging bookshelves….

But first, let’s take a look at my reading wrap-up.

This week, from my collection of unread books on my shelf, I read…

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

  • Genre: YA Contemporary
  • Where I Got It: Bookstore ARC
  • What I Thought: You might not know this, but for a while I have been praying for a hilarious, authentic male narrator who is neither permanently aroused like so many of the boys of YA, or super feminine and emotional. Oh, and also I would like him to be hysterically funny. And have good grammar. And love Oreos.
    Simon Spier is that male narrator.
    The voice of this novel is SO GOOD. Simon is one of the most vivid and real narrators I’ve read in YA this year. Or maybe ever. A great coming out/coming of age story with a narrator who I want to hang out and eat Oreos with.

My Near-Death Adventures (99% True) by Alison DeCamp

  • Genre: MG Historical
  • Where I Got It: Bookstore ARC
  • What I Thought: This book had me laughing out loud from start to finish. Stan is a lively and hysterical narrator, and the lumber camp setting provides endless possibilities for hijinks. Also I love his granny. She reminded me of Grandma Dowdle from Richard Peck’s books. So much fun. This book was a pleasure to read.

Playlists for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

  • Genre: YA Contemporary
  • Where I Got It: Bookstore ARC (I am so sorry none of these books are out yet!)
  • What I Thought: This book was a really intense and honest portrait of suicide and moving on when you feel responsible for something horrible and tragic. The examination of responsibility in this book is beautiful and on point, and it manages to cover some really difficult subjects without feeling weighed down or heavy. Also the use of music (and a whole slew of really geeky references) was excellent.

And now, meet Kazia and her bookshelves!

Rearranging books has always been one of my favorite things to do. If I could list it as a hobby and be taken seriously, I probably would. I have always loved books and bookshelves, and rearranging books has become a regular fixture in my life, not only with my various jobs, but also with my personal collections. Bored? Rearrange books. Stressed? Rearrange books. Got more books? Rearrange books. Books and bookshelves hold so many possibilities; how can you not love tinkering with them?

My books (and bookshelves) are somewhat unevenly distributed, with the majority of my books still living at my parents’ house. I live less than an hour away from them (my parents and my books), which is good because I adore them (my parents and my books).

(Note: because I have an excessive number of books, my “bookshelves” are sometimes actually just dedicated floor space. I couldn’t leave those out, though, since some of my favorite books are there!)

So, let’s start in my room in my parents’ house first.

Photo 1What’s on it: Graphic novels, YA fiction, YA anthologies

How it’s arranged: By the broad genres above, then alphabetically by author

Standout books: My Harry Potters (which survived my tumultuous love-hate-love relationship with them), A Series of Unfortunate Events box set (the best birthday present a sixteen year old could ask for)

Photo 2What’s on it: Classics, nonfiction, picture books, adult fiction

How it’s arranged: By subject or body of work and alphabetically

Standout books: Tess of the D’Urbervilles (a classic I actually liked reading, and for a class!), The Portable Thoreau and other Thoreau books my dad edited, Invisible Man, The Fin de Siecle: A Reader in Cultural History, c. 1880-1900 (my favorite book from my Decadent Literature class), The Philharmonic Gets Dressed (a favorite picture book)

Photo 3What’s on it: Children’s books

How it’s arranged: Vaguely by how much I like it, and whether or not I’ve read it?

Standout books: The Two Princesses of Bamarre, The Secret of Platform Thirteen, and many other childhood favorites

Photo 4What’s on it: Grammar books, memoir/biography and history books, mass-market paperbacks

How it’s arranged: On top by genre, on the shelf by color

Standout books: Airborn, The Gospel According to Larry, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from the UK, lots of Tamora Pierce, Red Scarf Girl

Now, let’s check out my apartment!

Photo 5Welcome to my book nook! This is where I delicately shove all of the books I have in my apartment.

Photo 6What’s on it: Books for class

How it’s arranged: Currently by recommended and required and by size

Standout books: Peter and Wendy, The Wind in the Willows, Winnie-the-Pooh

Photo 7What’s on it: Nonfiction, authors coming to the area, library books, theory/reference

How it’s arranged: By the above categories and not much else

Standout books: Code Name Verity, Port Chicago 50, Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys, Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature (these two sociological/cultural texts were completely worldview-changing for me)

Photo 8What’s on it: Oversized, collections of authors or series, browsable, fiction (children’s, YA, adult); on the sides are graphic novels, mass-market paperbacks, and picture books

How it’s arranged: By type listed above, then by size, interest, or color

Standout books: Inkheart, Dealing with Dragons, Sense and Sensibility, Hamlet, Ella Enchanted, books signed by the authors (Flora and the Flamingo given to me by my sister; Journey given to me by my boss; The Fault in Our Stars after the 2012 Tour de Nerdfighting), too many other incredible books to list.

Since the school year is about to kick into gear, my reading of these tomes will have to be put on hold until next summer. In the meantime, I guess I’ll have to make do with rearranging them.

Photo 9Kazia Berkley-Cramer is a graduate student at Simmons, where she is working towards an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library and Information Science. When she’s not working, homeworking, or reading for fun, she can usually be found marathoning television shows and getting excited about the intersection of social justice and pop culture. You can find her occasionally tweeting here, more frequently reblogging things on tumblr here, and see what non-picturebook books she’s been reading this year here.  

Thanks for tuning in! Join us next Friday for a Project: Bookshelf wrap up for a look back at all the wonderful posts we’ve had this summer.  Can’t wait that long? Visit the Project: Bookshelf archive.



One thought on “Project: Bookshelf with Kazia Berkley-Cramer

  1. Billy says:

    Ms. Berkley-Cramer

    I loved your post and your books and how you have made their arrangement your hobby. I particularly liked the arrangement by color. Your ROYGBIV shelf has visually soothing appeal to me, and it would be very helpful for booksellers who have customers who come into books stores requesting a book by saying, “I don’t know the title but it has a blue cover.” :)

    Me?…well I arrange by height. There is nothing quite as satisfying as books lined up from tallest to shortest.

    Nicely done…full marks to Kazia Berkley-Cramer


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