Sunday, December 10, 2017

My Ideal Oregon Bookshelf

Have you spent any time drooling over browsing the Ideal Bookshelf website?

The artist who runs it paints bookshelves.  Not like this:

but like, a painting of a bookshelf. With your favorite books on it.  Like this:

I can't even begin to explain how grabby-hands this idea makes me.  When I first discovered the site, I kept scrolling though, hoping against hope that one of their already-designed options would be Just Right. But no, each shelf I found, no matter how delightful in general, was either missing something vital or added something I couldn't consider ideal. (The above image is pretty darn close, I must say, but I'd want to add more contemporary work as well, not just wallow in nostalgia.)

Much like daydreaming about what you'd do if you won the lottery, I sometimes waste an afternoon designing an Ideal Bookshelf painting. My favorite concept is the Oregon authors shelf.  I don't actually have images of the book spines, but if I ever have a couple of hundred bucks to spend on a self-indulgent piece of art, I'd choose:

Oregon Geographic Names by Lewis A. McArthur
The River Why by David James Duncan
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Winterkill by Craig Lesley
This Side of Home by Renée Watson
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
A Girl from Yamhill and Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver
Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
The Jump-off Creek by Molly Gloss
Girl, Stolen by April Henry
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Stubborn Twig by Lauren Kessler
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
Stories that Could Be True by William Stafford
Don't Worry; He Won't Get Far on Foot by John Callahan
Arctic Dreams by Barry López
Gentle Ben by Walt Morey
The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Bargain Bride by Evelyn Sibley Lampman
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper
Fire at Eden's Gate by Brent Walth
The Program by Suzanne Young

What a beautiful shelf that would be, and how proud I am of these authors. It would also be a really full and expensive shelf, which is why it's arranged very generally from Most Ideal to Ideal But Maybe Not Required.  

Mmm. Now I want to do a "childhood favorites" shelf, and maybe also a "21st Century YA" shelf.  Yes? 


  1. I've never heard of Ideal Bookshelf, but now I can totally see how you'd get caught up in drooling. I hope someday you get your custom bookshelf!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. Oh my goodness! I am not sure it is a good thing that I now know about the Ideal Bookshelf. I so want one.

  3. I've seen this before! I love your ideas for shelf development. It has me thinking about what I would want!

  4. I’m a fool for people’s favorites, so, yes, I’ve spent time (a lot of time) browsing the site and, yes, I actually bought a copy of the book (sorry...probably shouldn’t have mentioned that there is a book). So much fun.

  5. Oh my gosh, Ideal Bookshelf has wrapping paper! That is brilliant!

  6. What a neat idea! I really love your list, and I definitely have to get something from this site, whether for me or someone else. Hey, you can get a custom mug for only $18...

  7. Oh my gosh, yes, that IS so cute :) I actually haven't read most on your list!

  8. Did you see that Purple House Press is bringing a lot of Evelyn Sibley Lampman’s books back into print including Bargain Bride? I’ve been petitioning for a few years and it’s paid off!


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