One of my goals in life is to add to the collection of books on my shelf.
Reading has been one of my favourite pastimes since I was little, and I can quite happily spend hours curled up with a book. It makes me sad to think I’ll never get to read everything. Just me?
I don’t just keep books on my bookshelf, however. My new room is smaller than the last one, so the shelves have become home to a good percentage of my possessions. Here’s just some of the stuff you can find.
1. My make-up collection
I used to sort everything by product type, but it took up a lot more space. When I moved in I ended up throwing it all together, which means I often empty out the bags (yep, there’s more than just my favourite Charlotte Tilbury one) to search for that one blusher.
2. Nail polish
I keep most of my polishes in a Soap & Glory box, then leave whatever I’ve been using on show so I can grab them to cover up any chips (something I have to do a lot). Because I’m here for winter and not summer, my uni collection mostly consists of darker shades and some nudes, although at the moment I’m loving the bright Purple Orchid by Models Own right now.
3. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
I apply this before bed, leaving it where I can see it so I don’t forget. It’s great for extra hydration now the weather is getting colder and skin is getting drier.
4. Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson
This is the book that broke me out of my I don’t know what to read rut last autumn. I was hooked, finishing it in a matter of days. Christine suffers from memory loss and is living with her husband, who she doesn’t fully trust. You’re left to question everything as you read about her experiences. A page-turner.
5. Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is one of my favourite writers, and Notes From a Small Island was the first book of his that I read. It was on the bookshelf at a holiday cottage I stayed at when I was fifteen and I picked it up on a whim — a good move, because Bryson is funny, observant, and witty, and he makes ordinary things like ordering breakfast into hilarious anecdotes. I had to leave the book behind when we left, but I bought my own copy from a charity shop as soon as we got home.
6. The Armstrong & Miller Show boxset
I’ve grown up watching comedies — everything from old-school sitcoms like Dad’s Army and Allo! Allo! to sketch shows like Catherine Tate and American shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. So it was no surprise to anyone when I became a fan of Armstrong and Miller. I find their sketches strike a fun balance between silly and clever, and I turn to them whenever I need cheering up.
Dorothy Parker is the queen of the barbed one-liner. Before I bought this book, I was only familiar with her poetry — fed up with love? Parker’s got your back — but she also wrote short stories and articles. This is the kind of book you can dip in and out of whenever you fancy it.
8. Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes
Sali’s bullshit-free approach has won her legions of fans, myself included. Pretty Honest is a treasure trove of tips and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s interested in beauty.
9. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
I didn’t enjoy this as much as The Virgin Suicides, but it’s a good read nonetheless, even though it feels like it’s dragging in places. My favourite thing about this book is that *SPOILER* despite the title, Eugenides eschews the traditional one or the other choice between suitors and has the protagonist end the book as a single woman who needs to spend time by herself to figure things out — a relateable situation if there ever was one.
My manager at the charity shop gave me this, which I appreciated because I’m trying to mix up the kind of meals I make and not rely so much on pasta all the time. The main reason I started eating more vegetarian food is because meat is so expensive, but after chatting to my veggie housemate and reading more about other cruelty-free bloggers’ experiences, I’m thinking about making the switch full-time.
What do you keep on your bookshelf? What are you reading at the moment? Let me know.
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about cruelty-free beauty, vegan & veggie food, and trying to lead a less wasteful life. I throw the odd think piece in there, too.