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This is not a question I'd ever given any thought to before, but looking at the photo makes me realise that I would immediately want to fill that gap.

Julie Fredericksen

Gaah, that picture bothers me. I would have to get one of my doggie bookends and straighten those books up. I have a collection of these, mostly Scotties. Just Saturday I found a lone spaniel bookend. He is so lost without his mate but I bought him anyway.

BTW, my bookshelves are crammed - there is no space in them whatsoever, so I have started putting books on end tables, dressers, etc., hence the need for bookends. There are also books hiding under table skirts, crammed into closets, hidden away in cabinets, etc. And still the books keep coming in.


I like the sound of your doggie bookends, Julie!


I dont mind the loose-living books but it would be a signal that there was room for more! Conversely, the picture would be straight 5 seconds after I saw it and repetition of this slouch would mean 2 hooks...


I am fine with this look! I clicked on the picture to see the book titles (do you ever do this with magazines? Look closely to see what is there on the coffee table, for example?) and I have Cultivating Sacred Spaces given to me by my father, who is no longer with us, so it is special to me! It is not the same, but I did think of it when I read your Don Pearson post yesterday! Actually, I also thought . . . another book title for my list!


I like that book, too, Deirdre. Come to think of it, I wish my own garden better reflected my gardening book collection!

Simon T

I'd love to have gaps ony my bookshelf! Chance would be a fine thing... But, aside from the fact that it would give me more room, I have no aesthetic problem with it!


I don't think I've ever had such a gap in a bookshelf... Which is kind of sad, really. But I'd leave it that way, if I did (and I'd already found shelf space for all the book stacked on the floor). I like the slightly haphazard look.


I would eventually want to fill it (the empty space does bug me), once I had decided on the right category of books that all seemed right together. But I don't think I'd randomly throw books on a shelf just to fill it, right now I have various stacks of books on the floor waiting for me to decide on the right ones to go together on several empty/half empty shelves!

Dark Puss

I don't have any gaps, but probably I'd like my books to be fairly straight. This is partially because it will lead to less damage, particularly to paperbacks, but it probably also stems from a general desire for visual neatness. Unlike Carolyn I'd much rather have my books unsorted on a shelf than on the floor. I have never kept books on the floor and I doubt if I ever will.


I don't have any gaps. The books here are stacked and pushed to one side and the other side are generally photos or knick knacks. Love the title of the post!


No gaps on my shelves and yes I straighten pictures .

Simon (Savidge Reads)

I initially thought I would want to fill the gap, but actually its a sign of possibly book joys to come. I would have to straighten them however. Ha! What a great fun and slightly insightful test this is.

Susie Vereker

Well, I don't mind the leaning look at all, but it wouldn't happen here. Too many books to cram in. I don't suppose many Cornflower commenters would like my untidy bookshelves as there are books sitting sideways on top.

Desperate Reader

it's not an empty space, it's a space waiting to be filled...straight doesn't worry me, it's finding things - as long as I know where the books are that's all that matters to me

Annabel (gaskella)

I aspire to have space in my bookshelves, so I can artistically slant a book or two, and use treasured objects as bookends, but sadly, it ain't gonna happen!

Margaret Powling

I don't recall ever having gaps on bookshelves! The overflow live everywhere there is a flat surface and I now have a self-supporting pile of books in the study which is almost a coffee-table in itself! And yes, books sideways on top of others on the shelves. I don't like this - I would like to get all the books off all the shelves in the house and sort them out, so that my antiques books, for example, aren't 'separated' ... some are in the study and as that section grew, the overflow is upstairs in what we refer to as the workroom. There was a system when we organized the bookshelves ten years ago, paperbacks on smaller shelves in the dining room, leather-bound pocket books, various series, country books in the sitting room, all non-fiction in sections in the study and so on, and hardback fiction in the bed sitting room, and my Persephone books on the revolving bookcase in the bed sitting room. But as books for various sections continue to find their way into the house (they don't have any help from me, I assure you!) they are often put on a table simply because there is no room for them.
As for examining the spines of books for titles in photos and magazines: when I get a new magazine as well as picking up my reading glasses I go and fetch the magnifying glass just for this purpose ... "Oh, she's got that ... oh, I've got that, too!"


Susie, you should see some of my other shelves!

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