Bookshelf Report: Crates and More Crates of Books

The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where a Bushwick reader invites us into their home and shares a little bit about the books that occupy their shelves.

Today’s bookshelf belongs to Bushwick volunteer extraordinaire Hollie Young. If you have ever been to a Bushwick event there is no doubt that you have seen her there rocking out. Also, you may remember that Hollie’s book collection has been featured on the Bookshelf Report before, but since she actually HAS a bookshelf now, I thought it would be nice to feature it again.

hollie bookshelf report 2

How do you organize your books?

First thing first… our lovely collections of books are conveniently stored in wine crates flipped on their sides. We have a rather long wall in our living room we have stacked the crates against. Funny thing, our books are respectively divided by “his” and “hers” (my husband’s and mine.) From there, my books are separated into different categories and genres. For instance, I have a section for old text books (which are not accessed all that often so they are on the bottom of the shelving unit), a section for children’s books, a section for horror mystery and the macabre, a few sections of “good reads” (which include several Bushwick books!), and a couple sections featuring authors I love.


Be honest. What percentage of the books on this shelf have you actually read?

I have opened every single one of my books!!! But, I have only read about half of them. I have every intention of increasing the percentage read though.

Hollie bookshelf bushwick 7

What’s your favorite book on the shelf?

I currently have two favorite books. One is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. I love this book because I love the imagery Murakami uses. I haven’t read the book in 10 years but I can still picture a very vivid scene in my head—absolutely beautiful! My other favorite book is The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud. This is a children’s book my husband gave me for my birthday. I love children’s books and hope to someday write and illustrate one. One reason why I love this book is because it’s from my husband and it proves he knows me all too well. I also love this book because the story is cute and the illustrations are amazing. Each page is absolutely stunning! There are so many details, I often get lost in the scene on a page for several minutes. Plus, it’s fun trying to find the cub and the little bee he’s chasing—very reminiscent of the Where’s Waldo books I grew up with.


If you had to speculate, what do you think the title of your-to-be-completed-sometime-in-the-future children’s book will be and what will it be about?

No speculation needed because I have a rough draft written. It is called Puddle Jumper and it’s about a kitten named Shoelace who discovers he’s not a typical cat because he enjoys jumping in puddles.

What book do you plan on reading next?

The book I plan on reading next is Damned by Chuck Palahniuk. It is about a girl who ends up in hell and befriends a variety of lost souls. A comparison is made to the John Hughes classic, The Breakfast Club. What can I say? I am an 80’s girl through and through. As soon as the comparison was made to The Breakfast Club, I was sold. It also seems an appropriate read considering Halloween is around the corner.

hollie bookshelf bushwick 6

Who’s your favorite character from the Breakfast Club?

If you asked me this question when I was in middle school, the answer would be Andrew Clark, the athlete played by Emilio Estevez. This is not because he is the jock, but because I had the hugest crush on Emilio growing up. Now, I would say I relate most to Brian Johnson, the brain played by Anthony Michael Hall.  I was the geeky, nerdy, straight A student in school.


What is the most interesting book on the shelf?

Tough question! The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid is a captivating book, so I’ll say it is one of the most interesting ones on my shelves. It is told from the perspective of a Pakistani man in the course of day. He meets an American and proceeds to tell him his life’s story about going to school in America, falling in love, the public’s changing views after the 9-11 attacks, his changing views about America, and his return to Pakistan. I like the many themes it explores: conflicting values, patriotism, love, individualism, race relations, and discovery. It is well written and you feel as if you are there on the streets in Pakistan. It keeps you on your toes too because you are unsure what the intentions are of the American–the ending is suspenseful! It is a good read and I highly recommend it.

hollie booksehlf bushwick 6

Is your new bookshelf better or worse than your old book stacking system?

Oh, the crates are so much better! I can section off books if I want; I can store other items in the crates; the books are no longer on the floor; and it looks prettier. Plus, now, if I need a book, I don’t need to worry about re-stacking the pile when I pull one to read.

hollie bookshefl before after

Thanks for sharing again, Hollie! I hope you are enjoying new bookshelf. And I can’t wait to read Puddle Jumper!

For those of you reading at home, I would love to featured your bookshelf on the Bushwick Bookshelf Report. If you are interested let me know.