- The Yale Shakespeare (for the Shakespeare category)
- The Stories of Hans Christian Anderson (Children’s Classics category)
- The Pre-History of The Far Side (Humor)
- The DaVinci Code (Mystery category. This is, I admit, the only mystery book in my house)
- 50 Great Short Stories (My own addition, there was no short story category)
- Bartlett’s Poems for Occasions (Poetry)
- Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar (for the “deep–but not too deep–thoughts” category)
- The Hobbit (Fantasy)
- Treasure Island (Children’s Classics)
- The Book of Great Books (Reference)
- In Our Own Words, Extraordinary Speeches of the American Century (another Reference choice)
- Pride and Prejudice (the Jane Austen contribution)
- Dracula (Horror)
- Everyman’s Library Pocket Collection of Love Letters (Journals and Diaries)
- Robot Visions (Science Fiction)
- The Book That Changed My Life (Odds and Ends–and because I love this book)
The only category of Dirda’s that is not represented on my bookshelf is the Biography category. Stephen King’s On Writing is my choice for that category, which is currently lent out. I also have chosen, for my own reasons, not to include the Bible on my guest room bookshelf. (I can hear the cries of “heathen!”)
Whether or not you have the room (or desire) for a guest room bookshelf, this was great fun as an exercise! I thoroughly enjoyed spending an afternoon going through my personal library, considering which would be the perfect book (or books) in each category. In many cases you’re not choosing “the best of the best”, and you’re not even necessarily choosing your own favorites, you’re choosing with an eye to what might inspire a visiting reader to settle in and get lost in a new adventure. Perhaps (and I may be reaching here) even inspire that visiting reader to discover a new author or genre. And I must admit, that challenge, that inspiration, is one of the things I love best.
So… if I don’t keep my guest room bookshelf in an actual guest room, you may be wondering where I do keep it? In the hallway, of course! Between the two rooms that do serve as guest rooms when friends or family come to visit. And if its presence in the much-traveled hallway inspires my kids, their friends, or any dinner guests to pause and peruse–all the better!
What would your guest room bookshelf contain? Please comment and share your own choices!