The Bookshelves Abound series continues with the Academic Bookshelf. This one of the five bookshelves on the upstairs landing. It sits next to the window at the top of the stairs and is next to the new bookshelf, i.e. the one the new books go on until I have time to read and shelf them properly.

Academic Bookshelf

The thinnest upstairs bookshelf is the academic bookshelf, which has a lot of university textbooks on it
The thinnest upstairs bookshelf is the academic bookshelf, which has a lot of university textbooks on it

The Academic Bookshelf is so titled because most of the books on it are from various university courses that I’ve studied. It doesn’t have every single academic book that I own on it. There just wouldn’t be room, even if I cleared the games from the academic bookshelf. Working from the top, here’s a run down of what you can find on the academic bookshelf


The top of the academic bookshelf has a number of family games on it. Some games live on top because they are too big to fit on a shelf. The actual top shelf holds a whole collection of board and card games. Most of these are german style family games. There’s Civilization, Bohnanza, Zombies, Manitou, Alhambra, Coup, Junta, Release!, Monkeys Need Love Too, and Awful Green Things from outer space. On the shelves below there’s also Forbidden Island, a fluxx deck, and spare playing cards.

Academic Books

The middle three shelves on the academic bookshelf live up to the name. Almost all of the books here are either supplied for an open university course or bought for study rather than pleasure. There’s a shelf full of Strategy books for B301 (Making Sense of Strategy), my first Open University course for my current BA in Business Studies. Alongside those are the Big Red Book from A215 (Creative Writing) and some of the larger reference works for when I was writing stories for that (most of the writing reference material is on my writer’s bookshelf, which you’ll see in a couple of weeks).

Below those are some more strategy books and a load of management theory. Most of which came as part of the materials for B203 (Business Functions in Context). There’s also a tome on Operational Research, from when I was the Head of Operational Research for the Identity and Passport Service in the ID Cards days. The next shelf down has an ancient two-volume dictionary that I inherited. It also has science text books, mainly biological, but also physics and chemistry.

Outsize Books

The key feature of the academic bookshelf, which determines its contents, is that it is tall and deep. This means that it attracts the larger books that won’t fit on other bookshelves. The bottom shelf is the tallest of them all, so it has the largest books that we own. The biggest of these is our silk-bound wedding album. There are also five large atlases and several coffee table books. None of the books on this shelf are less than A4 in size, yet some are dwarfed next to their extra-large outsize brethren.

Next week will be my new bookshelf, the one the new books go on…