Our Hobbies Our Shelves: Carmen Keeps Books Stacked By Her Bed as a Comfort Blanket

Hello and Welcome Back to Our Hobbies Our Shelves, a new A+ series where we take you on a tour of our home libraries. There's photos, and stories, and thoughts about what goes behind the books we love — there's also a detailed spreadsheet, crafted and organized like we are the librarians of our own lives. A damned delight!

So let's get to it, shall we?

Notes on Organization Scheme

Once upon a time, I organized books by logic. There was a shelf for each subsection (Black fiction before before the 2000s, Black fiction after the 2000s, feminist theory was broken down by wave, all the things). This was especially true when I was a PhD student, but my how times have changed!

Now my books are organized by what I can best describe as... feeling? Books on the Nightstand (more on that in a second) tend to be ones that make me smile when I see the titles. Books on the window sill mean I'm perpetually re-reading them and don't want to lose my place. Books on the bookshelf still have a...

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Editor-in-Chief Carmen Phillips is a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer with a PhD in American Studies from New York University. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 385 articles for us.