Allison / 39 / Brooklyn, NY
“I’m a big library user, so while I read a lot my book collection is minimal. The books I do buy tend to be about my interests in Art History, Fashion, Finland and Madonna! The shelves are built into the bedroom of my brownstone apartment and the books are organized via the rainbow.”
Serena / 25 / Long Beach, CA
“This is my living room bookshelf — right now it’s a hodgepodge of teacher pedagogy books for work, old favorites, and books on my to-read list. Oh, and I always forget that my Kindle (which I haven’t turned on in years!) is hiding underneath.”
Stasia / 31 / Seattle, WI
“I really love comics and they’re about 3/4 of my book collection. Whats even better is that there hasn’t been a better time for getting queer comics than right now, so I’ve got a ton.”
Olivia and Kira / 25, 6 months / FL
“I have always loved reading and it’s super important for my wife and me to instill that love in our daughter. We have several bookshelves around our house but the Billy is my favorite. I think it’s the doors that make it feel like the kind of bookshelf I would want to fill an entire room with were I ever to have a dedicated space for a library (fingers crossed it will happen one day!) Our books are broken into fiction and nonfiction, with fiction separated by read and unread, then alphabetized (mostly). Billy holds fiction books we’ve read and a few unread that wouldn’t fit on our other shelves. My wife thinks we need to slow down on buying books, but I think we just need to buy more bookshelves!”
Brigitte and Karlee / 30-something / Australia
“We have tried to keep our own styles while creating a new aesthetic in our cute little apartment. Our bookshelves are fairly queer, like us! We both like comics too!
Karlee: I like lots of colour and little figurines hiding in the stacks – my book shelf doubles as a display shelf.
Brigitte: I have a few little bikes and antique cigarette tins along with my books. And a Peridot figurine to scare away the clods.”
Frances / 29 / Paris, France
“My books are currently organised into read (a jumble) and unread (with specific sections: unread food and travel, unread English fiction, etc). It was supposed to shame me into not buying any more until I finish this lot, at least two metres worth. There is a Japanese word for this problem, tsundoku. One day I’d like a collection of matching tree trunks to hold up the shelves, for now I have one tree and more piles of books for structure. And a collection of butterflies started by my father.
Favourite book? is a mean question. I think I have read Travels with Herodotus the most. And I have a Stephen Dunn collection by my bed because of one of Riese’s essays.”
Sally and Gillian / 35, 30 / Winchester, UK
“In this photo I am attempting to absorb knowledge from my current read (We Go Around in the Night and are Consumed By Fire, about lesbian gangsters in Manchester) directly into my brain. Gillian is incensed because she has read ahead in Fetch and discovers something bad happens. Our shelves are a disarray of books (lesbian science fiction, cook books, 20th century craft theory) and various sentimental mementos. The royal mugs are all Gillian’s and I have told her they are not coming with us when we move out.”
Sarah / 24 / New York, NY
“My bookshelf is quite eclectic. I have sci-fi, YA fantasy, fiction, old school lit and quite a few non fiction titles. As you can see, LGBTQ books take up the majority of my collection in each genre. My top three books this year are The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie, Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’d say my favorite book of all time is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton because it was the first book that really had me falling in love with reading. My book shelf is in order of height. The middle section contains a few coffee table books. I also keep my collection of crystals on my bookshelf.”
Stef / NY
“I used to organize my books by author last name but have abandoned any kind of system for the moment. somehow, despite being 100% at book capacity all the time, I can always manage to squeeze one more onto the shelf. I can never get rid of books and frankly refuse to ever switch to a Kindle.”
Sophia / 27 / Firestone Library
“I recently had to clean several piles of books off of my desk in a shared graduate student office, some of which I squeezed two rows deep onto shelves and surfaces at home and some of which I relocated to this locker in the university library. I chose to photograph this locker because it holds many of the library books I am using for my third dissertation chapter, where all the sexuality and gender theory I didn’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole in undergrad comes bursting out as I talk about Erauso and Céspedes. These are the books I’m wrestling with as I write about the intersections between race, religion, sex, and gender, and the struggles to read and write ambiguous bodies like those of Erauso and Céspedes (who in today’s terms might be considered transgender and intersex, respectively).”