Sunday, 20 November 2016

Books I Took to Uni

For me, picking which books to bring all the way up to Scotland was akin to a parent chosing which child they love the most. At first, my plan was to take all two shelving units worth of my books, but it became apparent fairly rapidly that unless I wanted to take only books to university this wasn't going to be possible. So began the heartbreaking task of whittling down my book collection to only those I saw as essential. Yes, 'essential' still means over 100 books in total, but you'll see why later on. Here are the books I brought to university:

Penguin Little Black Classics

These definitely make up the largest number of all of the books I have in St Andrews. I have 82 in total and plan to expand the collection in the future (sorry mum). In my defence, I do study English and Comparative literature, so due to the 'classic' nature of these books, I have already, and will continue to come across a lot of the authors. I like to see them as my ready made shelf of wider reading, as well as my shelf of beauty and organisation.

Penguin Clothbound Classics

An overriding theme you'll probably notice about my bookshelves is my love of matching sets of books. Nothing pleases me more than seeing a nice matching row of book spines all collected together. Although the clothbound classics aren't all the same colour or pattern, they all go together perfectly. The beautiful cover designs are by Coralie Bickford-Smith and I love each and every one of them. Even though I am studying Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary this semester, I'm not reading my clothbound editions mainly because we're required to have certain copies to help with referencing, but also because I like to highlight and annotate quotes and passages in the books I study, so I wouldn't want to be doing this in my beautiful clothbounds! So, if I'm not really going to be reading them here, why did I bring them along? To be honest, they are my favourite collection of books. They really brighten up my room, and remind me of all the stories within them everytime I walk past my shelves.


An important edition to my personal St Andrews Library is my small collection of cook books. I have 5 in total- The Student Nosh books volumes 1 and 2, the vegetarian Student Nosh book, Delia Smith's complete cookery course and and old cook book of hers titled 'one is fun'. The Student Nosh books are by far my most used cookbooks, I've essentially lived off the recipies in these books for 3 months, and they're still going strong and I love them to pieces. At home, Delia is something of a prodigy. She is my 12th (wo)man (shout out Norwich) and her pancake recipie in the complete cookery course is quite honestly the only pancake recipe you'll ever need. Jokes aside, the complete cookery course is great for absolute basics- it assumes no former cooking knowledge and takes you through each process step by step. When we, as a family, faced the crisis of having run out of mayonnaise, I was able to whip up a homemade batch with Delia's help having no previous mayonnaise making experience, and so, our middle class issue was averted. I haven't made anything from the 'One is Fun' book yet, but it does seem good for working out quantities if you're only cooking one portion. If anything, the title makes me laugh because it reminds me of something your mum might say after you've been through a nasty break up to make you feel better.

University Books

This last section is more or less self explainatory- I have all the books I needed to read for the module I'm currently studying. They're battered, they don't match, they're written in and mostly second hand, but yet I think they have the most character out of all of my books. As much as I love my beautiful clothbounds and black classics, my favourite books are those that have been read, loved and have picked up  a bit of wear and tear along the way. Slowly working my was through the ginormous pile of uni books has been so rewarding, and I really have enjoyed most of them! If you're interested in my thoughts of my uni reads, I post monthly reviews of the books I've read, and at the moment they all fall under the uni umbrealla.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my slightly too extensive collection of books- which books would you bring along with you?

E x


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