#ShelfLove 2021 – Still the Oldest Books

For March, the #ShelfLove Challenge participants are discussing the oldest books on our shelves.  I decided to look back to the books I had written about in 2017, and discovered that I had only read one of the books I had mentioned, and the rest are still on my TBR. The book I’ve owned the longest and still haven’t read has moved from place to place, country to country with me since 2005!

  1. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton – This book was mentioned in an episode of Gilmore Girls.  It wasn’t an easy book to find at the time, especially since I was living in Korea, but I tracked a copy down through a used bookseller that didn’t have a problem shipping to an APO.  I was a bit obsessed with the Beat Generation and majorly obsessed with all things Gilmore Girls; otherwise, I wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble of finding it.
  2. Memory Mambo by Achy Obejas – After my Abuelo passed away, I began finding and buying any book that might bring me a little closer to the Cuban part of my family.
  3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – This book, and the next three, were bought free on my brand spanking new first-generation Nook right before I deployed to Iraq in 2009.
  4. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  6. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – Though I started reading this one last year, I never finished it, so it deserves to stay on the list.
  7. Book Lust by Nancy Pearl – Always a fan of books about books, as soon as I saw this offered on Nook, I snatched it up.
  8. Hiking Alone by Mary Beath – I purchased this while on a road trip in 2011.  I had stopped for the night in Albuquerque, NM and when I got up the next morning, I realized my hotel was just across the street from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
  9. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens – I bought this from a little independent bookstore and coffee shop in Utah during that same road trip.  Their largest cup was “The Hagrid” and I’ve wished that coffee and tea shops everywhere offered “Hagrid”-sized drinks ever since.
  10. The First Pillar by Roy Huff – This one is the oldest on my Want to Read list on Goodreads. Though I know there are books I have owned for far longer, this one, along with 22 others, is from when I started tracking my TBR in 2014.


Since half of these books are in storage right now and the others are ebooks, I’m probably not going to get them off my TBR this year. The only exception to that might be The First Pillar since one of the prompts for a reading challenge I’m participating in is “Oldest on TBR.”  

What are some of the oldest books on your shelf?

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