Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trisha J. Wooldridge's Bookshelf

The top shelf of this bookcase, a bookcase made by my grandfather who migrated to the U.S. from Poland, a bookcase that spent much of its life as the sole wooden bookcase in my bedroom, a bookcase that lived through my childhood and teens in the honored place beside my bed where I could sneak books when I should have been sleeping, this top shelf of this bookcase has always been dedicated to housing the a collection of special books. Books that defined my life.

For a while, I kept a Bible and a catechism there.  My then-religion had a major impact on my life.  During my grammar and early middle school years, it housed Judy Blume, The Babysitter's Club, and a Sweet Valley High. I really wanted to be popular, but knew I wasn't. 

During middle school and junior high (because we had junior high in addition to middle grades when I was in school), it housed multiple copies of Madeleine L'Engle's series (four copies, in particular, of A Swiftly Tilting Planet) and C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia and Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn and another unicorn novel by an author I don't remember called, The Firebringer. I realized I would always be strange… and I really loved unicorns.

In high school, the top shelf housed a double layer of books from the DragonLance series and Forgotten Realms. Along with my Dungeons and Dragons sourcebooks. And some three-ring binders of my own writing. I had embraced the creative geek--and I found others who had done the same.

My bookcase was too big to fit in the back of any car my family owned, so I had to leave it behind for college. While I was in college, it was more of a showpiece than an easy-access escape route. I put my pretty, embossed, gold-edged Lord of the Rings box set there, along with my Complete Works of Shakespeare. My Bible and catechism books moved back in--as much for my faith as for the beautiful pictures and ornate spines. The collector's editions of the D&D sourcebooks moved in there, too.

After college, I moved around to a few apartments and finally my house, and the shelf has become a combination of easy-access escape and showpiece. It's the first bookcase you see upon entering the house, and the shelf is either the first or second one you'd notice. There are a few books older than me along with references for herbs and religion and health. I'm likely going to change it over again, soon, because we're re-doing our books (which live in every room of the house at this point - including bathrooms!), but you can bet there will be Important Stuff staying and going on that shelf!
Bio: Trisha J. Wooldridge is a freelance writer, editor and educator from Auburn, MA and the current president of Broad Universe ( Her experience ranges from Dungeons & Dragons Online to animal rescue public relations. She writes about food, wine, horses, haunted locations, education, and she interviews bands like Voltaire, Within Temptation and Nightwish. Her short story, "Party Crashers," co-authored with Christy Tohara, was in the EPIC Award winning, Bad-Ass Faeries: Just Plain Bad, (Marietta 2008, Mundania 2009), with a second co-authored short story in the EPIC Award winning, Bad-Ass Faeries: In all their Glory. She's editing another anthology with Kate Kaynak of Spencer Hill Press called, Unconventional,which collects the secret stories of the weirdness people always knew happened behind the scenes of conventions and conferences.


  1. Nice to get to know you better through your bookshelf, Trish. Shakespeare, The Last Unicorn, Narnia and Lord of the Rings are titles I also love.

  2. Love the history of your bookshelf, Trish, as well as the journey through your life. Even as a writer, it constantly amazes me how favorite books help shape who we are.