What’s On Your Shelf, Colin Garrow?

It’s that time again, it’s time for ‘What’s On Your Shelf?’ and today, we have Colin Garrow, witty writer of ‘The Watson Letters,’ a blog parodying the work of Sherlock Holmes. Colin is also a prolific writer of novels and young adult fiction, all with a hint of murder and/or mystery. If you haven’t already, please do check out his blog here and his books here. Over to you Colin!

‘My favourite bookshelf stands next to my writing desk (or kitchen table, as it’s generally known), and consequently is the place for dumping hats, musical instruments, unpaid bills and the inevitable seashells.

I have to admit to doing a little solicitous tidying before taking the photo, but essentially this is how the shelves usually look.


So, starting at the top, you’ll see the first of several melodic devices – my ukulele. This doesn’t get played as much as it should, but sees more action than the didgeridoo (leaning against the left hand side of the bookcase). This shelf also hosts the remnants of my CD collection, though apart from Fats Waller, Wishbone Ash and Rick Wakeman, it’s mainly classical music. Taking up nearly a quarter of the shelf space is my most recent paperback purchase – Stephen King’s ‘Under the Dome’, which I might get around to reading by the time the summer arrives in this part of Scotland.

The next shelf is mostly stage plays, leftover from my Drama degree. There’s a huge variety here, including John Osborne, Sam Beckett, Dario Fo, Arnold Wesker and Snoo Wilson. (I do have plays by women too, but they’re on another bookshelf, along with my poetry collection). I used to have a huge collection of books about the theatre and stagecraft too, but running my own theatre company for a few years put me off creating theatre myself, so I’m afraid they went the way of all flesh (Amazon).

Next one down is a bit of a hotchpotch, with some of my Gavin Maxwell collection (most of which I haven’t read), a few of my own works and the handful of literary mags who were kind enough to publish some of my poems and stories. The plastic box on the left is where I stuff any paperwork I think I might need someday, and which I rarely look at again. The vampiric painted stone is from the nearest beach (Inverbervie) and hails from one of the arty projects I did with my son. Next to that, if you look closely, is a guitar capo and a set of pitch pipes for a mandolin. I haven’t used these for years, since I tend to tune my various instruments by ear.

The lowest shelf in the photo houses yet more musical items (tin whistle, guitar footstool), and a few novels, including a fascinating non-fiction book about the London underworld, which I’ve yet to finish reading due to the incredibly small type face. The reddish/greenish painted box in the middle is a remnant from my many papier mâché creations and is yet another repository for essential items I might one day need: candlesnuffer, hole-punch, paperclips.

The shelf you can’t see in the picture is stacked up with music books – a mix of guitar songbooks and classical notations. It’s also where I keep all the cookbooks I never look at, and the enormously heavy history of kings and queens of England which I know I’ll never read but can’t bear to get rid of. Such is the lure of books and ephemera.

Colin Garrow’

What an eclectic set of shelves, Colin. And you’ve reminded me that I have a guitar in the loft I really should get down and play. I love the little art projects dotted about, that give us an insight into family life in your house. Oh and I agree, candle snuffers are absolutely essential!

The stage plays sound interesting. I haven’t read many plays as I prefer to watch them but there are a few on my to be read list, I haven’t got round to yet. It’s good to see some of your own novels there too I spy. 

Thanks for showing us your bookshelf Colin. What do you guys think? Do you read a lot of plays?


Would you like to be a guest on ‘What’s On Your Shelf?’ I’d love to hear from you so get in touch below or through my contact page on www.dsnelson.co.uk


6 thoughts on “What’s On Your Shelf, Colin Garrow?

  1. Mae Clair says:

    I can tell that is a much loved bookshelf. I love the addition of musical instruments mixed in. Although I am not musical myself, there are musicians in my family and I envy that talent.
    Quite a collection of stuff you’ve got there, Colin. It’s nice to meet you—and your bookshelf! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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