What’s On Your Shelf, Carmen Stefanescu?

It’s that time again, it’s time for ‘What’s On Your Shelf?’ and today, we have Carmen Stefanescu from the blog, ‘Shadows Of The Past’. Hailing, in her own words, from Dracula country, Carmen is Romanian, a teacher of English and German, a romance writer and a longstanding bibliophile. You can find out more about Carmen via her blog and her books are available on Amazon and Goodreads.

‘I thank my gracious host, Dawn, who invited me here to share with her followers my “treasure”!
I love to read. Yes, I love the escape of stories, the passage of time in another world. I’ve always loved to read – ever since I was a little girl in the kindergarten.
My maternal grandmother taught me the alphabet and I started reading as early as three years old. (This was a reason I was accepted to start school one year earlier than was the regulation in my country at that time – at six).
I was born in a period when books were the greatest entertainment in my country, Romania. Especially in provincial towns. No TV. Just here and there a radio.
I have to thank my family who inculcated in me the fondness for fine arts- music and painting, and above all in books. I must confess I suffer of something that during the 1800s was defined, in Europe, as illness – BIBLIOMANIA. That is – collecting books.
As a child I had my collection of fairy stories books. They, later, were passed to my daughters and now to my only grandson.
My mother used to bring me small gifts as reward for the good grades I had in school. These gifts were, yes, you guessed right – books.
As an adult, I started a collection called Love Stories Novels. It was in Romanian. I have almost the whole of it, around 300 books. Another great collection was The Dolphin- war stories. In Romanian , too.
The very first book in English I read was Pride and Prejudice. I borrowed it from the University library. I was a college student. I remember to this day the feel of the fine pages and smell of the leather bound covers.
After the fall of communism, things changed around here and I was able to buy paper books in English and German from bookshops that sold second hand books. My dream came true. I have over two thousand books in Romanian, English and German. And I mean paper books. I am a hoarder, I admit.
In picture 1 you can see some of the books (they are on two rows) in English and German. My bookshelves are covered by glass as we live in an area full of dust most of the year.

1-carmen-s-bookshelf-with-english-and-german-books
Picture 2 is a close up of the same bookshelf where you can read the titles.

2-carmen-s-details
Picture 3 is a part of the bookshelf where I have Romanian books. The photo there is a graduation one. I was the class master of the pupils in it.

3-carmen-s-bookshelf-with-romanian-books
Picture 4 is from another room with another bookshelf with books in all three languages I speak. It’s in the room I use to call Muse’s den. During warm weather, I write here. The yellowish poster you notice on the shelf has, in chronological order, all the queens and kings of Britain, up to Elisabeth II.

4-carmen-s-musesden
Finally, in picture 5, a small shelf displaying my favorite author’s books – Catherine Cookson. Thomas Hardy, Catherine Cookson, as well as S. King and Somerset Maugham are my idols in the field of writing.

5-carmen-s-another-shelf-with-my-favorite-author
So, here are some of the proper/paper books have. I have books to read two lifetimes. But you know what? I won’t get upset if I get some more.
I haven’t mentioned anything about the ebooks that threaten to spill out of the Kindle I have on the PC.
As I was saying above, Bibliomania is something I will never be cured of. And I don’t want it, of course.
My only concern is if I find any books to read in the afterlife, when I leave this human world on Earth!’


I’m a little jealous of those large glass fronted shelves, Carmen. That must make dusting a lot easier. I hate dusting our shelves there’s so much ‘stuff’ on them. As for the books themselves! What an amazing and varied library you have and a fascinating life you’ve led, thanks for sharing that with us.

It’s lovely that you have your graduation photo still and that the books and love of reading are in some ways your grandmother’s legacy. Perhaps they will be yours too. It’s clear to see  from your favourite authors that you’re a bit of a romantic at heart with a soft spot for the heroine in a novel. I think we all enjoy a feel good story every now and then.

What do you guys think?


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

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23 thoughts on “What’s On Your Shelf, Carmen Stefanescu?

  1. carmens007 says:

    Thank you, Dawn, for hosting me today!
    Yes, it’s a lifetime of love for reading. While I must admit I have other hobbies – like playing PC games, stamps collecting – reading was, is and will be my greatest one.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mae Clair says:

    Wow, Carmen, I never realized you had so MANY books! That is a superb collection, and I love that you have them in all the languages you speak. Like Dawn, I’m jealous of the glass-fronted shelves 🙂
    Wonderful photos! So glad to see you here at Dawn’s lovely blog, and I really enjoyed your take on how books have impacted your life!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. carmens007 says:

    Thank you, Mae, for the comment!
    Indeed, books/reading influenced my life and finally led to what I achieved in the end – becoming an author as I dreamed as a child, while reading Agatha Christie’s books.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Flossie Benton Rogers says:

    Marvelous, Carmen! You have such a compilation of treasures. I’m envious, I admit–but happy for you at the same time! Nothing can beat the smell of a new book, and well read ones have their own provocative scent. I am pleased to know such a talented, accomplished person. Kudos for your years of dedicated teaching too. I love it that Pride and Prejudice was the first book you read in English.

    Liked by 2 people

    • carmens007 says:

      I understand you, Flossie, and I am sure you are saying it in the positive way. I know we share the same love for reading/teaching/improving our knowledge.
      You are right about how holding a real book in our hands feels. What a pity these electronic books don’t come with a smell of ink or paper. Perhaps they will think about it one day.
      Thank you for checking the post and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Morgan says:

    What a wonderful collection, Carmen! Books are like friends…they comfort, console, and whisk you away to other worlds. I’m an avid collector, too, so I truly understand your passion for books. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

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