In re: Shelving books


When I look at my bookshelves, I see my life. Whole glimpses of previous interests are represented, from my collection of Latin American fiction to the many reminders of the years I spent living in Italy (the novels of Primo Levi and Italo Calvino). There is my love of Ian McEwen, Susan Sontag and Paul Auster (which brings back memories of long-ago Saturday mornings spent in the New York Public Library researching and writing his bibliography).” William Drenttel, One Man’s Literary Compass from Design Observer

Having grown up around heavy library users I often struggled with whether it was a smart idea to purchase books, which for me were often one time uses, versus the more sane approach of borrowing, both as they were free and by saving the resources of having books made for the sole purpose of lining my shelves. Despite the impracticalities of having books lying around I enjoy their presence on my bookshelves and the reminder of the good, the great and the bad books I have read either on my own for pleasure or interest or forced upon me in some miserable philosophy class during my undergrad (St. Augustine’s Confessions for example).

More recently, now that my little collection has grown a bit I’ve also taken to lending my books out, which has some pleasure attached to it. If a book is good I want others to know about it and enjoy it as well, and there is something nice about knowing they are reading the same copy you read as well – although there is no reason for it and it would often be easier to have them just go get a library copy.

Either-way, thats where I am, and I came across an interesting article and photo essay on Design Observer that covers a bit of the way I feel as well, but I was surprised at the photos to be honest as one would think photos of bookshelves to be quite boring, but I found these rather intriguing. See Bookshelves from The Greenwood Press


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