Saturday, March 29, 2008

Know thy shelves




It occurred to me while getting a glimpse of Dani's precarious piles of read and unread books over at A Work in Progress, that we folks who read book blogs are probably the same folks who, when we go to a person's house for the first time, check out their bookshelves. When I visit a blog for the first time, I'm checking out the blogger's shelves to find out who this person really is and whether I want to be friends. I supposed one could say that it is snobbish to base my decision on books, but reading is about both the heart and mind and knowing what someone reads and, if they tend to do this, what kind of books they keep company with, tells you a lot about what they care about. What are their passions, their arcane interests? It tells you what they're thinking about when they're alone with the company of their own mind and it does so without the person explicitly needing to describe those things, which is easy for some and hard for others. I love meeting someone who is on the more socially awkward side and kind of closemouthed about themselves and finding out what they read. Aha - bodice rippers and swords dunked in dragon's blood - now I know the real you!

Aside from the fact that the images of Dani's book room also made me feel much better about the state of my own shelves and TBR pile which are paltry compared to her's (ha-ha-ha), or actually it's more likely that they're more spread out around my apartment and appear to be. You can be the judge, a few of my shelves can be seen above.

5 comments:

Danielle said...

Thanks for sharing your bookshelves, too! I'm always curious about what books others have for the reasons you mention! I keep my books all pretty close together mostly due to space restrictions, but also because I am a reader living with a bunch of nonreaders. I'm not sure how they'd take to having piles of my books all over the house rather than in my own personal spaces! I love the shelves you have built into your wall--that's exactly what I'd love to have!

Ted said...

D - I Enjoyed your post on this. Yes, the built-in was designed by the Ragazzo and was a requirement before he moved in. We both had way too many books and too much music and wanted to make maximum use of our limited space.

Sheila O'Malley said...

Love it!! I love to look at people's book shelves!

It reminds me of that wonderful monologue John Cusack is in High Fidelity - how of COURSE you "judge" someone by what music they listen to, what books they read. Not judge in a snobby way ... but if you know someone's top 10 favorite books, that says a helluva lot more about them than you can ever learn in a superficial conversation ... It SAYS something about a person - their books, their music ... it says something about who they are. I totally get that. I could have ZERO in common with a person but if I find out that that person counts Harriet the Spy in his/her top 10 favorite books of all time - then I know that on some level that person is a kindred spirit.

Ted said...

S - Yeah, I had forgotten about that monologue. It's true. If you put any emphasis on reading or listening what you do in that realm is revealing in a very intimate way.

Sam Houston said...

I enjoyed browsing your shelves, Ted...love the way those pictures blow up into such huge images. That made my snooping very painless. :-)