Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Random Bookshelf Shots

One of my favourite things to do is checking out other people's bookshelves. I thought I'd share a couple of quick snaps with you.

What I love about having radically disordered shelves are the juxtapositions you get. Books end up next to each other for no particular reason. Looking round here I can see that I made an effort at one point to corral my Angela Carters together, and my 'The Guardians' series of occult mysteries by 'Peter Saxon', and also my Paddington Bear collection. But others are pretty much haphazard.

When you've got a lot of books it's often about just finding space for them anywhere, rather than placing them in some kind of rational order.

At some point I must have assembled a little enclave of High Modernism - Joyce, Conrad and Woolf. But look at how their little party's been broken up by the Exorcist and Dallas...

Amongst the obvious things, there are gems - sometimes rare ones - that I keep meaning to draw to the attention of my blog readers. Do people know 'Songs in the Key of Z'? Irwin Chusid's brilliant book about Outsider music (with accompanying CDs?), or Delmore Schwartz's magical collection of stories, 'In Dreams Begin Responsibilities', (which Georgina Hammick made me read all those years ago)... Or Simon Crump's odd and anarchic novel, 'My Elvis Blackout'? Or the first and only novel of my friend, Reuben Lane, 'Throwing Stones at Jonathan'? That was a lovely book from the end of the last century - and I've stupidly lost contact with its author. (If you're out there, Reuben - get in touch!)

1 comment:

  1. I always feel that putting books in a certain 'order' rather puts one off picking them up to read. As though disturbing the careful placement is tantamount to 'breaking a spell' and making a set look incomplete. Whereas, if they're already higgledy-piggledy, taking one down doesn't upset an arrangement, and a book can be enjoyed at one's leisure without the fear that someone browsing through your shelves may consider you ill-bred enough not to have a complete collection of, say Douglas Adams or Pratchetian wisdom.