Wednesday, September 5, 2012

shelfspy #1


I love inspecting other people's bookshelves. They occupy this funny space between something private and something on display. It almost feels like spying—but is it?

I took this picture of my current bookshelves this morning, with the intention of posting it here. I thought it would be easy—take a picture, post it, done—but I found myself wavering, wanting to edit it for the camera, remove some books and display others more prominently, show off some aspects of my reading life while downplaying others. 

Finally, I just took the picture without changing anything. This is what's on my shelf. More books cycle in and out of my house than I can keep track of, but these are the ones that have earned at least a temporary stay of execution from the used book store where most of my reading material ends up.

So spy away. And if you post a photo of your own unedited bookshelf on your own blog, leave link in the comments—I'd love to see it.



27 comments:

  1. You're very practical. My bookshelf is too big to photograph all at once, meaning even if I back up against the opposite wall of the room, I can't get the whole thing in the frame. It's basically an entire wall in my dining room, and it's double-stacked with books. I try to cull the excess once in a while, but I never manage to tame it.

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    1. oh, that sounds amazing...I would love to have a wall-to-wall bookshelf someday, when I stop moving houses so often. (also, I would love one of those swiveling bookshelves that reveals a secret chamber. I am going to build one if I ever build my own house...)

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  2. I took a gulp and did it. I even took a picture without stacking the books neatly! :) Thanks for letting me see yours.

    http://rachelpudelek.blogspot.com/

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    1. what a beautiful bookshelf! the colors are so warm...and that clock! thanks so much for sharing this!

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  3. Whenever I visit someone's house I always check out their bookshelves and their music. (And, yeah, I judge people by their reading & musical tastes)

    I have two major To Be Read collections -- a shelf on a bookshelf in my writing room (that usually overflows onto my dresser) , and a stack on my bedside table. Then there are the books in my backpack that I take to read on the bus.


    -- Tom

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  4. Oh, no. Not posting my book shelf (or shelves) 'cause I have many writing friends who'll be looking to find their books on it. Wait till your book is out, you’ll know what I mean…

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    1. I worried about that! but the thing is, I give away most novels after I read them...or they're on my NOOK...and I certainly don't expect people to keep my books on the shelf until death or flood or fire....so then I stopped worrying :)

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  5. i feel buried in books now - in a way i didn't before. but maybe good buried, like in sand at the beach or something.

    here are my (laden, and many) bookshelves:
    http://www.beantherereadthat.com/2012/09/shelfspy-1.html

    thank you for the peek at yours!

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  6. Now if only I could zoom in on that photo and read some of those titles! What's your favorite? I know that isn't a fair question, is it? Not with a Garden book mixed in with novels, etc. How about... what is the book you most like to curl up with on a rainy day? Or... which book was most uplifting? Most page-turny? Most likely to leap from the shelf and whack you upside the head?

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  7. my favorite curl-up book right now is I and Thou by Martin Buber...it's philosophy, and we have 4 or 5 different translations from various used bookstores. I tend to worry a lot about the proper way to exist, and Buber has some pretty illuminating thoughts on that...

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  8. This contains a picture of my dresser instead of my bookshelves, but it's scary enough as it is. ;)

    http://jesshaines.com/blog/2012/07/30/clearing-off-my-bookshelves/

    <3,
    -J

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    1. O.M.G.

      just hope there's not an earthquake...you could be buried so deep in books it would take them days to dig you out!

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    2. Yeah, tell me about it. Living in Los Angeles, I've dealt with the aftermath of earthquakes before.

      Pro tip: If you move to California (or some other area with lots of seismic activity), even if you don't have kids, get those little child lock thingies for your cabinets. Your dishes will thank you.

      <3,
      -J

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  9. Loved the "secret" peek! I can't post any of mine because my books are all packed. My husband dismantled all our bookshelves to build new fabulous built-in floor to ceiling shelves. It will be wonderful, but I can't stand having my books packed in the meantime!

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    1. oh, but you will have the incomparable joy of unpacking books and deliberating for hours over how best to arrange them! (or just throwing them on the shelf, depending on your style...)

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  10. Yours is so pretty and small! I've been hoarding books since the 1st grade. Needless to say, if my apartment burnt down I would lose $500 in furniture and $2000 worth of books. Seem a little over weighted?

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  11. You've inspired me to share my Unedited Bookshelf! (Actually the unedited overflow... the stacks of books on my fireplace mantel): http://distraction99.com/2012/09/09/tomorrow-today/

    Fun :)

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  12. Thanks for sharing this, I did it too! Here's mine -http://www.miekezmackay.com/2012/09/books-books-books.html. By the way, I never congratulated you on your upcoming debut. You truly deserve it!

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    1. what a neat story, about the glass cases in your grandparents' house! thanks so much for posting.

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  13. Posted mine (at least, the main shelves. There are several scattered throughout various rooms).

    http://thewwaitingroom.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/a-sneak-peak-of-my-bookshelves/

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    1. thanks for posting! you'd better get on those national geographics...:)

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  14. I can totally relate to not having a lot of books at once. I have a stack of books next to the couch that I'm about to read, then we have a few shelves in our "pantry" but our house is really small and we are kind of poor, so unfortunately most of my books end up at the used books store, I give them to friends, or if they are rejected by the former, Goodwill. Mostly the books that survive around here are herb books, cook books, and other books that will come in handy in the event of an apocalypse.

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  15. What a great post! I agree, there's something so wonderful about a person's bookshelf. This is mine, and I built it to double as a window seat.

    I decided to color-arrange my books and loved how it looked so much that I turned it into the banner for my blog!

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  16. Awesome! And Kon Tiki, just hanging out there. :)
    These are mine. Do you really believe I could have just one? And the huge box on the bottom shelf of the first one is all printed articles. Joy.

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  17. Is it too late to join the party? These shots are highly representative of me :)

    http://fionapaulbooks.blogspot.com/2012/09/my-cluttered-bookshelves.html

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  18. This is great! I've been hosting user submitted bookshelves on this site: http://shareyourshelf.tumblr.com and encourage everyone to submit there as well!

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