At the risk of sounding anachronistic given the rise of the e-book, have you looked at your bookshelves lately? I was sitting here the other day reading a book on my Kobo reader and glanced across the room at my shelves of books. Some of the books are good friends of mine, some are strangers waiting for me to get around to meeting them, and some are “good for me” and await the time when I gather the courage to turn their pages. It occurred to me that one thing I often do when I am in someone’s house or office for the first time is look at the books on their shelves for some insight into their character, their interests etc.
So, what would looking at my shelves tell someone? Well there is one shelf, not pictured, which has about twenty Bibles of various sizes, translations etc. stacked somewhat haphazardly as many can not stand on their edge without damaging their leather. Hanging from one corner is the tag from the packaging for a gay pride flag which turned out to be surplus to my needs and I have not yet given it to someone.
The shelf in the picture above has; three Hemingway novels with matching spines from when I belonged to some book club or other, nine beautifully bound classics from when I belonged to the Franklin Library club The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Decameron with a book mark hanging at about half-way, Vanity Fair, a Jane Austen volume containing both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, The Magic Mountain, The Annals of Tacitus, Don Quixote De La Mancha, Candide, Wuthering Heights, a thin trade paperback Anoqcou Ceremony is Life Itself by a first nation elder from the area, A Night With Robert Burns, a Christian novel for youth called Just Another Girl, a trade paperback Understanding The Faith Essays in Philosophical Theology with a bookmark, Tamped Clay and Saltmarsh Hay which is a book about artifacts of New Brunswick, Literature in Canada Volume 1, Michael Whelan Folk Poet of Renous River, and The Book of Forms from the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
On the shelf beside this one there is one of every novel written by L.M. Montgomery, while another holds a bunch of rarely opened cookbooks. The shelf with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series has the set both in text and CD version, along with The Te of Piglet and an antique leatherbound set of Charles Dickens books.
I would like to think that the variety would give the impression that I am eclectic in my interests and interested in expanding my mind. The classics should show my connection with history and interest in the _________. The other books show interest in folklore, historical artifacts, and of course Theology and the church. The bookmarks part-way through multiple books is either good in that it shows I started the books, or bad in that it shows that I gave up.