Monday, March 24, 2008

What Does Your Bookshelf Say About You?

The New York Times has a blog about books called Paper Cuts. I'm not sure I get the name. Sounds ... painful. And it's a bit too high-minded for me; I'm just not into books enough to subscribe to it on my RSS reader.

I did happen upon a recent posting that's interesting, about bookshelf etiquette. Folks debate what books are okay to display on your bookshelves: only ones you've read? (That seems a bit strict.) Do you consider what party guests will think when you're arranging your books? Neil and I have gotten around this by displaying only CDs and DVDs in our living room, leaving the books in the den. We did relegate a good chunk of the sci-fi and textbooks to the top shelf.

From the comments:

I would agree that most people display books in an attempt to construct their identity. I am guilty of shelving my 18th and 19th century British novels and hiding my “beach books”

Let’s start with the First Commandment: Bookshelves are for books. Thou shalt not place photographs, nor souvenirs, nor any manner of knick-knack upon thy bookshelves, for they are shelves for books. [Angie: Puh-leeze.]

The grand statement my library is making is this: These are the books I’ve bought. [Heh. Amen!]

By the way, the photo is a random shot I found of someone who arranges their books by color! I will admit to organizing ours by genre, then alphabetically by author. But I'm intrigued by the book rainbow!

1 comment:

1993 GJHS Reunion said...

The book rainbow's a bit Pantone-y for me.

I do remember a Real Simple recommendation that for best visual impact, one should group books by size. I organize mine by genre and alphabetically by author within genres. And the bulk of my nonfiction and potentially useful textbooks are in my spare room. The ones related to TV shows and movies are near the DVDs =)