Biblioklept has posted the fourth of his bookshelves. For my fourth post on places where books gather in my home we exit the study and drift around the corner to the principle bathroom.
Books tend to linger here, for years in some cases. I can discern no overarching logic to the collection. Several of these belong to S., so I shall offer no commentary on those.
Schultz’s 1000 Places to See Before You Die speaks to the gypsy in me, who would happily roam the cities and mountain tracks of the world in perpetuity. Cathcart and Klein offer second-rate philosophy but curate some wonderful philosophical jokes. Kate Fox’s Watching the English is the definitive guide to this strange island race. I am always rereading The Art of Eating, which collects all the best writing of M. F. K. Fisher. Edgar Allan Poe and I have had a troubled relationship; I can never quite decide if I enjoy or despise his stories.
Really enjoy these invitations to be a voyeur of sorts. Our books say so much about us. I can never resist checking out people’s books when I go to their houses. And then I always wonder if the visible ones are an authentic expression of self or a carefully crafted collection meant to convince us that they are something they are not. Like the time I asked my hostess about a particular book I love when I saw it on the shelves and was informed that she had no idea what it was, that the decorator had picked them all out. At any rate, your well-weathered Poe suggests that your love-hate relationship has indeed gone round and round a few times like some ill-fated relationship you can’t cure yourself of. Giggle. Thinking of Borges and the Eternal Orangutans that i finished recently and really enjoyed.
You are spot on with my relationship with Poe, Frances, and yet every year I reread at least a dozen stories.
I am surprised how exposed I feel exhibiting my shelves, particularly as I resolved that I must present them unaltered in any way, not stage managed.
The random book corners are often the most fun. There are several in my house, and they tend to collect books both loved and forgotted about.
I read a decorating tip years ago that suggests you should place storage where things natural accumulate, rather than where cold logic dictates storage should be.