On Books and Shelving
May 4, 2011 § 3 Comments
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, defeated, or blue, I turn to books. And not necessarily for reading since in such moods I’m often unable to focus. It’s more that I make my way to the nearest book sale, bookstore, library, or someone’s home collection and browse among the aisles, the many spines. It’s calming to be among books.
Personal libraries are especially fun since you can pick up on a person’s interests and taste, get to know someone through how they’ve arrayed their collection. The owning of a book by someone you like becomes a recommendation far more valuable than the aimless perusal, though that too has its merits. By recently browsing friends’ bookshelves, I’ve been introduced to Kate DiCamillo, bonded over well-worn copies of P.G. Wodehouse, and been tempted to pick up Tolstoy in a way no lit professor could have persuaded me.
For virtual browsing pleasure, here are a few book-heavy spaces. I’d love to lounge with a good drink and a good book at any one of these bars in Los Angeles.
I suppose this is the one-up of making forts as kids. A Slovakian artist Matej Kren made this octagonal Book Cell for the Modern Art Center in Lisbon.
How fun to have this bookshelf from Saba Italia! A domestic Alice in Wonderland-esque vibe.
The Sideways Library coffee shop in New York is–as Megan Tsang found out–just wallpaper, but nonetheless would make me feel right at home in the big city.
Hay-on-Wye in Wales is known for being “The Town of Books” due to its plentiful bookstores and antique book sales. Google will bring up a list of local bookstores before it brings up local accommodations! I just hope the books at this store have appropriate accommodations in stormy weather.
And finally, a fun stop-motion animation that happened when two friends decided to reorganize their bookshelf…
(Note added: set to the music of Rodrigo y Gabriela – they keep coming up!)