It’s hard to believe how quickly this year’s Nonfiction November #nonficnov is blowing past as we’re already posting for Week Three. This week is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey and carries the assignment of – Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert.
Here is the prompt:
You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).
In the past, I’ve offered up titles for becoming an expert on book covers as well as good reads for becoming an expert on bookshops.
This week’s prompt is always my favorite topic each November. Not only do I enjoy taking a deep dive on whatever I’m doing or reading, this week gives us a glimpse at what else a fellow book blogger is into and thinks about. It’s really fun. In case you can’t tell: I like books. Keeping with that theme, here are three books I’d recommend to help you become an expert on bookshelves.
Be An Expert on Bookshelves
Let’s start with the definitive book, on the subject, by Henry Petroski, The Book on the Bookshelf. This book, was published in 1999, and covers it all in a very accessible manner. Petroski is an engineer and it’s useful to see the changing construction of bookshelves and well as the cultural implications of the evolution of bookshelves through an engineer’s lens. There are some really fun and wacky illustrations in the book and is a great place to start.
Lydia Pyne’s 2016 essay-length book, simply titled Bookshelf, is the next book on the list. Pyne approaches the subject with a creative’s and historian’s perspective. So it dovetails nicely with Petroski’s book. In Pyne, you’ll find a kindred bookish spirit who helps explore what a bookshelf says about the owner as well as the impact bookshelves have when displayed for all to see. If you’ve ever been caught scanning a friend’s bookcase, trying to figure out what they like to read, this is a good book for you.
The third book is one of my absolute favorites. At Home with Books by Estelle Ellis, Caroline Seebohm and Christopher Sykes is a visual delight. This is a book you’ll want to leave open on the coffee table all the time. The photography is excellent and all of the interviews, short essays and sidebars deliver on the promise of the subtitle ”How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries”. Inside you’ll find houses crammed with books as well as million dollar lavish libraries. The bookshelves are all full, regardless of who owns them. You’ll meet book collectors that look for everything from fiction, to art books, to books on buildings and toys as well as poetry. It’s so much fun to see how these professional and hobbyist bibliophiles use their shelves and all the nooks and crannies they find to place bookshelves.
Those are the three I’d recommend for becoming an expert on bookshelves. Please, let me know if you know of any other good books on the topic of bookshelves or home libraries. I can never dive deep enough into a pile of books about books. Hope your Nonfiction November is going well.
12 thoughts on “Be the Expert: Books About Bookshelves”
At Home with Books: just added to my TBR. Thank you!
It’s one of my absolute favorites. Hope you like it too!
Oo I love these!! Thanks for the suggestions!
Thank you for stopping by the site!
How fun! I think you are definitely the expert on books-on-bookshelves.
Ha! I’m certainly no expert, but it has been years since I’ve had bookshelves fall off the wall. So that counts for something, right?
Books about bookshelves- I would have never thought of this! Bibliophile is also a good one.
Yes! I love Bibliophile. So many good tidbits and great art. Reminds me I should’ve added The Ideal Bookshelf to the post as a bonus. That’s another one that’s fun. Thanks for stopping by!
I do quite enjoy books about books, but have never really thought to expand that interest to bookshelves – I’ll be looking in to it now for sure. Thanks for the recommendations.
All I know is that I don’t have enough bookshelves!
I haven’t read Bookshelf by Alex Johnson but I do follow his blog onthebookshelf.co.uk
Thanks for sharing these titles.
Please stop by to see my NonFicNov: Become The Expert
I’ve got At Home with Books and have a small bookshelf featuring books about books, too. Nice selection here!
Great list! These all sound like they come at this topic from different angles that would pair really well together.