Today is Clean Out Your Bookcase Day. It’s a holiday that I’ve never heard of, but fully support the idea. In fact, I’d probably sign a petition to make it a week long observance.
Don’t get me wrong. I love having stuffed shelves. They’re way more interesting and have a nice “lived in” kind of feel. Displaying art and other items alongside your books is always interesting too. Though I imagine many books are little art pieces themselves, if we’d just display them face out.
I spent some time culling a case of its older books (bindings that may need some attention, foxing that needs to be addressed, etc.). Overall, it was worth it. Plus, there was the added bonus of finding a copy of Mathew Crawford’s The World Beyond Your Head, which I had forgotten about and will pair nicely as a follow up toStolen Focus by Johann Hari, which I just started reading.
Though I have to wonder… does one’s Clean Out Your Bookcase Day efforts count if all the extra books just wind up stacked on the floor?
Maybe that’s the week-long holiday I need – “National Pick Up All The Book Piles on the Floor Week”… thank you for stopping by and reading… any chance you took a moment to straighten a shelf or two today?
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).
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 Booksby 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.
If you are going to fall for a novel bookend at least make it humorous. And this one certainly floats to the top of all the choices on the interwebs and would be a great gift for book lovers.
It’s aptly called “The End” and features a little bookworm about to get squashed by the tilting titles. It’s just under 4.5″ tall so don’t expect to hold too many books with this (or even one big book). But it will certainly be a great talking piece as friends peruse you shelves.
I think this bookshelf/table by Lema is awesome. It stores books, keeps them close, on display and still keeps the space a useful one. It’s a win, win, win, win. This creative bookshelf is called the Booken and it is being shown at an international furniture Show in Cologne. So no price yet. I could use three of these.