Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Have you heard of the family who drowned in books? No? Good! that means I still have my reading habit under control. I do occasionally read books on my iPad but that tends to be only when pickle has forgotten to tell me about some school work and I urgently need to explain something before Amazon or Abe books can deliver. That is right, I make a point of finding books rather than letting Pickle think that Wikipedia is the fountain of all knowledge.

Here on the shelf by my desk I have a few important reference books. Two bird books, a wildlife book and an encyclopaedia.
I love reading books, I love the feel and smell of books and more than anything I love giving books away. When I lived in my flat in London every time a friend came around I insisted they picked a book to go away with. The best thing that you can do with a great book is pass it on. What greater gift is there than the discovery of an idea or the introduction of a new cherished author?

I end up by buying the same book time and time again. The exception being my Folio books that are mine for keeps.
Our lovely friend Rob made these book cases from reclaimed oak boards, they are lovingly made and filled with care. This is the fiction side of the window. I can see Murakami, Primo Levi (oops, the wrong side) and Jane Austen nestled in with a fluorescent Lenin and a decanter. I need to sort out the lower shelves and reclaim the dining rooms from the disarray it has fallen into.

On the far side is the non fiction. My beloved dictionaries and encyclopaedia as well as the first of my art books to make it here. The rest of my books are still in boxes at my Mum's house. Perched on top is a book containing the architectural plans of the Eiffel Tower that Pickle and I gaze in awe as her Lego aspirations go stratospheric.
Am I the only person who is transfixed by other people's book shelves? I remember my respect for an ex-boss evaporated when I saw her artfully designed shelves had nothing more than a handful of thumbed holiday fiction. Book collections can reveal interests and passions; a depth of understanding or a butterfly intellect. I wonder what my shelves say about me?

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