Monday, August 15, 2011

Musing Monday..."Big As Trees...Brains Like Peas"

Another Monday, another question from the desk of MizB at Should Be Reading...

This week’s musing asks…
Do you like looking at other people’s bookshelves?

Oh, if only I could!
But to tell you the truth, I can't say I really know many people with bookcases of lovely books to peruse.
Or if they do, maybe they are not letting me into their houses! Gosh, I never considered that...

Seriously, we readers must remember we are in a minority book-wise. I won't quote those terrible statistics again. They are too depressing. But know that most people to not read books, yet alone own enough to fill a bookcase. Our worry about what to do with all our books, the decision whether to part with some or squeeze another bookcase into our house somewhere or live with the random piles doting the landscape is not an issue most people face.
Sad but true.

I think a bookcase can tell you a lot about a person. First, of course, that they own enough books to fill it up, already a wonderful thing! Another reader, one of the rare breed! But also you can see what sorts of books they love, especially what books they care enough about to keep. And then, how do they organize them? By subject, alphabetically, by color..or not at all. I think it is telling and interesting. And so much fun!

Now, one person who I know who reads as much as me, my sister-in-law, has no book cases full of books. It never really occurred to be before, but how can this be? I loan her a fair number of books and when she is done with them, they will sit in a box waiting for me to take them back. She seems to be the odd book lover that has no desire to actually keep any of the books she reads, something I can not relate to. And of course, she was the first person I know to get an e-reader, an Evil Kindle.I guess she can hand you her Kindle so you can look at what she owns,but really, is that in any way a similar experience?

OK, I have backed away, a bit, from my dismissive hatred of e-readers but that raises another issue. When all the books are digital, where will those lovely bookcases be found? Sure, you can make cyber book shelves, like the ones on Library Thing and Goodreads, but come on, it is not the same. No old book smell, no beautiful spines all lined up perfectly. You can't pick one up, feel the weigh of it, open it to read a page or two, getting lost, for just a moment, in another world...awww...wonderful.

Yeah, I know. I am a dinosaur.
A dinosaur who needs to build some more bookshelves.
And I am fine with that.


  1. What an awful visualization..."Yes I have books, all 300 of them...right there in my Kindle". I have 2 EReaders but I will always have a full bookcase so Wilma, when I Betty, get together for coffee, we can look at each other's cave woman's books.

  2. Well, I don't steal books Per se, she just loans them to me (: Thanks for stopping by, come back soon!
    -Katie @ Magic Is In Wors

  3. Beautiful spines neatly lined up? Whose bookshelf looks like that???? Surely not mine. Mine are a disaster. But I will never give them up, no matter how much I love my Kindle. And I do love looking at bookshelves. It's better than looking in people's medicine cabinets! (Not that I do that, of course.)

  4. A lack of books in a home is a sad thing. I guess an ereader is better than nothing to read at all, but it does take out some of the aspect of sharing with others doesn't it. In most homes I go into I find more things like CDs and DVDs on display and I enjoy those as much as seeing books. The visiblity serves much the same purpose as you have cited in your post. Very good post by the way.

    Tossing It Out

  5. As I posted on some other comment, I read an article this weekend where a guy was saying how upset it makes him to go to the pool while on vacation and he can't see what anyone is reading because they all have readers!

    I love the sharing part of reading, checking out others books, on a shelf or on the bus.

  6. ooh, me too, me too! I love looking at people's bookshelves, not that I get the chance to do that too often either. My younger daughter has one whole wall of bookshelves and then a smaller one filled to the brim. *Sniff* Makes a Mom proud!

  7. I often wonder what my friends are thinking when they see my bookshelves, since they don't display any that I ever see. I wonder if they think I'm weird. I don't have an e-reader yet, I have to many books waiting to be read on my bookshelves, I can't justify my buying one right now, but I'm of these days I will break and give in. And really I am old enough to be a Dinosaur.

  8. Looking through someone's ereader just isn't the same. You can come look at my bookcases anytime.

  9. I always thought I'd never get an e-reader, but I'm starting to think I'd like one just to take in the car with me, or on vacation. It would be better than lugging some books. I'm leaning towards the Nook Color.
    Here's Mine

  10. Vicki, I once said that. And while I still have issues and prefer a 'real' books, I now own two, a Nook and a Nook color. I hang my head in shame..

    Kathy, do not be surprised if I show up at your door one day to see those bookcases!

    Gigi Ann, you think buying an e-reader needs justification? silly girl..that is like saying I need to justify more books! ;-)

    Kaye, you should be proud. passing on the love of reading is a great gift.

    Arlee, I agree that I find a home without books rather sad and empty.
    I will never have that problem!!

    Note to self..{{check sandy's medicine cabinet}}

    Katie, taking books from someone is not stealing...just borrowing...

    gautami tripathy, how can we all not love looking at pretty.

    CMash, it is a terrible vision, a world without 'real' books. well, I will defend mine!!

  11. I enjoy looking at other people's bookshelves, but the truth is, I don't know many people who have bookshelves. But, if they did, I'd be looking.

  12. I keep my books bc I like to reread. and also have a look at all that I've read! I organize them by size...tall ones on the left then itty bittys on the right. although color is an interesting idea I never considered.

    and mom doesnt like to keep ANYTHING! not even her wedding cake topper lol

  13. I can never resist checking out someone's bookshelves. Sadly, you don't often see them anymore, which is sad. I myself am limited by Mr. Jenners so I feel my home gives a false impression.


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