1 EAGLETON NOTES: Books - 1

.

.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Books - 1

A few days ago I posted from my living room which showed some of the bookcases in the house.  Years ago I was waiting for a colleague.  He had just moved in a few doors away not long after we moved to Lewis.  I was looking at his bookcase.  I have no idea at all why I asked but something made me ask if he minded me looking at his books.  He replied that he didn't like people looking at his bookcases because books were a private thing and you could learn too much about a person by knowing what books were in their bookcase.  Well that may or may not be the case.  If you can tell anything about me from these two samples of my living room bookcase you are welcome to speculate. 



14 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if you can learn anything you didn't already know from someones bookcase, but I do know I've confirmed impressions I had about people by a quick glance at their books.

    As for your shelves well, you appear to do a lot of traveling and a lot of writing. So nothing I didn't know already.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Agree with Mark, but I would certainly find something to read while I was there and would be reassured at all the reference books....
    Perhaps your friend has something to hide - political leanings or fetishes or just likes trashy novels. I guess it pays not to own too many books on poisonings and other murder methods.... or sex guides or even just a collection of bodice ripper novels - all might be embarrassing.
    Personally I think books are for sharing and I have no problem letting people check out our shelves....
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's a book missing? A current read?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Firstly this is just a small selection from my bookcases and the travel books are oddly unrepresentative because they give the impression that I travel far more widely than I really do. I travel far but not wide - if you see what I mean. Many of the travel books were given to me by friends who really do travel far and wide.

    Secondly I agree that books are for sharing (and if anyone one knows where my Anna Gavaldas are could they let me know please).

    Thirdly, Lisa, you puzzled me because I didn't think there was one missing. Then I realised that the top centre appeared to have a gap. Actually it's a book with a black cover and green writing called A Green Tree in Gedde. It was published and printed in 1965/6 and I have absolutely no recollection of ever buying it. I have certainly never read it. Given that I sorted all these books last year I am puzzled... and interested.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love to browse bookshelves. I can't read all the titles here but enough to see an interesting mix. Some seem to be sorted by author or according to subject; but not the top shelf? (I have to use a mixed system myself also taking size into account or all wouldn't fit...) Anyway it seems a guest in your house would have no trouble finding something intersting to read ;) I see some authors and titles familiar to me and others not. I too have lots of dictionaries - including Phrase and Fable which caught my eye here... As did Paolo Coelho among the novelists since I recently read one of his (and have some more since earlier).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fi you might be worried by some of my bookshelves then. I have a whole shelf dedicated to books on poisons and death. Including one entitled "How To Kill" -- definitely a how-to for any budding assassin!

    ReplyDelete
  7. First thing I noticed were the dictionaries. Necessary little devils I need when I read books by Brits or Scots. Even then, sometimes they are not enough; I resort to Google.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love looking at bookshelves - be they in the library or in a home. I was actually looking at yours from the photo you blogged the other day - this is much easier!

    So have you travelled to Asia or did those books come from your widely-travelled friends?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am wondering, Mark, why you have a whole shelf of books on poisons and death.

    The only part of Asia to which I have travelled, Helen, is Hong Kong: a wonderful place. The rest are from John and Sue. I use them as reference books.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well my "poisons and death" bookcase started with a few true crime books focusing on the Victorian era. Some of these were really well researched and made mention of books that sounded interesting and that promised more details on the chemistry behind the murders (e.g. The Elements of Murder). This started the poisons section and then I've picked up a few other related books over the years (for example, a book called Time of Death, looking at the changes in how science has determined some is dead). The How To Kill book was actually bought almost for fun -- I needed a book to read on a flight and thought this might get me some funny looks! I doubt I'd have the nerve to do that in todays climate though.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I suppose too, Mark, it acts as a balance to Bryony's bookshelves of how to keep people alive books!

    ReplyDelete
  12. True, and she has an awful lot more of those books! I have a bookshelf of death related books, whereas Bryony has well over a bookcase of medical books.

    ReplyDelete
  13. There's a thesaurus! ;^) I think that I would be able to find plenty to read at your shelves. ;^)
    I have mixed feelings about the sharing of books....I think it's because so many in my family are ultra-conservative and I love them so I don't want to hurt or disappoint them. But I do leave books out on my shelves, such as "When God was a Woman." That's sure to raise some eyebrows in conservative Christian circles. ;^0 I also have much required reading for classes that is often more full of expletives that I prefer, I wouldn't want innocent eyes to pop out from those! I just leave them all on the shelves and mixed together with the Dr. Seuss "Oh the Places You Will Go" and the "Little Women" and "A Wrinkle in Time" and figure "it is what it is." ;^)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just to prove I'm not at all embarrassed or ashamed of my bookshelf of books on how to kill people I've now done a post about it on my blog for those of you who might be interested in seeing exactly what books are on it.

    ReplyDelete