Sunday Salon: The Plight of Modern Man and Bookshelves Again

The Sunday Salon.com

My reading has been rather grim this week, which befits my mood, unfortunately. I read Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer for Eldest Daughter’s book club. It won the National Book Award in 1961. Then I started reading them by Joyce Carol Oates. It won the National Book Award in 1970. I can tell you that neither novel wins my book award . . . unless it’s the Semicolon Grim, Disturbed and Neurotic Book Award.

So, to think of brighter things, I turned my thoughts toward bookshelves in which to keep the Grim, the Disturbed, the Neurotic, the Hopeful and the Joyful books, all on shelves touching and informing one another. With the right kind of bookshelf, the books might be able to talk to each other in the night, rub covers, even make friends. Jan Karon’s Father Tim could tell Dostoyevsky to cheer up and pray the prayer that never fails. Or Richard Adams’ Bigwig might give some advice to Alice about rabbit holes. Or maybe Edgar Allan Poe will scare the stuffing out of some pompous old bore from one of Dickens’ novels. Who knows? With the right sort of bookshelf and the proper arrangement of the books, Nonfiction and Fiction and the Memoir-in-Between might even come to some agreement or at least peaceful co-existence. (A new blog/reading meme: Describe a meeting between . . . two disparate book characters. This week: describe a meeting between Winnie the Pooh and Becky Sharp.)

Thanks to Fuse 8 for the link to the Opus Shelving System. My regular bookshelves already look sort of like these with the books on top of books, sideways and every which-a-way. But why not just go with the flow and wedge them in any old way to vary the decor?

30 of the most creative bookshelf designs is a series of pictures and descriptions of bookshelves that a designer has found to be, well, creative. The author didn’t say they were terribly practical, and in fact most of them won’t hold very many books. But they are fun to look at.

Someone named Alex has an entire blog devoted to bookshelves. His entries seem to be more innovative than practical, too.

Maybe you just can’t beat ye old wooden bookshelf stuffed full of books. Small World is looking for book shelving suggestions. Tell her what you think.

Other Bookshelf Posts at Semicolon:

Have Books, Need Bookshelves

Have Books, Need Bookshelves #2

7 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: The Plight of Modern Man and Bookshelves Again

  1. It’s so funny that you imagined your books talking to one another. I was thinking when writing my post about bookshelves that the books themselves would be so much happier when they were back in proper order. I have a feeling their vaguely discontent being so jumbled.

  2. It seems that decorating folks will never be any use to those of us who actually have books. Their bookshelves always look fabulous with just a few books. And for some reason they can often find space for vases and whatnot on the bookshelves. I don’t know any real people who ever manage that except for some short period of time before new books are acquired to fill the space. Some of them were very pretty though.

    If you have real bookshelf-space issues, maybe looking into those shelves the libraries have in their less public areas — the ones that move so that you have to push a button or turn a wheel to open up the aisle between them — are the answer.

  3. Sorry you didn’t like Percy. I do adore him, but I can see the neurotic point. Glad to find your blog (or that you found mine), and I’m adding you to my role.

    By the way, Love the Christianity list . . . That’s great.
    A

  4. I recently read The Moviegoer too. It’s not one of my favorite Percy novels, but nonetheless, I still thought it was important. Likewise, I’m adding you to my blogroll which I keep on del.icio.us under my name, unfinishedperson.

    Where is the Christianity list, by the way, of which Andi was speaking? I couldn’t find it.

  5. I’m not sure unless she means the blog list to the right that is subtitled Christianity/Apologetics. I’m glad you both, Andi and unfinishedperson, came by. Welcome.

  6. I was never one of those kids who thought that my stuffed animals came alive when I left my room. My books however — I could easily see them coming to life. Perhaps because they’d already done so when I read them.

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