Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Bookshelf

I think you can tell a lot about a person from the books they read. Maybe even more so from the books they collect.

To me, a book collection is like a directory to the soul. Similar in status to one's CD collection or vintage vinyl spread. And how you house your collection says something too.

I love books.

I love to pile them all over the place.
I love to stack them according to genre and place them in conspicuous places as to tell everyone that enters my home 'hey, this is what I value.'

Like when I was single (and incidentally listening to a lot of indie riot grrl), I wanted to make sure my copy of the Feminine Mystique was in a spot that couldn't be missed: usually flanked by Hillary Rodham's 'It Takes a Village' and my 'Human Sexuality' textbook from my Freshman year at UVU (then UVSC)just to keep people guessing (and apparently to keep me single well into my late twenties.)

When Danny and I were first married, we showcased our eclectic collection most appropriately for our other downtown mormon-hipster DINK friends: CS Lewis, Harry Potter, JD Salinger, Marx, Jane Austen, a hodgepodge of Talmage & FARMS, as well as a plethora of Andy Warhol Pop Art books, my music anthologies (Kurt Cobain's Journal, The History of Rock and Roll, etc) and a few of Danny's sports books as to look like I wasn't the ONLY one contributing to the collection.

Which is what makes our bookcase at the entrance of our house that much more interesting these days. Tucked away on the inconspicuous shelves of our sun room are our copies of the Bhagavad Gita (yes, we have more than one), all things published by anyone with the last name Clinton or Obama, the Feminine Mystique is around here somewhere (probably next to well worn, and no longer needed, copies of "He's Just Not That Into You" and "The Rules")... Yoga books, philosophical and spiritual texts, the Twilight Saga and HP, Management and team building books, Dan Brown Novels, and satire from Michael Moore and Stephen Colbert...my chick-lit and other oddities are smooshed into the back bedroom's dresser shelves; but they're not in our front room.

No, these days you won't find the sacred texts of Eastern Religions, or even our reprinted copy of the Book of Mormon - First Edition on display in the front room and entrance to our home. Instead you'll see my Grandmother's two shelf bookcase that now houses three of Maurice Sendak's contributions ("Where the Wild Things Are," "In the Night Kitchen" & "Outside, Over There") a collection of Baby Einstein Picture books (thankfully I never did invest in the videos), some Junie B., a a trifecta of Eric Carle (You know, 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?"), "Gallop" and hodgepodge of peekabo picture books and flap-tastic options.

The bottom shelf now houses my parenting books:
But if you came to my house, looking for my guilty pleasure reads like Sophie Kinsella, or either copies of Bridget Jonses Diaries, you'd be sorely disappointed. Not as disappointed as my husband is with the sudden disappearance of the Kama Sutra(?) ... I kid... (Danny, it's in the kitchen cupboard where you left it.)... Ok, now I really kid.

But my point is, our priorities have shifted. Just like my taste in music is more Simon & Garfunkle these days than Sleater-Kinney, our bookshelf has received a deserving makeover as well. Like I said, a book collection can be a directory to the soul -- and I think that direction is exactly where I want to be.


Cicely said...

Great post. It makes me want to clean out my shelves. And read "I Am America and So Can You" again.

Although, there is on tiny mistake that just reiterates your point of growing, changing and leaving old things behind...

I'm pretty sure it's Kurt Cobain. With a C.

Mangum. Not Man Gum.


Sabrena Suite-Mangum said...

Ahh, good call.
But how embarrassing for me...the grunge-god may be rolling over in his grave.

Kind of reminds me of the time I wrote the article for SKyWest Mag and mentioned something about how much I loved getting the Led out and spelled it Zepplin, or something.

Spencer Davis said...

I see your love for trees only goes so far. I guess deforestation is wrong when someone wants to build a mall, but its OK when trees are murdered so that you can complete your Dr. Sears book series.

So, what will it be? A life of hypocrisy or a Kindle?

Cicely said...

I never grow tired of your wit and charm, Darth Spencer.

Ryan*Danielle *Leah*Marcus said...

Miss you!

Meesh said...

You always have the wierdest people post on your blog! Are you on good reads, I would love to see all your favorite books. I just signed up.