“Strange” continued

Ok – so have mastered blackberry memory issues and am reporting live from the sitting room on Rabbit Run Road (which is just off Fox Chase.)

I’m in here to share what we have happening on the bookshelves.

Row after row of leather-bound, gold trimmed editions. We’ve five shelves of classics — Flannery O’Connor’s Collected Stories, Booker T Washington’s Up From Slavery, Steinbeck, Thoreau, ee Cummings.

In the next bookcase we’ve got the collections. Bound volumes of The Atlantic Monthly 1860-1866, Letters of the Great Artists, Plutarch’s Lives, Victor Hugo’s five tomes des Les Miserables, Dickens’ complete works, the ten volumes of Abraham Lincoln’s A History and four shelves of The Harvard Classics.

I pluck The Harvard Lectures (1914) off the highest shelf. The chapters cover drama, poetry, prose fiction, history, natural science, political history, education, religion, voyages and travel — an entire pre World War One liberal education.

About ten years ago I came across a newspaper column about the Feng Shui of packed out bookshelves. A Feng Shui consultant was advising the columnist that at least half his books had to go. Not only are bookcases social lies (and as someone who keeps her self-help in the closet, I’d have to agree), but too many books means no room for fresh thinking and new discoveries.

I think it’s true that we can’t rely on bookcases to tell us the truth about their owners. Here on Rabbit Run Road for example, I’d suggest that obsessive hoarding of Beagles and their Cottontail chase is far more revealing.

If we’re stuck here another day we’re planning to start counting the ceramic and copper miniatures of bunnies and hounds, the not so miniature sculptures, the gangs of paintings, the needleworked pillow covers, the bunny and hound cookie cutters, ash trays, and lamp switches …. But for now that’s just too big a task so I’m curling up for the 1914 lecture series to see what I can learn.

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3 Comments

Filed under Books etc., London, Random idea

3 responses to ““Strange” continued

  1. We’re terrible book-hoarders. But we don’t seem to be able to win… no matter how many we give away, the bookshelves are always full. I don’t know about the Feng Shui element, but empty bookshelves offend me. I don’t like it when the ones at the end have to lean into the side of the bookcase… this, of course, is not why I buy books, but maybe it helped, at one stage, to justify it!

    • nathaliehourihan

      Am very much the same – if you flick back to the Dangers of Self Help post there’s a snapshot of a bookcase — apparently that’s all you need to do to Feng Shui your bookcases — insert some sort of non-book artifacts here and there to create “space”

      • Oh yes, I see. You have a Feng-Shui-happy bookcase (which doesn’t offend me at all – it’s definitely the empty space that’s the problem) … but you realise I’ll have to THROW AWAY some books to Feng Shui mine. I only do that when I move house or panic!

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