Posts Tagged ‘John Waters’

Randsinrepose considers Kindle, but really talks about his love for bound printed pages. His tone is already nostalgic, as if Kindle has already consumed all paperbacks. What I love most is his honest confession to judging a person based on their bookshelves, something I’m completely guilty of.

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#2 Where’s your bookshelf? It’s this awkward moment whenever I first walk into your home.Where is it? Everyone has one. It might not be huge. It might be hidden in a closet, but in decades of meeting new people, I’ve never failed in finding one and when I do I consume it.

See, I don’t really trust you until we talk a little shit and then I see your bookshelf.

The Book Stalking Process

This is my process and this is not a process of judgment, but one of assessment, and it proceeds in three phases:

Phase 1: Where are they?

  • Where does you bookshelf live in your home? Is it in an obvious place or are you hiding it? Why are you hiding your books?
  • Is the bookshelf built around the room or vice versa?
  • Do you have a room specifically for books? Hot.
  • Can I see your bookshelf after you’ve sat me down with a glass of wine? Even better.
  • Did you spend money on your bookshelf or is it an IKEA atrocity? Wait, you built that?Awesome.

Phase 2: How are they arranged?

  • Have you committed to a pure bookshelf? What’s the breakdown between books and non-books? This isn’t where I store books; it’s where I demonstrate that I love books.
  • Is the arrangement chaotic or calm? Is this is a shrine or a utility?
  • Vertical or horizontal stacking? What’s the rule? Is there a rule?
  • Is it full? I read. A lot.
  • Does your book arrangement tell a story? Can I find that story quickly or do I need you to tell it? Do you offer it?
  • Do you use bookends? Are they functional or ornate? What’s their story?

Phase 3: And what do you read?

  • Are these the books I expect based on what I know about you?
  • Do these books represent your entire life or just right now?
  • Can I tell, at a glance, the three most important books?
  • Which books are you… hiding?
  • How do you react when you see me stalking your bookshelf? What’s the first story you’re going to tell?
  • Is there a glaringly obvious book that does not belong? When do I get to ask you about it?

What I’m learning during this stalking is my deal. The intricacies of my assessment aren’t the point. You are decidedly and blissfully not me, which is why I’m standing, wine glass in hand, totally and completely lost in your bookshelf. Dr. Seuss and Calvin and Hobbes… interspersed on single shelf. That… is fucking brilliant.

(Also, in response, there is absolutely nothing wrong with owning an “embarrassingly large collection” of Far Side books.)

My friend has a John Waters quote on her refrigerator: “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have any books, don’t fuck ’em.” But Randsinrepose was much more thorough.

Formating and texture are so important to literature that it truly would be a shame for electronics to completely conquer.

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