The Bookshelf Compatability Test

At A Cup of Jo, Joanna asks what the ideal bookshelf consists of and if you’ve ever connected with some via their bookshelf. I can definitely see a bookshelf and its contents as something that forges bonds. Whenever I go to a friend’s house for a first time, I totally check out their book collection. It’s a glimpse into someone’s life and mind–do they read a lot of biographies? Poetry? Do they have a lot of travel books? It’s even more exciting when you find books that mirror your own collection, too.

Sometimes I’m afraid that I’m being rude. I mean, I’m blatantly checking out (and judging) someone’s book collection. At the very least, it borders on browsing. But I’m just so curious about what people choose to read and how it connects with their lives.

In case you’re curious about my bookshelves, here’s a glimpse:

On the side of connecting books with the reader: The Goose Girl and Tuck Everlasting are signed copies from readings with their respective authors (yay!). The book of poetry was a gift from Walt early on in our relationship. Virginia Woolf, Philip Pullman, and Roddy Doyle are a few favorites. And I won the Norton in my college Shakespeare class (which was awesome) after writing a ransom note in which I demanded a Norton in exchange for William Shakespeare himself.

How do your bookshelves tell others about you? Do you check out friends’ bookshelves when visiting their homes?

7 thoughts on “The Bookshelf Compatability Test

  1. Thanks for sharing a photo of your bookshelf. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who peaks at bookshelves when visiting. It’s always fascinating to see what others are reading.

  2. A bookshelf wouldn’t do it! Bookshelves would be better. It depends on the room they are in too. If it is the first room people are brought into, then it is a presentation – something selected to impress (mostly but depending on many things). If you stumble across a persons collection as you get to know them, then it is far easier to see a side of a person. Thanks for the post, hadn’t seen books from that angle for a fair while.

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