Saturday, August 01, 2009

Bookself-- The Crick in the Neck

Sometimes things just fall into place. For quite a while now, I've been toying with the idea of a semi-regular feature involving my bookshelves. Trouble is, I was having a difficult time thinking up a name for it.

Then I read a post by Barbara Fister made to a mystery book group to which we both belong. She made a typo, saw it, liked it, and kept it. I liked it, too. What was the typo? She was talking about bookshelves and called them "bookselves" instead.

Most of the time typos are just annoying, and you mentally thank the person who devised the backspace key. Occasionally a typo can be embarrassing. Sometimes they can be downright hilarious, and once in a blue moon a typo is perfection in disguise.

This is a case of perfection in my opinion. Thank you, Barbara, for naming my new feature!

Just what is Bookself, you ask? I think all bookaholics share certain similarities, like walking into a fellow addict's home and being automatically drawn to their bookse...booksHelves. (That typo has brainwashed me!) I've been blogging a little over a year, and several times the comment has been made that people wanted to see my bookshelves.

So...about twice a month, I'll post a photo of one of my bookshelves. It will be clickable so you can see it full size and read the spines. Pretend you're a guest in my home, and that you've wandered over to this particular shelf to take a good look:

First thing you notice is that these books are on a very high shelf. Be careful that you don't get a crick in your neck! Remember that you can click on the photo to view it full size. Here are some questions to get your mind working:
  • What assumptions would you make about me just from the books on this shelf?
  • Are any of the books familiar to you? If so, which ones?
  • Are there any that you'd want to take off the shelf and thumb through the pages? Which ones?
  • Would you want to borrow any of them from me?
  • How long would you stay at this shelf before moving on? (Be honest!)
Next week, I'll do a follow-up post and tell you some stories about a few of those books on that shelf.

How about you folks? Do you have any bookselves that you'd like to share?


  1. I've learned not to make assumptions about people based on their books but I might ask you if you studied English Lit formally at some point and have continued your interest to the present day (some of the books look old and well-loved while some are quite new). I probably wouldn't stay on the shelf a long time as the subject isn't one that interests me overly, although I would like to read the Bryson and perhaps even the one next to it :)

  2. I wouldn't stay too long on this shelf because I have many similar books in my office! But I'd take note that you are attracted to and keep reference type books concerning literature and language. Me too.

    Fun feature!

  3. If I looked at that shelf, I would guess that you studied English. I wouldn't spend much time on the shelf.

  4. When I look at the shelf, my first thought was..."whoa...Cathy's a lot smarter and deeper than I am!" Then.."English teacher?" Then.."non-fiction?"

    Then, I'd move on to your next shelf, due to the aforementioned shallowness of the fiction reader!

    C'mon...lemme see another shelf!

    I have one of my shelves as my header picture, but you already know that!

  5. I suspect the reason these books are on a high shelf is because they were texts used in study, and are now mostly used for reference. The assumption I would also make is that you are a good housekeeper, as I don't see the dust you would likely find on my top bookshelves!

    I own the Bryson, in fact I worship at his feet, but I would like to dip into The Art of the Personal Essay, Treasury of the Theatre, and okay I would probably peek into Vulgar Tongue to see if it has any rude words I know.

    Honestly, I know so much about your books that I think I would move on pretty quickly because there are so many I want to check out. Right now we're gearing up to travel, so I think I would prefer to borrow your Nevada Barr's, and just about all the rest of the books you've reviewed, so I can escape into some light reading.

  6. Looking at that shelf, I would say that you studied literature at some point in you life. As they are on a high shelf, I would have to hazard a guess that it was not recently. I tend to keep books that I consider 'reference' on the highest or lowest shelves. I probably would not spend to much time on this shelf.

  7. I would move on pretty quickly since these wouldn't be books I would sit down and read...if I didn't need them for class

  8. To me this shelf says you love literature and words, primarily English. Some look old so maybe they were handed down from your mother or grandmother. You've mentioned their love of reading and writing. I would peak into the essay book and definitely ask to borrow the Bryson book. I've been meaning to read that for a while. Then I'd move on. I want to know - what else do you have?

  9. Looks pretty much like my workself (which backs up what Bernadette says). So when I am in work-mode, this shelf would be very useful for me, but when I relax, I would rummage for one of the crime shelves I expect I will be able to find in your home.

  10. I would say this shelf indicates you've studied english literature and poetry at some point.

    I would love to borrow the "depraved and insulting English" book! Hmm, what does that say about me.

    The English Lit companion looks very familiar.

  11. My dad always told me never to assume anything. However, I think you must enjoy humorous finds since you have the book Depraved Insulting English. I love that title.

  12. I'd say you were an English major, mostly because I have a shelf around here with a very similar mix of books, from my university days. I have The Art of the Personal Essay, and Bryson's Mother Tongue. The Vulgar Tongue book looks quite interesting!

  13. PS this is such a wonderful new feature!

  14. Bernadette--Depraved and Insulting English, eh? I prefer The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue myself! LOL

    Beth--I'm glad you found it fun, even if I did choose a rather boring shelf to start off with!

    Kathy--I don't spend much time on that shelf myself! LOL

    Kelly--Hey! I'm a fiction reader, too. Reading fiction doesn't mean we're shallow. Au contraire!

    Susan--I could've dusted the shelf before I photographed it....

    Cathy--I like your deductions!

    Blodeuedd--These books do reek of school, don't they? :)

    Margot--You'll see what else I have very gradually. :)

    Dorte--Somehow I knew you'd be after my crime ficion!

    Serena--It says practically the same about you as it does me. :)

    Wisteria--That title is what made me pick up that book in the bookstore. :)

    Belle--The Vulgar Tongue book is fascinating. Reading it made me stop using a few of my favorite words and phrases! I'm glad you like this feature! :)


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