Saturday, February 13, 2016

Bookish Thoughts...

On "bookshelf anthropology".  In her book The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Wendy Welch talks about getting to know someone through the books they own. She writes, "Bookshelf anthropology can be fascinating; how many times have you scanned a friend or associate's bookcases to discover similar--or disquietingly dissimilar--tastes?" I know when I spot books that I've read, especially when they're books that I love, on someone else's bookshelves, I feel an instant kinship with them. What they choose to read tells me more about who they are. Which makes me wonder what the books on my shelves say about me. It's kind of fun to think about. So, what do your bookshelves say about you?

On paperbacks.  Do you remember when paperbacks only cost between $3.95 and $5.99? And when they were that perfect fit-in-you-purse (and on your shelf!) size? I miss those days. Over the years, the size of paperbacks has increased as has their price:  11.99 ... 13.95 ... 15.00 ... 16.99!  When will it end? It's the reason I rarely buy new books any more. And while I love used bookstores, their stock can be limited; they don't always have the books I'm looking for, which is frustrating. It's enough to make a girl want to go back in time ... and do a little book shopping.

On reading from the R shelf.   In Reading the Alphabet, I'm ready to move on to the Rs, but as I peruse the shelves at my library I am feeling less than inspired. There are a lot of authors to choose from...but I'm not finding any that I really want to read. Got any suggestions? Who's your favorite author whose last name begins with the letter R? I'd really like to know.

Happy Reading!


  1. I peruse the bookshelves of others, but always feel a little invasive when I do--like reading someone's diary. My shelves are a bit one-sided because they are the books I keep--mostly nonfiction, poetry, and a few fiction books that have truly meant something to me. I read a lot of books that don't merit the shelves, yet entertain me daily, and they are every bit as much a part of who I am.

  2. Oh wow, 'bookshelf anthropology' is a great expression! There's so much to tell about a person by not only what they read but also how they organize their books.

  3. I'm entranced by bookshelf anthropology! I'm in the middle of reading The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap and finding it a wonderfully comforting book.

    1. Isn't it great? It made me want to drive across the country just to tour used bookstores. :)