Ever since I was in grammar school I’ve had bookcases. My father made them for me whenever I needed them. He made them with smaller shelves as my childhood books became paperback novels. He made them taller when I needed more shelves. So I have always imagined having a room dedicated to my library. A place where all the books I have read live and all the books I plan to read live. Every book I have ever bought I have planned on reading. One doesn’t buy a book without the intention of reading it.
The second in my series of photographing my friends’ book collections; I eagerly visited my friends’ homes to see what they read and how they display their books. (To see the first entry, click here.) Our collections reveal a path, of who we were and who we are striving to be. Many people living in the city have to downsize, so while the shelves are not an accurate representation of who someone is, they can reveal the thought process. Which books have they moved from apartment to apartment for over a decade?
J E N N I F E R & M A R C O
Jennifer got her BA in art history and went on to graduate school at CCA to study Visual Criticism. She had just finished organizing her books the day I visited. She explained how they are arranged by genre. Poetry, literature, children’s lit, mystery, art monographs, philosophy, spirituality. Each section is then arranged alphabetically. Within each author’s section the books are arranged alphabetically by title.
Whenever I go to someone’s home, I’m always drawn to their books: who are they reading, what editions they have, how they treat their books, and how they store/display them. Looking at people’s books is akin to being an intellectual creeper. You are trying to get a better understanding of who this person is based on their literary interests. But book collections are not always a true reflection of someone’s self. They can have books stolen, lost, borrowed. They could have moved and had to downsize. They could keep them on an eReader. Oh my. It’s getting difficult to be a creeper. Luckily, my friends have allowed me to creep on their books.