Last week I introduced my newest project, Show Me Your Shelves in which you send me pictures of your books and I examine them, provide any book reviews, and comment in an otherwise willy-nilly manner.
Liza L. from Taylors, SC
From Liza: I don’t have actual bookshelves so my hardcover books sit on a window seat and the softcovers are in a large basket just beneath.
From Derwood: This sounds like it would be a disaster in the case of an earthquake or a curious cat. But if it works for you, it works for you.
A basket of books is much like a basket of laundry: when things are stacked in baskets, you never remember what is at the bottom so every once in a while, when you actually clean your house or decide to dig to the bottom in search of the paper clip you just dropped, you discover a whole new world of once-forgotten things.
With Angela’s Ashes on top alongside Francoise Gilot’s intimate Life with Picasso and the sappy (admit it) Tao of Womanhood, one can only begin to make predictions as to what is hiding underneath. Mine: Babs Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible and Dear Theo (based purely on what seems to be your vague obsession with Van Gogh).
This is my favorite part of Liza’s collection, even though I’m not an artist and don’t particularly seek out reading about them. But there is something about a cluttered work space and a giant stack of motivating resources that strikes a chord with me.
Granted my workspace is just cluttered with slightly-moldy coffee mugs and my inspiration stack is just a giant pile of New Yorker magazines… I’m not sure how much valuable work really comes out of the space.
But do you see what I mean about the Van Gogh?
Show Me Your Stacks
Two words: Rudyard Kipling.
Two more: Epistolary novels.
Our Miss Liza seems to have a penchant for prose that is written in letter-form (thus my prediction for Van Gogh’s letters to his brother in the paperback basket): Exhibits A and B are here in this stack. We get Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda, the enduring love letters of F. Scott Fitz and his wife Zelda third from the bottom, topped by My Dearest Friend, letters between the second US president and his wife.
Verdict: Liza is a hopeless romantic.
Final Thoughts: While I encourage Liza to invest in an actual shelf or shelves (just think of having a window seat as an actual seat), I dislike being the one to interfere in a system that works. So go forth, Liza, and be stacking!
And finally, per her recommendation: read up on Jennifer Lash, mother of Ralph Fiennes, accomplished novelist, and Liza’s favorite.