Skip to main content

When Bookshelves become the Object of your Affections

While reading on the web, I read  this quote and I felt it resonated with my own thoughts about book shelves. So I am sharing the quote here.

"If I step up to a shelf and look at the books one by one, I can remember something about each. As a historian once said, some stare at me reproachfully, grumbling that I have never read them. One may remind me vaguely of a time when I was interested in romantic novels. An old college text will elicit a pang of unhappiness about studying. Each book has its character, and even books I know very well also have this kind of wordless flavor. Now if I step back from the shelf and look quickly across both bookcases I speed up that same process a hundredfold. Impressions wash across my awareness. But each book still looks back in its own way, answering the rude brevity of my gaze, calling faintly to me out of the corner of my eye. At that speed many booksremain wrapped in the shadows of my awareness--I know I have looked past them and I know they are there, but I refuse to call them to mind.” ― James Elkins, The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing

How do you look at the books in your bookshelves? Some books may remind you of a phase that you were going through, probably a challenging one whereas other books may remind you of a trip down memory lane or something exciting that you did. 

Tell me more about the books that seem to beckon you. Do you look past them or through them or at them? 


Priyaa said…
I just started exploring books.....apart from reading them, I like arranging them on the shelf...i don't know but i like the colors of books as well...
Have a look of my bookshelf from the pic in this post.... :-)
Oldfox004 said…
Hmmmm...the answer to this post needs another post altogether by me...:)
Thank you for introducing me to James ELkins:)
I have great regard for the books in my bookshelf, always will look upto them...beautiful friend, philosopher and guide:)
roses said…
@Priya - I am so glad we have books arranging and reading in common:)

@OldFox - Pleasure to share any interesting info about books. I too love my book shelf and space.:)