What does your bookshelf say about you?

“She likes history and is influenced by the classics, but enjoys some light hearted fun too! She’s partial to a bit of a mystery and the occasional murder but nothing too shocking. She’s also a dreamer and likes nothing more than being in a world of fantasy.”

Is your bookshelf as revealing about you as your record collection used to be? They said that if they looked at a lady’s collection of vinyl (records not CD’s) they’d see a pattern of all the influences in her life over the years… father, brother, boyfriend, partner, husband….. They tell the story of the girl’s life through songs, groups, bands or orchestras. Everyone has a memory attached. Is that true and is it true of books too?

No, I think books are very personal things and the ones you decide to keep even more so because the world we create when reading is unique… it is our imagination of the writer’s world and each of us relate to every novel in a different way, that is unless we have seen the film.

Is it better to watch a film after or before reading a novel? This question is a blog post in itself, but I would much prefer to read a book first and then see how true the film maker is to the original novel. I was concerned when the Lord of The Rings trilogy came out. After all, how could they recreate what was inside my head in such a vivid way. I was scared that watching the film would spoil it for me me, but I was happily surprised that it didn’t. The films were excellent, a fantastic portrayal both in characters and location, not to mention following carefully to the plot.

What does my bookshelf say about me then? First of all I have kept books by my favourite authors, Cecelia Ahern, Maeve Binchy, Peter James, Jodie Picoult, Victoria Hislop…..In amongst these are particular novels I’ve really enjoyed for example Sashenka by Simon Montefiore, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Song House by Trezza Azzopardi, Small Island by Andrea Levy, Avalon by Anya Seton, The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, Skalligrigg by Michael Horewood………. Of course we also have the well read classics on our shelves too, of Daphne Du Maurier, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie,Thomas Hardy… Tolkein…… oh and many more.

So to answer my question, my books show that I like a good light read to relax, I enjoy a mystery especially in an exotic location or a familiar one….the books I usually keep are out of the ordinary. I am also partial to some crime novels occasionally, especially with a setting I know, but many of my books have some sort of message…. that is if I keep them.

Why do I keep some books, but most paperbacks sit in a pile to be recycled at the local charity shops. First of all our bookshelves are not endless and the majority are full of non fiction, (a great deal are my husband’s) books of interest or ones I’ve gleaned for my research, but the fiction I do keep I intend to read again one day because they stirred something inside me. I learnt something about human nature or even myself or they were just a jolly good read! Or I kept them to remind me of less well known authors to look out for them again.

The last question is, ‘If I am really moved by a book I read on Kindle, will I buy the paperback to keep it too? The jury is out on that one.

So what does your bookshelf say about you?

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Filed under Book reading, Book Shops

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