Personal Libraries

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by zaika, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. Haversack

    Haversack One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,082
    Location:
    Clipperton Island
    Knew some folks who stripped the drywall off the interior wall between their living room and hallway, nailed plywood to the living room side for shear, and put shelves between the 2x4 studs open to the hallway. It then was filled floor to ceiling with their paperback book collection. A real wall of books.
     
    AmateisGal and ChazfromCali like this.
  2. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,608
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I am a book reader but abandoned the collecting a few years after university. I had all my beloved books, a complete collection of Marx & Engels, a leather bound, gilt edged full edition of Lenin's prodigious output gifted to me by an old Stalinist (if you were a party member these Soviet printed collections could be had fairly cheaply), Marcuse, Debray et al destroyed in a flood in my mother's basement. I stopped collecting but not buying. Now I prefer to give the books I really like to friends to enjoy and ask them to pass them on to others when finished. It seems the proper way to treat a good book.....give it away, share the knowledge. I keep but a few now, ones that I think I might want to read again some day. I did that with my Hemmingway collection but on reread discovered the writing mostly drek and did not age well at all...so I donated to Goodwill.
     
  3. ChazfromCali

    ChazfromCali Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Oregon
    You are so right! Your book wall is awesome! When I was a kid it seemed like people with largish personal libraries were always the families I liked. Their houses seemed like real homes. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    AmateisGal likes this.
  4. ChazfromCali

    ChazfromCali Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Oregon
    I've seen that before!
    Prior to 2011, I knew a guy online from a forum totally unrelated to books etc. but I could sense he was a "book person". In 2011 I worked in Los Angeles for the year (long story, temporary personal insanity), I knew he lived in LA so I contacted him. We met at a hambuger place in Glendale, hit it off IRL, eventually he invited me over his house in the Los Feliz area. I was surprised the youngish guy (early 40's) had such an impressive house, Los Feliz is a trendy expensive neighborhood with 1920's & 30's Spanish style houses and bungalow's, he inheirited it from his Mom who died young. Anyway, this guy had literally every inch of wall space covered in books! He even had creative little shelves in the closets. Old books, new books, books he got for free, books he paid full retail for on eBay..... I was shocked at the sheer number of books.
    The main thing I understood from this is that I personally do not, and never have had, a "problem with books." i.e. longing for a certain book, spending money on a book I maybe should not have spent, the self reproaches for books having a big space in my life, etc. etc. Nope, I was totally, stunningly and even humiliatingly pedestrian; in that respect my visit was theraputic. lol. The guy was from all signs completely normal. I didn't get a sense of him being a hoarder, his house was spotless, he just REALLY LIKED BOOKS. LOTS OF THEM. And he had the money to indulge his fancy. So, I have never felt guilty about having too many books after that episode. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    AmateisGal likes this.
  5. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    14,073
    Location:
    New York City
    I know I've written about this somewhere before, but seems to fit here and now too.

    My girlfriend and I are both book people which was something we immediately connected over when we met - and have been going to old books stores together for, now, 23 years. We don't "collect" in the sense of looking to acquire a type or editions or subject matter etc. (great if you do, just not our thing) - we simply buy books that we want to read (and if they look or feel cool, that's fun too). We love "old" books because, even if we don't know their history, you can feel that they have one.

    While we have (wild guess) about 2000 books, less than (a guess too) twenty or thirty are probably worth more than a few bucks (and even those twenty to thirty are not very rare or expensive). Our apartments main "decorative" feature is books on shelves.

    Thus, we total "get" the "wall of books" thing as that's what we live with and love. I can randomly lose an hour in a day just getting absorbed in a section of our books. Since, like most book people, we buy a lot more than we can immediately read (and, then, forget about some of them), there's great joy to finding a book you forgot you had that you can't wait to read.
     
  6. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Thank you! I just moved into this apartment in April, and I was determined to have the "wall of books." In my house (which I sold a few months ago), I had bookshelves scattered all over the place. Now they're all in one place and I just love it. A house is not a home without a bookshelf!
     
    ChazfromCali likes this.
  7. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    FF, I think we need to see your bookshelves!!!
     
  8. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    14,073
    Location:
    New York City
    I know I posted pics back when we moved in. If I can't find them (not much has changed), I'll take some new ones soon and post again.
     
    ChazfromCali likes this.
  9. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    14,073
    Location:
    New York City
    These are from when we were moving in four and half years ago. Other than being all set up and almost full now, they don't look any different today. The white ones we had built and are in our living. The oak ones are early 20th century Globe Wernicke bookcases that, with work, can be had for reasonable prices on Ebay (but not reasonable prices from antique dealers) and they are in my office (I've WFH since 2012).
    IMG_2605_zpsfrdwjimb-3.jpg IMG_2604_zpstcqjyhta-3.jpg IMG_2599_zpspbcsv7pj-2.jpg IMG_2598_zpslcvsnvrw-2.jpg IMG_4008_zpsya9m4rmd-2.jpg IMG_4009_zpsnu8aoxux-2.jpg IMG_4011_zpseep3ipu1-2.jpg IMG_4268_zpsrkeius2t-2.jpg
     
  10. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    LOVE these!!! Thank you!!!
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  11. ChazfromCali

    ChazfromCali Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Oregon
    Very nice!

    I've seen those "lawyers" bookcases at Goodwill Bin store before for $25 or $30 but it seems they never match, they're different sorta shades of Oak or whatever. I love 'em, but I'd end up with three different color bookcases.
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  12. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    14,073
    Location:
    New York City
    At the time, we did a lot of homework on Globe Wernicke - series, materials, years, etc. - and we bought ones that, in theory, match as they are all solid oak from the same series. But since we bought them from different sources (the only way we could find to get affordable prices), they don't really match as aging in different situations/environments/sunlight/temperatures/etc. has change their colors in different ways.

    We like the way they look, but to be sure, if someone wanted them to all really match, I'd say, you'd have to buy them from one collection (like an estate sale where they were all originally bought at the same time and aged in the same room) or, I guess, you could have them refinished, but for us, that would undo the patina which is part of what we like.

    So, in the end, ours are "close enough" for us, but your point is spot on.
     
    ChazfromCali likes this.

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