This blog is proving a good encouragement to nose into a book of an evening rather than slumping back in front of yet another Masterchef episode. Much though I love the terrier-like face of Michel Roux Jr and dream of him creating plate after plate of french patisserie wonders and feeding them to me with a spoon (stop now), I can’t deny that it’s a less constructive, meaningful past-time than interacting with a book.
But there’s now another reason to reach for the wrinkled spine of my latest book. This magnificent bookshelf which is one of a number of unjustifiable extravagances I have justified in the name of Christmas. This magnificent beast represents the first time that I have been able to line up the spines of my books, and mine alone (excepting the false notes of my fiance’s slightly different taste – the entire run of Flashman and Alan Mallinson’s complete oeuvre). It serves a similar purpose to this blog – a little taste of individual literary worlds that I have experienced, learnt from, have made me laugh – worlds that all too easily disappear.
And also, I won’t lie, there’s a pure show-off element to both. Both say something about yourself as a person – are you a Jilly Cooper / Marian Keyes person, or a Dickens and James person? The very fact I mention those four authors is a further attempt to show off learnedness while mixed with approachable light-heartedness. Effectively, a bookshelf is a blatant attempt to bring your perceived complexity of your personality to peoples’ attention – just as is a blog.
And a blog post about your bookshelf? That’s just unforgiveable.