Rabu, 26 September 2012

Side by Side

Thanks for your comments yesterday - we'll see, it might become a weekly feature til the end of the series, if I have the time and energy...

But, today - back to books!

I'm always intrigued by those arbitrary connections which books make while sat next to each other on shelves.  (There's a great quotation in Carlos Maria Dominquez's The Paper House about this, which I included in my review here.)  For those of us who shelve alphabetically, I mean (and I am always fascinated by the shelving decisions of bibliophiles).  Actually, any shelving system will throw up intriguing, unexpected combinations, unless you actively shelve by genre etc.  This sort of thing wouldn't interest many people, but I think I can guarantee that some of you will be among that minority...(!)  I love the idea that a simple alphabetical system can create clashes or harmonies between authors who might have nothing in common, beyond the first three letters of their surname.  But as the eye wanders along from book to book, one can't help but compare...

I thought I'd share some of the photos I took in Somerset quite a while ago, to show how authors have ended up being curiously appropriate or inappropriate bedfellows...

I love that two of my favourite authors - Ivy Compton-Burnett
and Barbara Comyns - are next to each other.
(Any authors who might divide them?)

It feels appropriate, too, that Elizabeth Cambridge
and Dorothy Canfield should sit alongside each
other - since I discovered both through Persephone.

But - oh dear - Muriel Spark and Nicholas Sparks?
I don't think MS would be very amused...

And can you imagine what Ivy C-B would say to
Jackie Clune and her book about triplets?
(She might get on better with Noel Coward...)
Winifred Watson, Evelyn Waugh, H.G. Wells, Dorothy Whipple,
Antonia White - which of us wouldn't relish that dinner party?

This one just struck me as a maelstrom of bizarre connections.
Thackeray, Trapido, Trefusis, Trillin, Trollope, Twain, Tyler, Undset -
it shows the range of my reading, but it's a little dizzying...
That was fun!

Less relevantly, but because I know some of you will want to see it, here is about half my Virago Modern Classic collection - the ones in Somerset.

I would love to see some snapshots of your bookshelves... if you have any unusual next-door-neighbours, or oddly-fitting ones, do pop a photo up on your blog (if you have one) and put a link in the comments!

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