I have long agreed that glimpses into the collections of reader’s books are a window to their soul.
It’s like a personality test of sorts.
What has influenced them? What do they care about? What have they been wiling to spend their time considering?
I’m just saying…
If you invite me over and have a wall of books – you can bet I’ll stop and browse.
In inspecting the large libraries I’ve mentioned (Alsop, Cairns, Sontag) one would guess within five minutes that these libraries had been formed by one intellect. The look of a reader’s books on the shelf is a kind of signature, in my case suggesting that there’s a certain style of bookmaking—or maybe several styles—and these somehow reinforce my desire to read a book. I didn’t form my library, though, for the look of the books on the shelf. I formed it to read and I’ve read it, though, in the cases of some literatures (German, for example) at a somewhat attenuated pace.