Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bookshelf Etiquette?

Has anyone not read this piece from the NY Times Paper Cuts blog about bookshelf etiquette? Funny, I never thought it "wrong" to display unread books, but it just so happens that I've always put the books I've already read in the public spaces of my home, while the "to be read" stacks remain in my bedroom or shut up in the office. Go figure!

Thoughts?

11 comments:

  1. I've got a mix of them all over the house - one shelf in my bedroom is of favorite books, otherwise I've never really given it much thought!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmm. I've not read that article. Like you I have unread books in my bedroom and a mix of read and unread in my bookroom. I've not given it a lot of thought either and I'm afraid I have to settle with the little room I have and be happy with it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's rules!??!??! Oh no! *laughs* I am of like minds with this commenter: “That anyone would take the time to establish rules or ‘bookshelf etiquette’ means that s/he doesn’t have enough to do.” —”Adrian”

    I put my books wherever they fit, which includes bookshelves, bedside table, coffee table and floor :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I quite like the last quote, “The truly cultured are capable of owning thousands of unread books without losing their composure or desire for more.”
    I've got most of my books in the living room because that's where there's room for bookshelves and the read and unread are all mixed together. Never mind that they're all pretty much double stacked horizontally!! But when you have limited space you take what you can get, book etiquette be damnned. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I had never thought of that before. The majority of my TBR collection is shut into my TBR room whereas all of the books that have been read are in the living room. My reasoning has always been that keeping them separate makes it easier to get to the unread books and that's where I have the space to keep them all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Years of moving across Australia (and later the planet) has forced me to keep material possessions to the absolute minimum. It also helps that my London apartment is sooooooo tiny that there is little room to display objects that aren't of every day use. So this means I very rarely hold onto books once I've read them. They go to charity shops, friends, other bloggers or "moochers". But when I did display my books in my home I would only ever display the books that I'd read. At the moment I have about 150 books in my TBR pile -- about 100 of these are in storage, the remaining 50 are piled up by my bed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is it perhaps even worse etiquette to not put books on bookshelves, leaving them lying around instead to be tripped over?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've got my books sorted first by fiction or nonfiction. The fiction books are alphabetized by author, and the nonfiction is sorted by subject. And unread books are unashamedly mixed in with the read.

    The idea that there's some form of etiquette as to how you should arrange your books is silly and pretentious, IMO. The only books I keep hidden away are the ones that would make my gran faint when she comes to visit. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I used to read the blog of a HLS grad and she posted a similar thing the NYT guy did. I'm too tired to give a meandering, sarcastic reply so I'll just say the guy's bonkers and leave it at that

    ReplyDelete
  10. Uh oh, my unreads are mixed right in there with the already reads. The horror!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Rules for bookshelves. Probably one of the silliest things I've heard recently. I only keep the special books I've read and give away the rest. My books read and unread are all mixed up everywhere.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I respond to comments individually by e-mail and/or here on the site. I value community above all else in blogging, and talking with you all is the highlight of my blogging day!