More August reading

Once again, I have put Tessa Dare on the back burner, waiting for some quiet, peaceful time to read her book. I haven’t read any novels this past week, with most of my book selections being dip-in-and-out reading. I have always loved visually beautiful books but they are:

  1. Too expensive to buy so I go to the library and
  2. Too heavy to borrow from the library and carry home

But the other week, I *shock and surprise* drove to the library so I stocked up on big, heavy, pretty coffee table books.

Infographics series 

Infographica : visualizing a world of information; Infographic guide to music; Infographic guide to literature

I love well-designed infographics and the majority that are in these books are interesting representations of the comparisons and visual narratives they are trying to represent. My only complaint, unfortunately, is that infographics lend themselves best to posters and larger (than A4) sized paper. These books are small in size (20.4 x 16.9  x 2.2 cm) and I found some of the information design was overly complex and difficult to read. I’d love to see these books published in quarto sizes. Continue reading

Bookshelfporn….or is it?

Close to 18 months ago I was approached by those wonderful erotica authors Rhian Cahill, Lexxie Couper, Jess Dee and Sami Lee over at Down Under Divas to write a guest blog for them. I spent a month struggling to think of something….and then I wrote this:

BookshelvesI’ve been thinking and dreaming about bookshelves for many years. And I think that, for most readers, this is quite normal. So, when I discovered the Tumblr site BooksShelfPorn. I found myself in the midst of ecstasy. Everyday this site gives me the short satisfying pleasure of viewing bookshelves from around the world; in bookshops, libraries, marketplaces and in private homes.

These are images that excite my visual senses, they tease me with their sexy lines, their tight corners and the promise of discovering reading sensations. Soft-focus photographs bring to life the much used, much handled, bookshelves fondled by the hands of many lovers, and the newer buildings, with untouched, erect shelves, standing proud, beckoning, open wide to virgin crowds pouring over their tomes.

These images are just fleeting dreams, and though I fantasize about visiting these bookshelves, running my hand along their banisters, mounting their stairs and losing myself in the sumptuous moment of being surrounded by unknown books, I can only sample some of their wares. Some will leave me wanting, some will not be satisfying and yet others leave me gasping for more… but this voyeurism is only momentary.

However, my own bookshelves, I would never call Bookshelfporn. I have a relationship with my bookshelves, they have served me as I have served them. I have run my hand along my rows of books, gently fingering their spines, lovingly turning their pages, hearing their words whispered in my ears. These wonderful, hard, timber shelves hold up my books that I have chosen to keep close forever, positioning them for my pleasure, my exultation in their words and my revelling in the fortune that they are mine.

Some of my books are old, weathered and loved, other books are newer but all of them have touched my heart, captured my soul, and have allowed me to lose myself in the ecstasy of reading their pages until that breathless moment when the world goes quiet at the sound of a book reaching its end. And then, I gently find a space on my still-rigid shelves who will keep my love safe. For what I feel for them is not gratuitous, it is not a fleeting slamming of books against shelf waiting for the next patron to try them out. It is the thrill, the joy and the comfort that the bookshelves, and all that they carry, are a part of me. For this is Bookshelferotica.

*Originally posted here:

I’m dreaming of bookshelves

When I was 6, I went to the State Library of NSW for a school visit, returned home and told my father that when I grew up I was going to work and sleep there amongst the stack rows. Ten years later, I would study at the awe-inspiring Mitchell Library, back in the day when anyone could climb the stairs and access the books. My favourite, dream-like study spot was in front of the 938’s, from memory, it was up one flight of stairs on the right hand side.

Mitchell Library, Sydney (#24) / Christopher Chan

Now, I am a librarian but I have yet to sleep in a library let alone the State Library (though, funnily enough, I have managed to lock a borrower in the library overnight but that is another story). My own home is full of books and there isn’t a single room that doesn’t have bookshelves – including the bathroom and laundry. Which has brought me to dream of 1 bookshelf. 1 floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, 1 floor-to-ceiling, need-a-ladder-to-reach-the-top, kickass bookshelf.