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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Have you ever fallen for someone's...bookcase?


Years ago, my sister invited her friend Paul over to her apartment. While she was in the kitchen making some snacks, he took a look at her bookcase. At that moment, he says, he knew he would fall in love with her. Her bookcase revealed all her passions—from Roald Dahl short stories and funny plays to mountain biking guides and How We Die. She had even tucked The Baby-Sitters Club next to a book on Linear Algebra.

Three years later, they were married.

It's funny how much your bookshelf can reveal about you. So I was PSYCHED to hear about the new book My Ideal Bookshelf, in which one hundred creative thinkers share their absolute favorite books. The book interviews writers (Michael Chabon, Mary Karr, Jonathan Lethem) and chefs (Alice Waters, David Chang) and Hollywood personalities (Judd Apatow, James Franco) and big thinkers (Malcolm Gladwell, Atul Gawande) and musicians (Patti Smith, Thurston Moore) about the particular books that made them who they are. My only small quibble is that I wish the people explained why they chose each book, but overall the collection is fantastic and makes you want to curl up under a blanket and read all day.
So now, of course, the big question is: What's on YOUR ideal bookshelf? Mine would include: The History of Love, Epilogue, Ghost World, Peter Pan, Private Lives, Operating Instructions, Sense and Sensibility, The BFG, Middlesex, the list goes on...

(Top photo of my sister and her husband by Max Wanger)

113 comments:

Manda said...

How fun!
I literally am in search of an actual bookshelf!

There are too many books for me to name, I think. Excited to check out the ones you've listed!

Love From,
Eat Cake

Jenna | The Paleo Project said...

I love this. My brother once had to stay in my old bedroom at home. I was living at college. He wrote me a letter, tucked it in the shelf, I found months later, that said he was looking at my books and learning so much about me - seeing what a good person I was, how much I love others,all these things that he got from just my book titles. He's older and it really meant SO much. I get it. I get it.

Kate Harvey said...

Anna Karenina and East of Eden. And Screwtape Letters, and Charlotte's Web. And so many more....

Mary said...

Love this, and I saw some of the entries in the Wall Street Journal the other week. It is fascinating how much people's book choices reveal about them. Making my own choices would be tough, but I guess my own bookshelves do it for me.

pernambuco said...

Everyone who has Nicolas Bouvier's brilliant stories will be me friend! :)

Martina said...

Ohh you got it already! I talked about this book a while ago, but I have yet to buy it. And the illustrations look great! Have a nice evening! x

leilani.e said...

HA! Oh Jo, your posts are always so relevant. I have a date tonight with an old friend who I accidentally sparked something with this weekend because, yup, we were looking at my bookshelf and geeking out. He's got such good taste in books! Helps that the man can kiss... we'll see how this goes.

mamalooks said...

What a beautiful story! I do think that one's bookshelf reveals a lot of their owner's personality.

Robyn said...

Roald Dahl, some travel guides, How to golf like a pro, a dictionary, the Bible and then lots of fiction-usually based in Africa. Lovely little story about your sister-great photo!

Luli said...

That's the sweetest thing. I'm so glad your brother did that for you.

koala said...

oh! I have two prints from her, and my old apartment on Pine Street is in the background! my ideal bookshelf would include: The God of Small Things, To Kill A Mockingbird, The English Patient, Franny and Zooey, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, The Ominvore's Dilemma, Pride & Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables.

Luli said...

Oh, I love reading and I love my books. Pride and Prejudice, random volumes of encyclopedias, my romance novels, Jane Eyre, The Three Musketeers, The Scarlet Pimpernel...I could go on and on. It's fun to read the other comments too.

Jessie said...

Actually, yes! When I was visiting my then friend (now husband) I noticed a copy of "Pride and Prejudice" on his shelf. And I exclaimed, "Oh I love this book!" And he later confessed (after we were engaged) that he got the idea from Donald Miller (author of 'Blue Like Jazz') wrote:

"Here’s a tip I’ve never used: I understand you can learn a great deal about girldom by reading Pride and Prejudice, and I own a copy, but I have never read it. I tried. It was given to me by a girl with a little note inside that read: What is in this book is the heart of a woman. I am sure the heart of a woman is pure and lovely, but the first chapter of said heart is hopelessly boring. Nobody dies at all. I keep the book on my shelf because girls come into my room, sit on my couch, and eye the books on the adjacent shelf. You have a copy of Pride and Prejudice, they exclaim in a gentle sigh and smile. Yes, I say. I do." (p. 140)

(Sorry, I just had to include the whole quote because it's so funny -- and true!)

Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

Oh wow! What a great book! Perfect for a gift but I want one for ME!! What a lovely story about your sister. Thanks for sharing your books...mine would include anything by Hemingway or Fitzgerald. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Bookgirlbklyn said...

I just bought three of these books to give as Christmas presents. It's perfect for everybody in my book-loving circle of family and friends.

Susannah said...

the first time i met my friend's roommate, i fell in love with his bookshelf. i couldn't believe the combination of books he had- they seemed like only the sort of books that some kind of soulmate would have. i left his house feeling like i had fallen for a stranger who felt more like a best friend. that was my senior year of college 16 years ago; last month mr. bookshelf and i celebrated ten years of marriage and 16 years of friendship! in all the years since i've only confirmed what my cursory glance at his books first revealed: this is the guy for me.

LaurenMax said...

I love this, thanks for letting us know about it. History of Love is great. I would include "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by Annie Dillard and "Letters to a Young Artist" by Rilke. And some Mark Strand and Billy Collins. :)

www.laurenmaxwell.blogspot.com

stephanie said...

I would fall in love with you over your bookshelf, Joanna. Mine includes Peter Pan and Sense and Sensibility as well, and then Light in August, Bel Canto, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prophet, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Phantom Tollbooth, Frankenstein, and Harry Potter. Among MANY others. xoxo

bebepies said...

Just curious...what would be on your husbands ideal bookshelf? Do you think there would be any overlap from your bookshelf?

Whitney Levett said...

LOVED the History of Love! Definitely one of my favorites. The Great Gatsby is up there too. My husband and I are both readers. Friends think we are silly to hold onto our books that fill up two large book cases. We cannot depart with them and continue to add to them. They are definitely one of the reasons we fell in love with each other.

nicole said...

I fell in love with my boyfriend and his record collection. A few years later, we were married. :)

Jennifer said...

I think I fell in love with my husband's books before I fell in love with him. He was a philosophy major in college, so instead of the usual mix of noteworthy books that many other people had on their shelves in 2004, he had Kant and Heideger, and told me his favorite book was Tractatus Logico by Wittgenstein. We've been married over eight years and I still haven't read one of his books that I liked so much in the beginning.

myheartscontentblog.com said...

Someone fell in love with me for my bookcase. Which was nice and sweet but didn't work out. My husband has NO bookcase, but he's promised to build me a library one day with shelves all the way up the wall and a ladder that swings across on rails. I can't wait.

Alexandra Steinmetz said...

My boyfriend and I are similar. When I walked in his apartment and saw that his entire room was lined with bookshelves it was game over. We now have a studio lined with books, several bookshelves in our bedroom, and boxes of books under the bed!

Caitlin said...

Too many books. My boyfriend didn't read when we started dating, but now he is slowly beginning too :) Those on my shelf include: The History of Love, Blue Like Jazz, The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe, Charlotte's Web, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Little Bee, and so many more. Bookshelves reveal so much about a person, its unreal!

Simohermione said...

100 years of solitude, anna karenina, the witches, il re di girgenti (italian book), the catcher in the rye, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Fahrenheit 451 and To Kill a Mockinbird.

Jessica Quadra Photography said...

This will make a great gift for my husband for Christmas! We met in grad school for English and creative writing, so books were a big part of us getting to know each other outside of school. We'd trade books and write little notes in them. :)

Corrie Anne said...

What a sweet story. That book looks so fun!!! My husband always falls asleep when he reads, and I accidentally stay up half the night. Haha. I'm currently reading Little Women (again) because it seems lie the right time of year for it!

Jessica Quadra Photography said...

Oh and my ideal bookshelf would include (and it does!) one hundred years of solitude, invisible man, travels with charley, east of Eden, to kill a mockingbird, and the house on mango street. What a fun post, Joanna!

Kate Wyver said...

Ahh I LOVE this! That is such a lovely story to tell, so romantic! My ideal bookshelf would include Rebecca, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, Dorian Grey, Bridget Jones, a fairy book I loved when I was younger and The God Delusion! It's amazing how much you can tell about someone from their books!

Jess said...

Hear hear for Sense & Sensibility, the BGF, and Middlesex!

Lauren Ashley said...

SO romantic and sweet - I could definitely fall in and out of love based on a book shelf. Make me wonder how this will change as more and more people use e-readers. Maybe will have to go though people's kindel libraries instead. :-)

Jessica said...

I love the idea of this book! Sounds like a perfect coffee table book so I bought it!!! Can't wait to flip through and discover new books to read.

Chloe Moon said...

I LOVE looking at people's bookcases...What a romantic story!! Surprisingly one of the arguments I have with my boyfriend is that I have too much on my bookcase!! I have my autographed books, some childhood books that still mean something and then some random ones.

Ergo - Blog

Laura said...

This is exactly how I knew I wanted to get to know my partner. I didn't know him, but was at his house for a party. About 2 years later we consolidated our bookshelves and started our lives together.

Kayla Riley said...

Funny you should write about this today. I was cleaning out my room for a big move yesterday and found these, which are pretty telling: http://kayaway.tumblr.com/post/36144416067/the-photographic-answer-to-what-kinds-of-books-do

Gemma @ longlostpenpal said...

such a good question!

The Slow Pace said...

The first piece of forniture that I've ever bought was a bookcase, so I find this very interesting!

joana said...

never fell for someone's bookcase, but i always look for books whenever i go to someone's house, and find it very disturbing if there are none, or very few... can make me look at someone in a completely different way!

letters to you said...

I work at an indie bookstore that is all about suggestions and I can't wait to suggest this later today!

On a personal note, I've found that most guys are surprised by the number of books I have. Then I go over to their place and am surprised by how few books they have. Probably should just end it right then & there.

Marie Matter said...

this is awesome!!! getting this book for sure!

littlekitchie.blogspot.com

Jeneric Generation said...

Every book choice has a story behind it! I love knowing why people pick the books they do. My "defining" books would be: Brothers Karamazov, Anne of Green Gables (and every other book by that author), The Screwtape Letters, Orthodoxy, and Jane Eyre. Also, I have a great weakness for books of famous speeches. The Ideal Bookshelf book looks addicting! I might read the whole thing in one sitting.

Kit said...

That is the loveliest i've heard all week :)

To The River said...

Everything written by Raymond Carver, Flannery O'Connor, Song of the Beehive by Frodde Grytten, The Journey of the Empty Bottles by Abdolah Kader, all poetry by Tadeusz Rozewicz, Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, everything by Julian Barnes, in my native language everything written by Mesa Selimovic and Ivo Andric, last week I finished a good book by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov, Natural novel...But sales flyers and promotional catalogues calm my nerves too:)
I m reading ur blog for an ∞ time, but never commented and finally I 'faild' on this:) Greets!

Anne said...

What a romantic story! I love to look at other people's bookcases. My dream is to find a house where I can actually have all my books in one library room. For now, most of them are stored in boxes. On my ideal shelve would be Steinbeck's East of Eden, Faulkner's short stories, Roald Dahl's Matilda, Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre, Blindness by Jose Saramago, and my all time favorite: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. How odd that all these books were written by men. I do love women writers too. Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, for instance. What an impressive book. And Possession by A.S. Byatt, beautiful! I could go on and on. Don't get me started on books. :)

trinaenriquez said...

Yes!! I've loved Jane Mount's Ideal Bookshelf series and have cookbook prints of hers at home *and* work. :) Btw, if y'all love this type of thing (bookity booksbookbooks:), you may also like this essay by Dave Eggers that was excerpted from the book My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop and appeared in the Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/13/dave-eggers-s-favorite-bookstore-green-apple-books-san-francisco.html

Angry Asian said...

i've actually whittled down my bookshelf this year. the boytoy & i have merged homes and we just don't have the room/space for actual books. i haven't read an actual book in my hands in awhile, i'm now all about the kindle. i know. i have kept some faves, childhood and grown up, as well as cookbooks. his parents have an actual library full of books they have read and when we visit i am always jealous... when i think of rooms full of light and books, it takes me to old english manors/castles where the chairs are leather and it's solemnly quiet.

Sarah said...



Mine would be:

Goodnight Mr Tom, The Odyssey, Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables, Silas Marner, Cold Comfort Farm, Snow Water by Michael Longley, Love in a Cold Climate, The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings.

lc | rebuild said...

Just to echo, that is so wonderful. Books really are magical little things, aren't they?

katilda said...

I could easily fall in love with a man for his bookshelf, or what's on his iPod. It tells you something about a person! My all-time favorites include... (my whimsical and nostalgic side) Where the Red Fern Grows, a whole bunch of YA fiction from Roald Dahl to Ramona Quimby, the Harry Potter series, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn... (my bleeding heart side) The Hiding Place, The Chosen, All But My Life, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind... OH, and let's not forget my complete collection of Winnie the Pooh. A.A. Milne speaks to me. He is the perfect mix of whimsy and sass and enchantment...which I like to think is kind of like me. (End long comment.)

Chimmy said...

awesome, could i steal your sisters love story! a girl can dream... i always spy everyone's bookcases :) my ideal would be: bone palace ballet by charles bukowski, things fall apart by chinua achebe, the collected poems of octavio paz, langston hughes, pablo neruda, allen ginsberg, sylvia plath, and at least a dozen other poets and then some, purple hibiscus and half of a yellow sun by chimamanda ngozi adichie, on the road by kerouac, living buddha, living christ by thich nhat hanh, mere christianity by cs lewis, roald dahl, shel silverstein, dr. seuss, walden, the poison wood bible, the return of the prodigal son, black elk speaks... i could do this forever.

i love adding to my book shelf (okay shelves and any space in my house that i can fit a book) but i don't think i could breathe without the ones i've mentioned. oh and i'm pretty sure i'm going to love my friend glennon's book, Carry On, Warrior! just as much as i loved my girl mei's books: lucky girl and how eskimos keep their babies warm, i gifted both of these to new parents and they loved them. lucky girl for my friends who were in the last days of their adoption of a young chinese girl and the latter for new parents looking for yet another fun parenting book.

Allison McGregor said...

This is such an interesting and though provoking post, as always. I love books so I guess i can see how you could fall for someone based on their bookish taste.

http://two-leaf-clover.com

Lea said...

This is such an interesting post, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Lea x

It's Such A Wonderful Life -
http://shebeginstosee.blogsot.com

Why not check out my Christmas Yankee Candle giveaway?

Eat.Walk.Etc. said...

My husband to be and I fell in love over our facebook "bookshelf" and then coincidentally in the library in college. We still enjoy going to book shops or the library, ordering coffees and reading together on a weekend afternoon.

Simply Marilla said...

What a great idea for a book, now I am even more madly in love with Thomas Keller!

marketa anna medas said...

fuu, it was the same with me but with cd+dvd+and sure books:) when i met with my man, first time, we spoke about cds, and made changes between us, after that some books came, and i was so surprised when i came to his apartmentt, he has boooks everywhere. and if i write everywhere, mean that everywhere:) imagine:) so there was a lot of books of architecture, he is an architect. and a lot of design, some spiritual books,and more and more.... we live together, fu its been 7years:) and iam pregnant. we have a huge bookcase-2floors . :)

e said...

So true - I love checking out people's bookshelves. And, come to think of it, a certain book that my husband had on his shelf when we were dating made me fall even harder for him.
My ideal shelf would have the following:
Anne of Green Gables, Bird by Bird, Gone With the Wind, the Bible, Blue Like Jazz, Harry Potter, a Thesaurus, and the Chronicles of Narnia.

Amanda said...

This is a fabulous idea for a book. My list would include Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Alchemist, Jane Eyre, Harry Potter. I think my list will just continue to get larger and larger the older I get. Or perhaps smaller.
I would love to hear that the man who falls for me, knew he would fall for me because of the contents my bookshelves. Super romantic :)

Cheryl said...

THanks for posting this! This is right up my alley as a book lover and librariand PLUS I have two book group book exchanges this holiday season and was uncertain about what to bring. This will be a great choice! Illustrations look cool. Would be neat to have another book that was photographs of people's books....

Alexa said...

if i am at a guy's apartment, i am on the lookout for his books. if there aren't any, it's a bright red flag for me! :)

Martie @ Spunkyrella said...

Heard about that book - great post! That´s a good question. I actually feel like that while browsing through someone´s playlist or cd rack :)

Talking about books, I´d say:
- Slouching towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
- Don´t ask me why, Tania Kindersley
- A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
- Holy Cow, Sarah Macdonald
- The Beauty and the Beast

Mary Kate said...

Exactly why I STILL refuse to jump on the Kindle bandwagon - I love having physical books. I love reading them, smelling them, holding them - and above all I love looking at them all sitting side by side in my apartment when I get home.

My bookshelf is very eclectic - I have classics like The Catcher in the Rye & Anna Karenina, modern fiction faves (The Art of Racing in the Rain, or anything by Tana French) non-fiction (Malcolm Gladwell), all my travel books, books in French from my French major days - plus old favorites like Harry Potter, and even an old Sweet Valley High book :)

Sarah Conner said...

I met my husband in a college English class, but I was dating someone else at the time. One day in a class discussion he quoted Atlas Shrugged, and I knew it was the start of something big... we were married four years (and many books) later. My list includes Atlas Shrugged, The Name of the Wind, Hatchet, Great Expectations, Great With Child, Cloudstreet, and Brave New World.

Shannon said...

Love this story!

haylie said...

I moved a few times when my now-husband and I were dating, and for each move he helped me carry my seemingly endless boxes of books. Later he told me that my love of books was one of the major things that attracted him to me :o)

lauravaughn said...

East of Eden...a must.

Jess said...

People are very curious about others' bookcases, it's a total window into who they are... I get comments from house guests a lot from our bookshelf from my husband's sports biography books to my historical fiction collection and fashion biographies. I am not so proud (so to speak) of the chic lit, but it's there, what are you gonna do?

Paula said...

I love peeking at other people's bookshelves, unless, of course, it is filled with trinkets sans books. My ideal bookcase would have the following:

Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco; The Monk, Matthew Lewis; A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess;
The Blood Countess, Andrei Codrescu; One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Sabbath's Theater, Philip Roth;
Midnight Blue Collection, Nancy Collins; Morpho Eugenia, A. S. Byatt; The Club Dumas, Arturo Perez-Reverte; Too Loud a Solitude, Bohumil Hrabal; Disgrace, J. M. Coetzee; and In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, John Gribbin.

lauravaughn said...

What an interesting conversation starter. My boyfriend has a bookshelf of very serious, hardback Russian literature. I have a hard time getting through anything Russian, although I have tried harder since meeting him. Even though we have different taste in books, we both share a love of literature, and to me, that is the most important thing.

Alison said...

I also love looking at others' bookshelves whenever I visit their homes. I'm incredibly proud of mine, and consider it a hobby that I continue to curate.

My ideal bookshelf would look a lot like my current one! There would be several classic tomes on urban policy ("The Death and Life and Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs, and "The Image of the City" by Kevin Lynch to name a few), as well as some of my favorite literature ("The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Michael Chabon, "The Fortress of Solitude" by Jonathan Lethem, "Let the Great World Spin" by Colum McCann" and "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner).

Rachel B.C. said...

John Waters famously said, "If you go home with somebody and they don't have books, don't f-ck them."

Nina Leung said...

This is wonderful! I LOVE reading people's favorite book lists.
My favorites are Possession by A.S Byatt (really, anything by Byatt), A Natural History of the Senses, Color: A History, and Out of Africa. I have read all of these books multiple times. That's the true meaning of a favorite, you can always learn something new from it.

Catherine Masi said...

What a great book! My rule of thumb with dating a guy was that he had to have books in his place. Extra points + a happier relationship if he had GOOD books! Putting this one on my list.

Candace said...

I hope I meet my future spouse at a bookstore, book signing, or library. My ideal bookshelf would include The Poisonwood Bible, Prodigal Summer, my highlighted and tattered Nietzsche books from college, The Boxcar Children Suprise island, and anything James Baldwin.

ohseems said...

I love your sisters story!! I hope that happens to me one day =)

I'm all for books and none of that e-reader stuff. actual paper bound books. I think it's great to know what your role models read and what they've been inspired by. I shall definitely check that book out. thanks for sharing!

caitlin said...

whenever i go to someone's house i always make a beeline to their bookshelves. i think bookshelves reveal so much about people, and even had an idea that someone should photograph bookshelves like that "what's in your fridge" photo project. anyway, mine would definitely include: the mandarins, zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, mating, women in love, crossing to safety, still life with woodpecker, on the road, annnnnnd philip pullman's dark materials trilogy, because it is brilliant and probably shaped the way i think.

natalie said...

This is wonderful! My ideal bookshelf would have a lot of art/design coffee table type books and the entire collection of Haruki Murakami's works FOR SURE.

Bethie said...

The first time my husband invited me to his apartment I studied his bookshelf for quite a long time. Perhaps too long. We now joke about how nervous he was about it because it really did reveal a lot of who he was! Obviously, I liked what I saw. ;)

ryan said...

Looking at someone's bookshelf is one of the first things I do when I see their home for the first time. I can't help it! Love the idea for this book.

Anamaria said...

What a sweet story! Must-haves would include: Anna Karenina, War & Peace, some Flannery O'Connor (my husband fell in love with ME partly because I quoted her when we first met; that, and my prematurely gray hair), Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter, Thomas Aquinas, After Virtue, Aristotle.

M.M. said...

When my grandmother passed away, I took a few books from her bookshelf and added them to mine, and when my grandfather passed away I took a few of his as well - so it's become a collage of my books and theirs.

Also, while my bookcase is mostly classics, I'm a hypochondriac and worrier so I totally have the Worst-Case Scenario book prominently displayed as well. Haha.

Micaela Trace said...

hmmmm I never though of books that way.. a really lovely gesture by your brother

Beatrix said...

I was just thinking about this as I put away my books on the shelf in our new home. Reveals so much.

Karen A. said...

What a great story! Mine would include a lof of beat writers and a few how-tos and cookbooks. Classics as well! :)

http://www.teenyhippie.com/

Kate said...

I just ordered this for two people in my family! Thanks for the heads up!

Alina said...

Yes, I love people's bookcases! It's so interesting to see what books are on display - and whether or not they have actually been read. I'm a big believer in having an ideal bookshelf, and in keeping with this, I only buy books after I have read them (unless they're textbooks, in which case I strive to only keep those I've read that I also like). Unfortunately, this means that many of my books' spines haven't been cracked, which gives the wrong impression.

I read a book just like the one you're describing, which was also recently released, but it was called "Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books." I believe its interviewees did speak more about why they had the books they had.

Emily said...

Thank goodness I'm married..."everybody poops," is showcased on my bookcase :)

carina said...

I could definitely fall in love with someone based on their book shelf. And out of love as well! My ideal bookshelf? I have no idea where to begin!
But what you are missing in the book, I also miss from this post - what are your reasons for chosing these books?:-)

Love the brother's letter in the book in the comment above btw.

Sandra Lee said...

I love this story, it's really interesting how much you can get to know about people through what books they read/have. I did a similar post about what you can learn at a bookstore just by seeing what section people are in. Thanks for the post, it was great!

http://www.notesfromtheslife.com/what-section-are-you-in/

Isa said...

This is so cool, so true, and the story of your sister and Paul is truly beautiful. I'm curious to see how I will end up stocking my own bookcase one day and what people will gather of me from it!

http://lasaloperie.blogspot.com/

The Enchanted Doors said...

Oh how I love reading anything book-related! Mine would be Paul Theroux the old Patagonian express, AA Gill is away, Julie and Julia, Sophie's Choice, and of course some Irish writers, Roddy Doyles The Snapper, a Seamus Heaney book of poetry, Joseph O'Connor Star of the Sea, and of course, anything by Maeve Binchy!

Three Irish girls write a book blog on everything from high-brow literature to chick-lit and urban fantasy.
www.theenchanteddoors.blogspot.com

Kate said...

How sweet! My husband and I both say we realized each other was "the one" when we found out we share the very same, very uncommon favorite book.

meet emily said...

i love the 'i knew this was it' moments.

meet emily said...

i love the 'i knew this was it' moments.

Reluctant Overachiever said...

I knew the person I would end up with would have to be a reader. My husband and I have totally different reading tastes though. I definitely prefer fiction and he loves nonfiction about the history of Rome or the Napoleonic Wars or something like that. What's funny is, we've rubbed off on each other a bit. I read much more nonfiction now and LOVE it (currently reading The Black Count). He's reading more fiction and fantasy. I don't know if I could choose favorites...Harry Potter, Crime and Punishment, The BFG (love that book too!), To Kill a Mockingbird...

Lisa said...

My husband and I started "dating" over Skype after being email-introduced by a mutual friend (we were living in different countries at the time). -- When I finally visited him in the United States, his bookshelf knocked my socks off! Yep, definitely a factor in falling in love.

Marianne Engemand said...

Whenever I visit a new home I go straight to the bookshelf (in a discrete way), then take a look at their dvd collection and cd collection. I love to get lost in other people's bookshelves and could easily fall for a guy with the right collection. Also, a good collection of cooking books would make me interested :-)

ViviDee said...

I'm dying of curiosity, what is your favorite book?

-singrui♥- said...

That is a sweet action of your brother,Love to hear it! bless both of you:)

Nicole said...

This is how I fell in love with my husband. Years before we began dating, I was introduced to him at my first ever apartment when he came over with a mutual friend. Chris (my now husband), always a little uncomfortable in new social situations, went straight to my book shelf. I remember he and I talking about my books. He sat in an arm chair and I sat on the floor next to him. I was smitten from that day forward.
Fast forward a few years. I throw a big Holiday party. He attends, with same friend. As the late night began to creep in, I found him in my office staring at my bookshelf. I remember standing next to him and nervously talking about my book collection. We had our first kiss that night and have been together ever since.That was 8 years ago this December 18th. I'll never forget.
We're still book fiends. I'm a librarian and he's an urban planner now. We plan vacations around book shopping. Seriously!

Hena Tayeb said...

This brought a smile and a giggle.. what a great story.

tamara said...

I always hang around the bookshelf when I'm feeling shy at a houseparty! Best place to distract from awkward conversations. : )

Unknown said...

I slept in my friend's older brothers room once a few years ago and he had a fantastic bookshelf. I joked that I would be marrying her brother and becoming part of the family. Hasn't happened yet, but it turns out he's also pretty tall...

Valentina Duracinsky said...

lovely!

Valentina
http://valentinaduracinsky.blogspot.com/

Katie said...

When my now-boyfriend and I first started becoming friends, he alphabetized my roommates' and my DVD shelf. That cinched it for me ;)

Maria said...

Falling in love with someone's bookshelf is like falling in love with their MIND. It's PERFECT! And also one of the reasons I will never convert to e-books or e-readers.

Maria xx
www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

Grace said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/nov/25/stephenie-meyer-judd-apatow-ideal-bookshelf?src=longreads

This may be an answer to the "why they chose each book" question?

Laura @ Chaotic Domestic said...

What a great story! I love books...and love to see what people include on their bookcases! I'll definitely have to check out the book you mentioned where people choose their favorites!

Hannah B. said...

This book is totally going on my wishlist! *Love* it! xo~Hannah B.

Freya Lily said...

I was just having a conversation with my assistant editor today about books. I have a deep, hoarding love for print. While a Kindle or iPad have their appeal, I prefer to hold the book, smell the book, dog-ear the book and LOVE the book. I'm 24 and already have such an extensive book collection. I have a lot of children's books (Roald Dahl everything, The Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew, Chasing Redbird, pictures boks etc), thrillers, mysteries and fiction fill most of it. I'm just starting to get into biographies and historical books. I have a ridiculous cook book collection, thanks to my English grandmother who was a chef and sees me as the granddaughter fit to keep her collection alive. I also have kept almost every poetry, creative writing, play, short story book from college. I'm saddened by the fact that people don't love books like they used to. Next week, I'm heading to The Monkey's Paw, a book shop here in Toronto that has a book vending machine. For $2, you get a book out of a vending machine. You don't know what kind of book, it's a mystery but I'm so excited. I hope it's something completely random.

mark said...

How fun!
I literally am in search of an actual bookshelf!
There are too many books for me to name, I think. Excited to check out the ones you've listed!v.nice thanks for such a nice blog for my bookshelf experience simply click here

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