May. 11th, 2009

juushika: Photograph of a stack of books, with one lying open. (Books)
To Be Read

Last year for my birthday, because she is a wonder, [livejournal.com profile] notsuchastrangr sent me a slim little Moleskine (a ruled cahier). It's too small for lengthy writing but the perfect size for notes and for carrying everywhere, so it immediately became my permanent to be read hardcopy list. It's a dream to use, the perfect size and durability, more than long enough for its purpose, and there's even a pocket to store my library card. It's such a small thing, yet I couldn't have hoped for a better gift.

I have something of a fetish for my TBR list. When I'm in heavy reading mode—as I am now—I live by it. I'm constantly scribbling in titles and notations, and there are few pleasures like crossing off items I've discarded or read.

Most of my listings appear as BOOK TITLE, AUTHOR, listing only the author's surname (to save space). A few appear as Author: AUTHOR, listing the author's full name (to make it easier to find them). I'm usually drawn to works, not artists—it's an exception to the rule when an author's entire oeuvre catches my eye. On a similar note, when listing authors I'll often add a sublisting for one or two of their books.

I then annotate each listing with a number of markers: In geeky detail, they are... )

Books end up on my TBR list for all sorts of reasons. Reviews and mentions online are the most common source, I take some personal recommendations from friends and acquaintances, and I browse bookstores and library stacks for titles and covers which catch my eye. The rare exemplary author, and more often the treasured subgenre, will lead me to seek out books with a purpose. There are books which have been on my TBR list for years, and books which I write down just for the pleasure of crossing them off. There's a lot of joy in the notation—the same sort of joy found in writing reviews or collecting books. Books are primarily the words themselves, but they are also an act, a culture, a physical object. This is one of the reasons that I keep a TBR list in hardcopy and wouldn't own a e-reader if I could: I enjoy the physicality, the interactiveness, of books to handle and hold.

Speaking of: I own hundreds, probably thousands of books, but most of them are in boxes while I live as an unofficial houseguest. A small chunk of my collection lives with me in the bedroom, but for that reason and because it's cheaper most of the books I read these days come from the library. Even when they don't belong to me, thought, I still love the books I can have, for a little while, and hold.

My current would-be bookshelf. )

Why post all this? Because it interests me, and because it would interest me if others did the same. I'd love to know how the rest of you interact with books, if you do: how you view them and how you chose them, what your TBR list and stacks look like, what your bookshelves and book piles look like.

And if books aren't your thing, have a picture of Dude scratching to get out of the room. )
If he stare at it long enough, it does indeed open.

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juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
juushika

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