Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Beautiful Bibliofilia

So I have already posted here about why I don't buy books so much any more.

That does not mean that I don't love them still.  On the other hand, I don't read SO MUCH anymore either.  And somehow that turn of events has coincided with the bringing into my home of a second little critter. (Here and here.  I mean, HER.)

And maybe discovering blogs?   (It makes ya think, doesn't it?)  Have I also mentioned that books are a bit like a drug for me, and once I dive into that altered state, it's very hard to find the surface again - and boy, does that mean I don't get much else done!  Of which there is quite a bit.  So, for the moment.........not so much reading going on. OK I'll blame my traveling life of the moment too.  

(cookbooks here, anyone?)

That notwithstanding, I thought it would be kind of silly and not at all in the spirit of the season to decline Guillemette's tag (THANKS G.!) to list 15 of the authors whose writing has "marked me, even turned me upside down - or, I guess "upset me" as bouleverser can be translated from the French." Certainly, for me, the writers below have unveiled to me certain truths in such eloquent, sensitive and sometimes (D. Sedaris) hysterically funny ways.  Truths which I had already somewhat suspected, but had not elsewhere found validation or elucidation of.   (Do ya know what I'm trying to get at here?)

(Two ideas about living with books from the Conran Shop UK)


Marcel Proust,  Colette,  Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf,  MFK Fisher,  Rumer Godden,  Alice Munro, Jhumpa Lahiri,  David Sedaris,  Lorrie Moore,  Tennesee Williams,  Flannery O'Connor,  William Maxwell,  Charles Bukowski

OOPS!  I didn't quite make it to Fifteen!  And surprisingly, but not intentionally, my list is a little heavily represented by writers of the female persuasion.   Someone of you will say, I obviously have not read enough.  I WILL SAY: RETURN TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE!

(complete collections all in white of all your favorite French novelists here?)

Now.  (You were wondering when I'd get to this part.)

Could I love and read books more, if I had rooms like this to practice my errant bibliophilia in?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? (and yes in those rooms, I would be planning on putting books where the kitchen utensils and towels now are).


Or - a room like Nigella Lawson's, for example, shown in this clip (and uploaded to YouTube for what one may say would be ALL the wrong reasons, judging from the clip "captioning").  The good news is the clip is entirely wholesome and excerpted from the BBC geneology-search program: "Who Do You Think You Are?"

It's a short enough clip, but if you hang in there a minute, you get a great shot from well above, of the narrow high-ceilinged space that opens onto a garden.  OK.  I DIE FOR THIS ROOM.  And its acidic yellow emanations.

Generally, these family histories can be fascinating, (as everyone who's seen the similar US/PBS Henry Louis Gates' series here, will tell you.  So it's also possible to link to the entire Nigella Episode on Vimeo for more shots of that library.  Here.

SO YES, NO, MAYBE?  All you in the Blog World?  Books?   OR ..... a library card, and THE BOOK ROOM?  Could you choose?

Meanwhile I would like to tag:

and find out what books or writers have particularly made an impression on them.


  1. my contribution to "15" was here..

  2. hey, i just discovered your blog through at-swim-two-birds. I'm really having an overload of books, no new ones will fit in my book case, but still i don't manage to stop buying... I would love to have an entire library-room like you pictured!
    (and i started reading proust one day but i got a little scared of the time it would take me. Maybe i should pick it up again.)

  3. This is so delightful MP!
    will be back after sunday pack-up...and shall delight in thinking up my list!
    LOVE the room... the one with grand piano is swish! any room with boks is a start!

  4. Dear, dear. I have no intention of choosing: give me libraries, masses of books (I partic love oldies, green friends may like this), and one of these days, I will have a book room. If I live with stacks and storage, it's to leave wall space for paintings. Nice top shot -which proves you can cram in books stylishly when determined enough. (Stop blaming things on your poor innocent cat, would you?)

  5. Oh I love this post. I still have a smile stuck on my face! And I know why I like to come and visit. Happy reading! smiling! traveling! whatever you feel like!

  6. I love Nigella's library. I could listen to her for hours. She is one of those celebrities I would actually like to hang out with.

  7. Merci d'avoir joué! I like these book room ambiances, also Nigella's room. Great list, I don't know all of them, I'll check and I think I definitly need to find D. Sedaris books!

  8. Merci pour ton passage chez moi, ça me fait très plaisir quand tu m'écris!!!Ton reportage sur les bibliothèques est vraiment très très interressant, ma photo préférée c'est la cuisine avec cette longue toutes ces chaises et cette fantastique bibliothèque, elle me plait bien cette photo. Bon week end à toi ma belle!

  9. Oh thank you for tagging me!! Let me think...
    Jack London, William Dafoe, Thomas Hardy, D.h. Lawrence, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Anne Bronte, Emily Bronte, John Fante, Charles Bukowsky, Bruce Chatwin, Lev Tolstoj, Jack Kerouac, J.d. Salinger, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, Primo Levi, Giovanni Verga, Seneca,ohhh and I could go on for ages!!
    I coul do a post on this subjects!!

    thank for the tip on cat food! But don't worry I already know that. My cats only eat cat food but they love to taste bits of what I eat. Tofu included!!

  10. I hardly go to the library because the wait time on new books is like forever. I use to want to have a book room, but then the books started over running our house. I have turned to giving them away after I read them to keep my house. Now if I could find someone to give me books it would be a little friendlier on my pocketbook or maybe someone to swap with would be good.

  11. Love this post! Library card YES - 4 days after we moved in a got a new one from my new town (hard to throw out the stack of old ones)

    Light, light, light for reading, art, everything...and why not toss in that grand piano I cannot play too ;^)

    A list of some sort will show itself sometime soon-ish. I forgot someone had tagged me for the same reason not too long ago...oops.

  12. p.s. Love your list, such goodness there... xo

  13. How fabulous!! :-) I adore books too and keep trying to stop buying new ones. :-) I assuage my conscience by only getting used ones. But I've been doing HEAPS better and have been scouring the library for delicious new tomes. I'm like you, once I open a book I don't want to emerge until I'm DONE. :-)