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Saturday, February 13, 2016

What Does Your Personal Library Reveal About You?

Your books are your personal history.  You are what you read, so private libraries reveal much about their owners.

I recently came across this interesting article about the private libraries of famous people:  http://www.themillions.com/2016/02/the-private-library-what-books-reveal-about-their-readers.html.  I loved that Iris Murdoch apparently found her library “a silent living presence whose company sustained and reassured her.”

This article had me browsing through a book found on Schatje’s Shelves:  At Home with Books:  How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries by Estelle Ellis, Caroline Seebohm, and Christopher Simon Sykes.  Keith Richards of Rolling Stones fame is one of the bibliophiles featured.  “In his house in rural Connecticut, he oversaw every aspect of his library: its size, shelving, the kind of wood, the furnishings.”  He mentions that for him there is nothing more satisfying than to be lying on his sofa, buried in a book, in his own library:  “reading anchors me.”  His books show eclectic tastes:  19th- and 20th- century novelists, espionage, art, musical instruments, and military history.  “I can read anything except a book with pages missing.”

So what does your book collection tell the world about you?