What Does Your Bookshelf Say About You, Wannabe?
There's a war going on about proper bookshelf etiquette! Most people buy books (still), read them, and put them on a "shelf" for storage when they're done, writes Matt Selman in his Time blog. WRONG! If you're doing that, you're already way behind the cultural curve, Ezra Klein says in The American Prospect: "Bookshelves are not for displaying books you've read; those books go in your office, or near your bed, or on your Facebook profile. Rather, the books on your shelves are there to convey the type of person you would like to be." What does this learn us? That "bookshelves are a medium of social interaction... a format for the "performance of self," Inside Higher Ed concludes. Oh.
If you're a celeb, though, you can hire people to have taste for you: at my old, bad fashion magazine job, we'd buy the latest art-y books, stick 'em on the celeb's coffee table for the photo shoot, and then take them away. Innocence: lost.
I am the type of person who amasses many books, on all sorts of subjects. I'm pretty sure that's what a bookshelf is there to prove. The reading of those books is entirely incidental. The question becomes how we'll project all of this when Kindles takes off and all our books are digital. [The American Prospect]
But seriously: if books disappear, what else should we be doing to impress our dates with our performance of selves? iPod playlist sharing?