Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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May 23rd, 2009 · No Comments · Admin

Welcome to Blogging the Bookshelf!

The premise of this site is fairly self-explanatory; I’m going to blog my way through my entire bookshelf.


Well at the most prosaic level, I’ve recently returned to Australia from a period in the UK. Given that this was always going to be a temporary move, my books have been boxed up in a shed at my parents’ place for the past 18 months. Blogging my way through my newly liberated bookshelf seemed like an appropriate way to celebrate taking them out of storage, as well as to justify the cost of keeping and storing them when I sold literally everything else I owned.

But at a more significant level,  I’ve invested a completely inordinate amount of both time and money in the books on my bookshelf over the years – both in acquiring them and in moving them from one cramped inner-city sharehouse to another. Much to my fiance’s frustration, I can’t bend my reading habits to the strictures of library lending. Similarly, except for the most egregious examples, I can’t on sell or throw out a book once I’ve finished it. It’s strange, and highly inconvenient behaviour.

Once I’ve read a book, I’m always anxious not to forget lose any of the little inspirations, insights and trivia that come with the reading experience. Perhaps it’s the congenital ‘achiever’ in me, but I’ve always been motivated to get the most out of my reading. I’ve long dog-eared the bottoms of pages with particularly engaging passages and frequently delve back into my bookshelf to consume them a second time. Given the nature of the medium, I thought that blogging these little grabs might be a fun way to go back and explore what has really grabbed me in my reading to date.

That being said, this blog won’t contain in-depth or literary minded reviews as such. Instead, for each book I’ll just include a brief synopsis for the unfamiliar and then an eclectic mix of whatever interests me from it’s contents. In a similar vein, this blog won’t be representative of any particular cannon and will be heavily skewed to the peculiarities of my literary taste. If you’re a fan of Japanese or Chinese literature, ‘modern classics’, political biography or policy tomes – you’ll find plenty here to interest you. If not, maybe not so much.

No doubt my perceptions will be coloured by time and new perspectives, and I’m sure there will be plenty of books from my past that I’ll be embarrassed to have even read let alone to be blogging about today, but appreciating this perspective is exactly why I kept them in the first place.

This is my first foray into the world of ‘culture blogging’. It’s also my first attempt at blogging about something in which I have no formal education or experience. So we’ll see how it goes. Suffice to say that I don’t claim expertise about anything in the posts of this blog and welcome any input or insights that anyone else has to offer.

So without further ado, onto the bookshelf….

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  • Jetsettingjoyce

    Personally I think life is too short to re-read books, hence my aversion to owning them when there’s a whole world to explore in a (free) library. I have a few exceptions though, like Anne of Green Gables. It’s a 100 year old classic and there’s a reason why. I think you should give it a try!

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