Bookshelf Porn

I might regret including the word ‘porn’ in the title of this post but there is really a most lovely site featuring drool-worthy and heart-stopping bibliophile porn. Here’s a peep show:

And there’s more where that came from at Bookshelf Porn.

In other G-rated news:

  • For the first time, I’m itching to read some of the Booker prize long-listed titles especially Room by Emma Donohue and In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut (how odd they both have ‘room’ in the title). I usually stay well clear of listed titles and winners and wait a few years before I read them. I have read The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas though and am glad that an Australian writer is listed.
  • I always love watching The First Tuesday Bookclub and leave it as a special treat when the show is repeated on Sunday evenings. This month’s show was particularly fantastic. One of the selected books, Anna Karenina, got such glowing and enthusiastic reviews from all five book clubbers that I’m inspired to read it after I finish my current books. It’s been lounging by my bedside after an attempt to read it during summer but the many, many Russian names put me off. I encourage you all to view the Book Club videos on their website if you haven’t seen them.
  • One of the book clubbers, author Richard Flanaghan, raised a very interesting point that the current writers in today’s industry write in a prize culture which I think rings very true. Winning an acclaimed prize not only raises the author’s profile significantly but it also boosts the writer’s and publisher’s coffers and reputation. Do we have too many literary prizes? Or not enough? Is it really a bad thing?
  • And Richard Flanaghan has uttered one of the best quotes I’ve heard in a long time, spoken in the context of discussing Anna Karenina:

Infatuation ends at the point when you know somebody.

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12 comments

  1. Nice post Mae. I look forward to your review of AK. I finally read it only 2 or 3 years ago and loved it. I still haven’t got past all the Russian names in War and Peace though!

    And, I love The First Tuesday Bookclub too. I only wish it were longer than 30 mins.

    1. That is a wonderful quote and one that inspires me to read AK as well. I tried before, but I think it was the translation that put me off. It simply read like it was written in another language thereby lacking good flow in English.

      Let me just say those are some mighty fine shelves you have there, too. 🙂 Love seeing how others organize their books. I tend to think there’s nothing more comforting than being surrounded by them.

      1. Oh, which translation did you have? I have the Penguin translation and the translators are quite critically well received.

        Aren’t those shelves just divine? I wish I had those shelves myself!

    2. I think I’d need pen and paper to keep track of the characters in War and Peace but I’m not planning to tackle that any time soon. I still haven’t gotten past the names in Crime and Punishment which I read last year!

      I wish the Tuesday bookclub was longer too. An hour would be good. Their visual summary of the books are sometimes very cringeworthy though!

  2. That picture is making me drool.

    On the topic of literary prizes, I think it’s there’s a decline in respect for literary fiction in modern society. And so literary authors and their publishers seem to only really have this avenue for achieving a profile within the general public and improving sales of their books. I quite disagree with awards in general because they are so subjective, but often it’s the only way a literary book could even hope to achieve anything like those big sales figures of more popular fiction.

    I can see how this would easily turn into an argument about the merit of literary fiction vs. popular fiction and of course there’s room for both, but I just think at the moment there is little focus on literary fiction (and many of its authors refuse to play the promotional game) and so we tend to rely on the prizes to point us in the direction of the good stuff.

    Feel free to disagree.

    1. I don’t think there’s a decline in respect for lit fiction but I think they are struggling to get sales moving. With prizes, it points the general public/wider audience to the stuff dreams are made of and away from Twilight (no offence) so you are right that it provides people with a starting point. And I agree that prizes are so subjective anyway but it seems to be one of the few ways to market good writing (again, subjective) and to support writers. I don’t hold it against those writers who refused to do the promotional thing. After all, I’m sure many simply just want to write and would much rather prefer to be locked away in their rooms or a bar than to spuik and entertain! It’s become quite blurry now what a writer should do to promote their books.

  3. I am still only halfway through Anna Karenina, I should get on with it!

    I love the picture of the bookshelves, I always enjoy pictures like that.

    I am strangely drawn to some of the Booker titles as well, especially Room.

    1. How are you find AK? In terms of length, I don’t think that will be a problem for me but the names – oh, the names!

      I love pictures of shelves too. I’m usually on Flikr sometimes and search images of people bookshelves. I love it.

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