18 December 2011
Shelf Esteem No. 7
Cozy Factor: Zero.
The Books: Lots and lots to choose from here. Wide range of bios from painters (NC Wyeth), writers (Waugh, Wilde, Fitgerald, Sackville-West), composers (Ned Rorem), actors (Gielgud and Olivier) and political types (JFK). And plenty of fiction too: Amis (pere et fils), Brookner (x 2!) Byatt, Cheever, Le Carre, McMurtry, Mitford, Trollope, Updike, Vidal Edmund White, Anne Tyler...
Plenty of art books, and as I look closer more biography than I initially thought.
And two Persephones. Can you spot them?*
The Shelves: If you live in DC and know anything about local architecture you know that these shelves were designed by Hugh Newell Jacobson. I kind of like them, but I am not sure how I would feel about trying to arrange books in them. The relatively short span of the each shelve allows for the use of thin pieces of wood which I think frames the books nicely. And there is something pleasing to me about how the uniformity and steady rhythm of the shelves bring order to the chaos of the size and color of the books.
I actually have two versions of this very same picture. The one you see above was culled from a magazine at some point. The other is in the book Books Do Furnish a Room by Leslie Geddes-Brown. It was kind of fun to look for the changes in the placement of the books between the two pictures. There were some additions and some rearranging, it was like going on a treasure hunt. A picture of this library/dining room taken from another angle is also the cover image of the Geddes-Brown book.
Is this person a reader? Most defnitely. The variety of book type and author is in perfect balance with clear areas of the library owner's interests.
The book I would read if I had to pick one: It was hard to choose this time because there were many that looked good to me, but I would go with The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh.
*(Top row, right side, second section from the left)