Friday, 31 July 2009

The White Shelf



Due to popular demand I decided to post a photograph of my white shelf today. An homage to The Beatles' White Album is appropriate for someone whose blog name plays on their song "Paperback Writer".

I wrote yesterday that all of the white books were Vintage Books but there's Animals by Keith Ridgway at the end of the shelf. One of his novellas, Horses (an amazing book), is peeping in at the end, the only non-white book on the shelf, but I couldn't separate it from Animals and the claret colour compliments the font on the Murakami spines.

I also notice that the two Toni Morrison hardbacks -her latest novels, of which Mercy is a signed copy- are no longer published by Vintage but by another Random House imprint, Chatto & Windus.

The Haruki Murakami and Toni Morrison books are some of my favourites; they have such lovely, distinctive covers and have been extremely well published. As I add to my collection of these authors (I have every novel that Toni Morrison has written to date but still have a few Murakami books to buy) a reshuffle of shelfs will be order but at the present I am very content with this shelf. When I have more of them and more shelf space I'll add the new white, Penguin Modern Classics to these ones.

I love themed tables in bookstores and will instantly be drawn to them to peruse at leisure. I think colour themes are exceptionally striking and have seen a white table, a red table, a black one, and a rainbow one in different bookshops and all were appealing. As for my other shelves, I have a dove-grey shelf beneath the white one (no prizes for guessing what they are); a bottle-green Virago shelf a couple of bookcases along; a rainbow coloured Virago shelf beneath that; and perpindicular to that I have a silver Penguin Modern Classics shelf. Look out for another photograph of one of these colour-themed shelf in a few weeks.


25 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

I'm impressed with the number of Murakami books you own!

Cornflower said...

Yes, please! Do post more of your colour shelves.

JoAnn said...

Beautiful! A 'color shelf' would make an excellent post every now and then. I just bought After Dark for Bellezza's Japanese Literature challenge...my first Murakami.

Paperback Reader said...

Jackie, yes, there are a few! I've read 4/6 and Norwegian Wood should be read for this challenge; Kafka on the Shore is the most recent addition, a Christmas gift, and I can't wait to read that one either.

Karen, you've got it! I'll stagger them one at a time. The grey one will undoubtedly appear at some point during Persephone Reading Week next month.

JoAnn, glad you liked it! I loved After Dark and it will make a great introduction to Murakami. I hope you enjoy it.

savidgereads said...

I have only read one Murakami and no Toni Morrison so do recommend where to start or go further with those! I did once organise my 'already read' shelves in colour order. It looked stunning I just couldnt find anything. I love how you have done yours.

verity said...

Beautiful! We were talking at work the other day about arranging our books by colour instead of classifying them to Dewey...

Paperback Reader said...

Simon, which Murakami did you read? I loved After Dark and it's a short one, which is less daunting that The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle or Norwegian Wood. As for Toni Morrison, if you read anything by her then it has to be Beloved, which is a masterpiece (it won the Pulitzer and she the Nobel Prize for Literature).

Verity, a library arranged by colour would be a wonderful, magica, l rainbow place.

Paperback Reader said...

*magical, even.

Darlene said...

I'm with Cornflower, more photos please! And I agree with you about the themed tables at bookshops, delightful.

Paperback Reader said...

Stay tuned, Darlene. Thoughtful displays make book-buying even more enjoyable, if that's possible!

Book Psmith said...

That is a very cool photo. I don't think I have any books with a white spine. Something I'll have to check out. I look forward to more.

Green Road said...

That's a brilliant photograph. I'm inspired to colour-code my book shelves but I just know I won't maintain it. Most of my books are in piles on my bedroom floor anyway.

I've never read Morrison or Murukami, I might just join the Japanese literature challenge just to make myself read Murukami!

claire said...

Love it, Claire! I envy you your uniform Toni MOrrisons. Mine are this-and-that ha ha. I'm trying to save up for better editions, though. One day.

I've only read one Murakami, which is Kafka on the Shore. Hope you enjoy it! Well, I'm sure you will. :D

To Simon: I agree, start with Beloved, and then Song of Solomon. Those two blew me away.

Paperback Reader said...

BookPSmith, thank you and more will indeed me forthcoming. I'm curious now whether you do have any white spined books; I have a few others dotted around other shelves.

Swati, thank you. I too have piles and need to find somewhere to put them... Today I decided that when I do have new bookshelves that I would love to create an orange shelf as I have quite a number of those.

The Japanese challenge is a good incentive to read those books you have been meaning to, including Murkami. I think everyone should read him at least once. Let me know if you do!

Paperback Reader said...

Claire, I am quite particular about having matching collections for the one author! It is one of my many book quirks. I was lucky though and my boyfriend bought me all of them, most of them at the one Christmas :).

I WILL read Song of Solomon this year; I desperately want to.

I'm very much looking forward to Kafka on the Shore, especially now after your recommendation.

Anonymous said...

I have orange Penguins; green Viragos, what a pity they changed the shade of green; silvery Penguin modern classics; grey, obviously Persephone; a whole black bookcase for other Penguin classics - and everything else bunged in more or less alphabetical order! Was tempted by your white shelf until I realised how many of my white spines have yellowed with time. Could all do with coming down for a good dusting!

Paperback Reader said...

Anonymous, the bottle-green Viragoes are beautiful, aren't they? A problem with white covers is the discolouration but a good dusting or hoovering helps!

I couldn't face alphabetising my books and then having to re-shelf each and every time I bought a new book - I would be forever moving books!

anothercookiecrumbles said...

That looks gorgeous. Sounds boring, but I try and organize my books in alphabetical order, so it's easy to find! I can literally blindly pick out a book from my bookshelf, without scrambling around now.

Think we need to see the pics of your other bookshelves now :)

PS: I've read only two Murakamis, but plan to read Kafka on the Shore soon.

Paperback Reader said...

anothercookie, I'm fairly good at being able to find my books, even though every shelf is double-backed. I have a mildly photographic memory so I can remember where things are (also handy for tracking down quotes in books!)

Mark David said...

I love Vintage's white-cover edition of Murakami's books, they just look beautiful. Sadly though I'm forced to settle for other editions as I've noticed that this series seems to be using a low-quality paper (which, perhaps because of the humidity here in the Philippines, turns powdery after some time). My copy of Norwegian Wood is like this and it got me sneezing a lot when I read it. But still, it's got a very dramatic-looking cover. Very artistic.

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Mark and thanks for commenting. That is incredibly interesting about the Vintage copies of Murakami. I had to go over to my white shelf and examine the paper. Being in the UK the humidity is never going to be an issue for me but I will keep it in mind for travelling with the books.

Nymeth said...

I love that you organize your books by colour! And yes, those Vintage Murakamis are gorgeous. Sadly, my edition of Norwegian Wood doesn't match, as it was bought on the US. I might have to replace it someday.

I have the same hardcover edition of Love as you - I was lucky enough to find it at a library sale. Now I only need to read it :P

Paperback Reader said...

Ana, I don't organise all of my books by colour, just certain shelves/imprints. Other shelves are organised by theme/genre and others are random, although those are fewer. Some day I would love my own colour-coded library of books!
Frustratingly my copy of Norwegian Wood differs slightly from the others (which you can see in the photo: it is shorter and doesn't have the black & white image) but was issued as part of an Eastern Literature series Vintage published but it was the first Murakami I bought.

I haven't read Love either yet. I am rationing my Morrisons. That book though is special to me as it was a gift from my boyfriend and has an inscription inside from him :D.

Carl V. said...

So very cool! Thanks so much for posting a picture of the shelf. I love themed shelves as well. Author Anne Fadiman, in her book Ex Libris, talks about having a shelf over her bed that called her Odd Shelf, which for her contains several books on what she considers one of her more unusual interests: polar exploration. I just love that idea. I had my books shelved together in something of a color coordinated way for a long time. Recently with moving things around and selling some books that has changed, but I will soon be redoing those shelves and putting things back in some kind of interesting thematic fashion. I'm so glad you shared this.

Paperback Reader said...

Carl, you are very welcome! I love to share my love for books and my arrangement of them. The colour-themed shelves really pop out amongst the others and I would like to do something similarly with all of my books at some point. It's a lovely thing to make art with one's books!
I really need to read Ex Libris at some point as I think it will be a book that I love.