Monday 31 May 2010

Crazy beautiful

One of the reasons I continue to buy print books - and believe that I will, even when all the ebook readers reach our shores - is simply that I like the way they look on their shelves. And I like walking past my books on my shelves, and thinking about them. I recently read this article about the joys of leaving books unread, and while I wouldn't go quite that far, I do like catching glimpses of books on my shelves that I'm saving for the right moment, or will return to when necessary.

I think that's part of the reason why this (s)lavish recreation of Donald Judd's library appeals to me so much.

Partly it's because yes, the books you acquire and keep over a lifetime of reading and thinking become an aggregate that says something about the person you have become.

And partly it's because someone at the Judd foundation didn't think it was enough to simply catalogue all 10,720 titles. Instead, they thought it was important that we be able to see a shelf-by-shelf, book-by-book facsimile of the two rooms of Judd's library, and the placement of every single item. It's magnificent, and a wee bit insane.

1 comment:

staplegun said...

OMG, thanks for the link, I'm suddenly at peace with having heaps of unread books. And they are all fantastic books (in my mind) that I've always looked forward to looking at lazily in an idyllic setting with some light background music, a great drink, and the mid-morning sun streaming in... Of course that day will never arrive, and just as well, I'd discover they weren't the books I dreamed of.

Occasionally late at night I'll have a quick thumb, and it's not very satisfying - I just assumed it was that the setting wasn't right, now I realise it was because I had tainted the books! :( Maybe I should sell them so they are permanently the greatest books I never read!

Yes, that Judd library app is insane, amazing, but insane... and creepy - that we can revere the everyday actions of another human being so much.