Bookshelf Tour: Part A – The Bookish


So I recently discovered something on YouTube that for some reason I never knew existed, but I should have known existed because everything exists. I used to keep a book blog. Um, actually I did this twice in my life. Um, and both times, like, sort of life got in the way of it. It’s kind of too bad because it was a really fun book blogging community that, y’know, I was sort of a part of kinda peripherally. We would do challenges together. We would do um, like book binges together and share what we were reading. And I never thought in the past, like, bunch of years that YouTube has existed, it never for some reason occurred to me that this might still exist on YouTube, and it does. It’s called BookTube. And that’s really fun for me. I’ve been thinking for the past few weeks: “Ok, what if I…” Y’know, obviously you see behind me that I’m something of a book collector. This goes up and around forever. And I thought it would be cool to incorporate what I… what I read and what I do into this YouTube channel, not realizing that, “Ok, like this is something that is really already established, and there is a great community of people out there. I think I’m going to start talking about what I’m reading, talking about what I think of it, and um, y’know, sharing my experience with you. Uh, this is technically like my third try, but here we go. And so one of the things these people do — and it’s kinda weird — is they will do these bookshelf tours, which is, y’know… where they’ll show you their bookshelves, but also they will show you every book that they own. Like the cover, and they’ll show you the name, and then and the, uh, the author. And it’s really kind of weirdly fascinating, in a way. Like, it seems so dull. And it is, in a way, sort of dull but you get a really cool picture of who a picture is based on what they, what they like to read, and I… The first thing I do whenever I walk into somebody’s apartment is to — while they’re in the bathroom — read the spines of all their books. Um, so it’s fun to be sort of invited to do that instead of doing it surreptitiously while they’re peeing. But when somebody has like 200 books, they… these videos take about 15 to 20 minutes. I have about 800 to 1,000 books, I don’t know. I stopped keeping track a long time ago. Well, I thought:”One by one’s not an option here.” And then Ithought: “Well, what’s the fun in just showing people your books for no reason anyway.” I thought:”Hm, what else can Ido with this?” And two things came to mind. One is that these books — and this is why I love print media, is cuz it tells a story. Like obviously books tell stories. What a stupid thing to say. But as you’re reading a book, it, it um, it collects a second story around it based on your memories and the sensations that you’re feeling, and where you are and what you’re doing while you’re reading this book. And as soon as you open the pages again, or, or smell the glue, or or remember what this mark on the side came from, it can take you right back to a different time in your life. And I just love that. Two: I have a thousand million books, and I need to get rid of some of these cuz it’s… I am out of space. Um, it’s unnecessarily huge. And I know you can’t see, but I am surrounded by books on the floor here all around me. They’re up by the window. And also they’re filling up these shelves. So I figure maybe we should just start with A today and take a look at what I got cuz I’m gonna sort through some stuff and while I do this, I’m gonna divide these into things I wanna keep, which is gonna be most of it cuz I have a problem. Um, and things that I would like to discard because I just, I don’t need it. I’m never going to read it, and it’s just taking up space. Um, I’m not sure what I’m gonna do with these books. Either I’ll donate them or sell them. I dunno about selling them. That’s so much work for what seems like not a lot of payoff. I prefer to just give them away. Honest to God, if you want something, just tell me. I don’t, I honestly don’t care about paying for shipping to get it to you as long as it’s going to someone who will appreciate it. I mean, that’s kinda the most important thing, right? So last night I started going through the A’s Um, and I missed a few, so I did them just now. You’re gonna see me in a costume change in a minute, and then you’re gonna have another costume change after that because I wasn’t very organized in putting this together. I had a friend staying with me a few months ago, and he likes to organize my apartment while he’s here. He takes joy in like, putting my video games in order or cleaning. It’s annoying and weird, but I secretly like it. So he decided to tackle my bookshelves, uh, last time, which were a mess, and I had just piled stuff everywhere. And not even everything was on them. A lot of stuff was in a closet in my bedrom. So he decided his organization scheme was going to be by author’s last name um, but also kind of following the rules of size so things would be together and fit this space as efficiently as possible. He still didn’t get all the books in there, which is not his fault. It’s just physically impossible. Um, so authors are kinda together, but they’re kinda not. I kinda know where things are, but I kinda don’t. So, I don’t know that means anything to you, but that’s, that’s where we are. But enjoy. My book tour… Part A. So we’ve got. Eew, these are dusty already. That’s great. The High King by Lloyd Alexander. This is the fifth one of the Prydain series. Um, really cute young adult books. This is the series upon which The Black Cauldron Disney movie was based. The Politics. Aristotle. He’s my only Aristotle. That’s not true at all. I read this. It’s boring as hell. The Suburb Beyond the Stars. M.T. Anderson I have no idea what this is. I picked it up at Book Expo. It’s an ARC. And it’s a young adult book, I believe. Um, I’m never gonna read it. It’s in the discard pile. Persuasion by Jane Austen. I mean, Jane Austen. I haven’t read this yet either, but, I mean, I will… because she’s just brilliant. This one smells good. It smells like books. All of these Everman’s Library hardcovers have a nice glue smell to them. Rashomon, by uh, Ryo– Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Uh, it’s a collection of short stories including Rashomon. Um, I believe it was a movie um, a film version of Rashomon by uh, y’know… What’s his name? The only Japanese director people know. Anyway, I haven’t read this either. Harry: A History by Melissa Anelli. This book is fun. She was — I don’t know if you’re familiar with, um, The Leaky Cauldron online. And um, PotterCast? Yes, PotterCast. She, uh, was really involved in the Harry Potter fandom through the site and through, y’know, the web… the, the podcast, which I listened to religiously when I was first starting working here in New York. Um, and, I just think she’s really brilliant, and so she wrote this book about her experience in the fandom, and it’s, it’s interesting. If… I don’t even know if you can find this anymore cuz Harry Potter’s kinda over. The New York Trilogy. Paul Auster. Classic. Missing a dust jacket, but this is my Divine Comedy. Uh, y’know, Dante. So… I mean, obviously everybody needs to read this. And this is one of my favorites. Um, this is my Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales collection. This is something that my mother samed for me from my, my grandmother’s estate when she passed away. There are these really pretty plates — well they’re not plates, but illustrations that I just love. Um, even the end papers are beautifully illustrated. And you don’t see this very often anymore. Um, it’s an old edition. MCMXLV. 1945. Um, there’s a matching pair to this one. I have a Grimm’s fairy tales, which apparently my friend separated from my Andersen’s, but I’m gonna put them back together because they belong next to each other on the shelf. Here’s another one of those pretty… So… I just love this book. The Silent Stars Go By. Dan Abnett. Featuring the sexiest Doctor of them all. West of Kabul, East– This, you can’t even see this. Uh, West of Kabul, East of New York. By Tamim Ansary. I’ve had this for a long time and never opened it up. Oh, here’s another Aristotle. On the Soul. Lesser… Less popular than The Politics, but um… shorter. Martin Amis. London Fields. Aeschylus. The Oresteia. Translated by Robert Fagles. Fa–, yeah. He’s one of the best classics, uh, translators out there. I got this cuz I went through like a a weird phase, uh, that start with me planning to go see Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera and ended me with reading like dozens and dozens of Greek plays for no reason. Another Aristotle. The Ethics. This one should be your first. If you’re gonna introduce yourself to Aristotle… start with the Ethics. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Um, part of this Penguin Great Ideas book series which are fun. They’re all kinda skinny. I have an Aesop fables. Cuz I love me the old stories. Here’s another Lloyd Alexander. This is the Foundling, which is, um, after the five Prydain novels. This is like a little couple, like a novella and some short stories kinda in the same world. Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints by, uh… Joan Acocella. Ac– I dunno how to say her name. A-C-O-C-E-L-L-A. I haven’t read it. This was recommended to me by an ex-boyfriend many many years ago. And there’s just so many words in it. But, I’ll get there. Kangaroo Notebook by Kobo Abe. It’s cute. It’s a little too surreal for me. I didn’t really take much from it. Um, about a guy who… wakes up and finds that there are radish sprouts growing out of his um, legs. Like his leg hair is now radish sprouts. And he basically goes on this sort of surreal kind of dream I dunno. It’s not my favorite. And then this is The Ark Sakura, also by Kobo Abe. Never read it. No idea. Oh! I didn’t read it, but I put a monkey sticker on it with some bananas. So that is the story behind this book is that… monkey sticker. Here are the rest of the Lloyd Alexander books. The Book of Three The Black Cauldron The Castle of Llyr Taran Wanderer With The High King, they are the tetrol– no, not tetrology. They’re the five-ology of, y’know, the Prydain novels. These four I read. They’re all really really cute. The characters you love the most are the weird monster guy and the one with the lute. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I read this in my… uh, in library school I took a a class on like teen literature, and this had just won some huge prize. The Printz Award, which I dunno what else has won that. But this won it. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy The whole collection. All the novels are in here. I’ve only read that original novel cuz I thought I was gonna like this cuz all of my nerd friends really like this. And I thought it was just kinda stupid. This book is beautiful and one only books I was supposed to read in high school that I actually did. Julia Alvarez. In the Time of the Butterflies. Translated from Spanish. Um, highly, highly recommended. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. This one enjoyed a vogue for a while It’s about the decisions we make and how… we, as humans, make… um, decisions that are technically irrational because they work against our better interests. Um, he goes into why. Um, it’s kinda poppy, but it’s… pretty good. This book is another Kobo Abe. The Woman in the Dunes. And for a long time, and maybe even still right now when people asked me what my favorite book of all time was, my answer was The Woman in the Dunes. It’s an absolutely beautiful beautiful novel about about — It’s strange. It’s strange too. I was talking about the other novel of his, Kangaroo Notebook, which is really dreamlike. This sort of has that surrealism to it as well, but not in such an oppressive manner as that one does. But it’s about a man who… an enter– entymologist, Jumpei. Ni-Niki? Yes, Nuki– Niki Jumpei. Who um, becomes sort of trapped in the bottom of this sand pit with, um, another woman who’s down there. And they have to spend their entire day digging the sand up, like out of this pit. And their whole life becomes, just morning to night, digging out the sand and living together down there. Um… And they develop a relationship. It’s really very strange. but it’s just such a beautiful, intense, and um, unique novel. And this page is just a bunch of bugs on it. And I think that’s pretty neat. Bugs. Margaret Atwood wrote a children’s book called Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes. So you need this on your shelf if you are a fan of either her, or, y’know, children. And I am only a fan of her. I have Dilbert books. Shave the Whales. Scott Adams. Fugitive from the Cubicle Police And Highly Defective People. I, when I was in high school I went through like a Dilbert phase even though I had never even worked at an office. I still think they’re kinda cute. But I’m probably gonna get rid of these. Ah! Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Panel to Panel. Um, which is sort of a celebration of the original Buffy comics and the art, uh, within them. So, really lovely little coffee table book, although it’s, y’know, paperback. Um, this is one of my favorites. I don’t know why he put it up there with A. Oh, this is boring. Microformats. Um, Empowering Your Web Markup for Web 2.0. Um, John Allsopp. I got a while ago to learn how to empower my web markup, and then I did. So… Another Dilbert book. Journey to Cubeville. Oops, I forgot a few. Kevin J. Anderson. The Edge of the World… is a book that I picked up in Boston with a friend of mine. He recommended it. But he also recommended it with a really really really terrible Mercedes Lackey book. And so it was really important that I read that one. So I read that one, but I haven’t read this one yet. The Complete Plays of Aristophanes. Again, part of that… like, kind of Greek play binge that I did. Isaac Asimov. Pebble in the Sky. Um, one of these really old mass market editions from lie the ’60s I think this is from. Um, it stinks, and it’s in this plastic bag because these things fall apart so easily. I got this at a street sale at, uh… on the Upper West Side for like a dollar. I have two– Ok. Ok, I used to volunteer at the LGBT Center library at um… down in Chelsea. And they needed a cataloger for, um, you know all of their new arrivals. So that’s what I would do, and every now and then, if there was something they weren’t gonna keep… I would keep it instead. Um, and you can imagine… the donations we got were a lot of like, terrible smut. And it was fun. So I took… two of ’em… Um, they’re both under A because they’re anonymous. This one just says “Adults Only.” So this is called… Men at Work. And it’s short stories about men… having sex with men at their jobs. “Problem Accounting.” “Demolition Man.” “Honor Among Thieves.” “The Dough Boys.” I haven’t read this, and I’m never going to. But I’m keeping it. And this one… actually needs to be censored. It’s called Swim Team’s Wet Party, and… I mean’t that’s… all you really got. I hate art– It’s like inhumanly big. Way cute: Uh, another Lloyd Alexander. This one’s called Time Cat. And this is about a… cat that time… travels? Travels through, like, his different nine lives. like he’s been reincarnated or something? I don’t really understand it, but basically he… is a cat. And it’s dumb. Cute, um, and the only part I remember is when he was in Egypt. He’s got an ankh on his chest. I dunno if you can see that? That’s how you know a magic cat. I am covered in hives. Can you see this? I dunno what… It’s probably not hives. I think something got into my bed and bit me. But they’re all over my arms and legs, and I just hate it. So my next thing about this, I’m probably gonna finally be able to review… um, that Shogun, which I told you I was reading a few weeks. ago, it’s… I’m up to page 850, finally, out of like 1,150, so… um, hopefully I’ll be able to get to the end of that by the end of this week. Bye-a.

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4 thoughts on “Bookshelf Tour: Part A – The Bookish”

  1. Danielle Leonard says:

    This is such a neat idea! I thought I was a big reader and I now realize not so much! I'm looking forward to hearing about B thru Z!ย 

    Also…I have so many of the Buffy script books, the monsters of Buffy, some of the comics and a bunch of other stuff. I don't have the Panel to Panel book but It looks amazing!

  2. The Men With No Facial Hair says:

    Bookshelf tour eh? Haha great video! I've always wanted to read hitchhikers guide to the galaxy but I think i'm too lazy haha. Keep up the great work ๐Ÿ™‚ +1

  3. bheartsbooks says:

    Aren't bookshelf tours strangely interesting? I watch them all the time. It's always interesting to see how people organize. I organize by color of spine, but I do separate YA from adult. I think about doing a tour but I'm not interesting enough to explain 4,000 books. I love how you did this. I'm subscribing!

  4. bheartsbooks says:

    He did finish the YA half. Not sure if links work but here's a link to a pic on Facebook. the other sides done, it will look the same but have adult books.

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