An article in the Guardian newspaper discusses bookshelf etiqeutte, and how to arrange books.
• The literary snob
Old Penguins, heavily creased to denote re-reading, are lined up in rows of orange, black and grey. These can be bought by the yard at most secondhand bookshops, and are a very easy way of acquiring instant intellectual credibility.
• The David Cameron
Books by important members of the new Tory World Order are prominently displayed where they can be seen by everyone. Acolytes can ascertain how close to power they are by the position of their own books.
• The Jeffrey Archer
Shelf after shelf of your own book in every imaginable translation and edition – frequently in multiples of 10.
Come to think of it, this applies to almost ever author I know.
• The ‘I’m desperate for a shag’, male version
Must include prominent copies of The Golden Notebook and The Second Sex and any dreary rubbish by Ian McEwan lying around to show you are in touch with your sensitive side. Best to hide any well-thumbed copies of Belle du Jour and La Vie Sexuelle by Catherine M under the bed.
• The “I’m desperate for a shag’, female version
Doesn’t really require books – it’s the last thing a man will notice. But on the off-chance you bring someone home who can read, it might be an idea temporarily to lose anything too intimidating by Andrea Dworkin.
Unless you’re a lesbian, in which case you might like to put it on the coffee table.
I resent the comment about “this applies to almost ever author I know”. I’ll have you know I only currently have one shelf of my books – yes, I know I’ve only got a couple of titles out at the moment. Whatever.
Anyway, I prefer the Leaning Towers of Death when it comes to book arrangement. If you aren’t worried about being buried alive underneath them, you’re not doing it right.