September 2, 2011: Libraries of the Rich and Famous

PAGES READ SINCE August 28: 88
CURRENTLY READING: Life by Keith Richards, The Steps Across the Water by Adam Gopnik, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling and The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman
-4,555 PAGES

Okay, I officially have too many books on the go. I plan to spend the weekend tying up loose ends. I need to finish one or two if only to clean up the “Currently Reading” line above. Too many titles makes it look cluttered. I think I can at least knock off The Cookbook Collector. It’s what I would call a pleasant read. A recommendation from my mom, I picked it up yesterday when I couldn’t find Harry Potter. (Another issue of reading so many books at once – I leave them everywhere.) I’m enjoying it but in a few months when I look back at my list of books read, I might not remember what it was about.

A recent trend in my reading (and a possible by-product of the looming double-dip) is that I haven’t been buying books. I used to buy several every month – some to read, some to fill up my bookshelves (with a vague thought of reading them later). As I’ve written about in previous posts, my bookshelves are extremely well-organized, as one would expect of a librarian’s daughter. I simply don’t understand the colour-coordinated bookshelf (“today I think I’ll read a book with a purple spine”) or any other library organization system that doesn’t lend itself to actually finding the title you want.

This subject came up in conversation today when someone told me about Karl Lagerfeld’s enormous and slightly absurd home library (pictured above). Not only are the books stacked in vertical piles so you can’t actually get to any book other than the one on the top of the pile, but the spines appear to be turned toward the wall. Toward the wall. Karl Lagerfeld is clearly not a reader. Or maybe he is and he just doesn’t care about whether he can actually find a book after he’s read it and stacked it.

The shot of Lagerfeld’s library comes from Flavorwire’s recent post of 10 celebrity home libraries. The images each tell a lot about the individual who owns the home: Rod Stewart is a reader; Michael Jackson was not. Woody Allen and Joan Rivers are both readers; Greta Garbo and Oprah Winfrey, not so much. (I know this last bit is shocking given the mighty O’s book club and her influence over the American reading public, but honestly, take a look at the picture on the left. Does it look like she read those books or does it look like a decorator “did” her home library?)

This entry was posted in Biography, Fiction, Home Library and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to September 2, 2011: Libraries of the Rich and Famous

  1. Karen Jaszewski says:

    I’m curious…could you post a photo of your own bookshelves?

  2. Yes, I think I can. Stay tuned.

  3. Pingback: April 11, 2012: Real People’s Bookshelves II | 50pagesadayforayear

  4. Pingback: October 9, 2012: Home, A Book Igloo | 50pagesadayforayear

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