Vassiliki Veros is an Australian librarian with a wicked sense of wit, a ferocious reader agenda and a love for books so deep I am in awe of her. I asked her to be a guest blogger at the Divas to share with us her passion. Would would have thought she’d give us a post at once funny and poignant.
I’ve been thinking and dreaming about bookshelves for many years. And I think that, for most readers, this is quite normal. So, when I discovered the website http://bookshelfporn.com/ I found myself in the midst of ecstasy. Everyday, this site gives me the short, satisfying, pleasure of viewing bookshelves from around the world; in bookshops, libraries, marketplaces and in private homes.
These are images that excite my visual senses, they tease me with their sexy lines, their tight corners, and the promise of discovering reading sensations. Soft-focus photographs bring to life the much used, much handled, bookshelves fondled by the hands of many lovers and the newer buildings, with untouched, erect shelves, standing proud, beckoning, open wide to virgin crowds pouring over their tomes.
These images are just fleeting dreams, and though I fantasize about visiting these bookshelves, running my hand along their banisters, mounting their stairs and losing myself in the sumptuous moment of being surrounded by unknown books, I can only sample some of their wares. Some will leave me wanting, some will not be satisfying and yet others leave me gasping for more… but this voyeurism is only momentary.
However, my own bookshelves, I would never call Bookshelfporn. I have a relationship with my bookshelves, they have served me as I have served them. I have run my hand along my rows of books, gently fingering their spines, lovingly turning their pages, hearing their words whispered in my ears. These wonderful, hard, timber shelves hold up my books that I have chosen to keep close forever, positioning them for my pleasure, my exultation in their words and my revelling in the fortune that they are mine.
Some of my books are old, weathered and loved, other books are newer but all of them have touched my heart, captured my soul, and have allowed me to lose myself in the ecstasy of reading their pages until that breathless moment when the world goes quiet at the sound of a book reaching its end. And then, I gently find a space on my still-rigid shelves who will keep my love safe. For what I feel for them is not gratuitous, it is not a fleeting slamming of books against shelf waiting for the next patron to try them out. It is the thrill, the joy and the comfort that the bookshelves, and all that they carry, are a part of me. For this is Bookshelferotica.