Sunday, September 13, 2009

what's in my bookcase

I'll start by saying this: it's not the books you see in this photo. Believe it or not, I try to organize the books in my bookcase according to Ba-Gua map of feng shui. The uppermost left-hand corner hold the books on motivation and leadership (including the ever-popular The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which most find to be laughable in this day and age now), my favorites from the my middle twenties, when I wanted to become a motivational speaker (who knew I could have my moments as a teacher)? This represents the Money and Prosperity Gua.

The upper right-hand corner hold all my books about love and relationships (aptly suited for the Love and Relationship Gua); I outgrew and gave away many of the ones I had worn out in my early twenties, but there are a few that have stayed with me, Deepak Chopra's The Path to Love being one of them.

The upper middle consists of romantic comedy and chick lit books (by Jennifer Weiner, Helen Fielding, Marian Keyes, to name a few), to signify Fame and Recognition or Reputation(my own book is there as well).

The center left part of my bookcase contains my coffeetable books and books one healing, optimum health, and mind-body connections. This represents the Health and Family Gua (coffeetable books don't necessrily fit that desciption, but they fit nicely on that part of the shelf). My coffeetable books are mostly pop culture-oriented (Patrick Nagel, Absolut ads, Sesame Street Unpaved, to name a few).

On the center right, more coffeetable books, and a collection of books (eight) of collections of the comic strip Mutts, one of the best comics ever. My twin brother bought me every single one, and I'm sorely missing Book Nine and counting. This section represents the Gua of Creativity and/or Children. I figure that nurturing my inner child fits this description.

The lower left corner houses photo albums -- of course, it would seem that those would be more appropriate in the family section, but they fit better in this corner, which represents knowledge and self-cultivation. I used to keep textbooks from college that I believed to be worth saving, but I've since moved them to a different bookcase. The photo albums qualify, however. Know Thyself.

The lower right corner is a bit of a hodge-podge right now. It's supposed to be for Helpful People and Travel (you'd think Bill Bryson would do well there), but right now it houses the Twilight series that my friend Susan loaned me, and the books of independent authors I've supported since I've become an indy author myself.

The lower-middle part of my bookcase represents Career. Oddly enough, I've got all my Duran Duran books from when I was a teenager there. Might have to change that.

And in the center, I keep books on religion and spirituality, memoirs (Alan Alda, Tony Hendra's Father Joe, and Michael J. Fox, to name a few), religious-themed novels (My Name is Asher Lev, The Red Tent) and my Bible, for that part of the bookcase represents the Center Gua. Know Thy Self.

Of course, I've conveniently left out the books that sit on my end tables (Richard Russo's novel is just begging me to pick it up), writing desk, dining table, and anywhere else I have a free space. And the second bookshelf, the smaller one that houses textbooks left over from grad school and desk copies of composition books, not to mention my thesis, has no such order.

You might think me crazy to organize one's bookcase in such a manner (and you might be right), but I rather like it. There's something fun about it. Feng Shui literally means Wind and Water, but it's really all about balancing -- namely, balancing the energy of your home, and your home is a metaphor of your life.

For me, "Books" equal "Home".

What's in your bookcase?


Vicarella said...

Much like my music tastes, my reading tastes are pretty eclectic, too. I have the Riverside edition of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare", "The Alchemist", both of Michael J. Fox's memoirs, "2008, The Battle for America", "Plain, Honest Men", "The Red Tent", "Wuthering Heights", all of Jane Austen's novels, "The Hours", all of the "Harry Potter" and all of the "Twilight" books, to name a few.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Number one and most importantly, I have WAY MORE than one bookcase! I have the 'treasured books' bookcase. This holds my antique copies of Shakespeare's plays (one was given by my grandmother to her father in 1908), books by the National Trust on great houses in Britain, a coffee table book on London, etc. Then there are the bookcases that have mystery books, hardcover copies of many of Edward Rutherford books, historicals and autobiographies. Upstairs we have three bookcases with paperbacks - my Christies, thrillers, Bombecks and assorted historical fiction. Also my collection of books I loved growing up - Alice in Wonderland, Wind in the Willows, etc.

More bookcases still not mentioned...


Elisa said...

Love Michael J. Fox's books, Vicki! He's a good writer.

Elisa said...

I have two, Beth. And two is not enough. I try to give books away that I'm not attached to (which is hard to say because I'm attached to all books in some way). My dream house consists of built-in bookcases.

But where do you keep the script?

Elspeth Antonelli said...

The script? The cover page sits in a frame above my writing desk. I stare at it in bewildered awe. The rest of the script sits in its envelope (not getting rid of that sucker) in front of TWW DVDs. It's happy there and I can bring it out to reread it whenever the urge strikes.

It is imperative, however, that when one opens the envelope one makes the singing "aaaaa" sound and then another higher "aaaaa" when you flip the script over. This rule is not negotiable.


Elizabeth Bradley said...

I do practice some feng shui here in my house, but I wasn't aware of the method you describe for books, very interesting. I arrange my books in different areas of the house. Coffee table books in the living room, antique books in my bedroom, and so on.

I haven't been buying many fiction books in the last two years, since my husband bought me a Kindle. Which is good, I have way too many books. I haven't even unpacked them all because this new house doesn't have room for my biggest bookcase. Which makes me sad, my babies are in the garage in plastic storage containers. We are going to buy some narrower bookcases and set them up in the TV room, (it's the only room with enough wall space. I love the way they put so many windows in new houses these days but it doesn't leave much wall space for bookcases and such.) I also enjoy reading Michael J. Fox's books.

Elisa said...

Elizabeth, I don't think there's any feng shui "rule" about the books in the bookcase. I dabble in feng shui and it made sense to try it w/ my bookcase as well. I also have them on my end tables, writing tables, etc.

And as much as I love the tactile book, I'd like to get a Kindle as well.

Elisa said...

Beth, I am SO asking for a script for my 40th. I'm asking for one for my twin brother, too.