I am a gluttonous reader with a tendency to keep every book I read. (I fancy myself a collector not a hoarder.) I could potentially be crushed under the weight of the books I own. Fortunately, I care as much about aesthetics as I do the latest best seller, so I have found creative ways to store and display my books.
When I am invited to someone’s home, I just can’t resist perusing his or her book collection-possibly past the point that is politely acceptable. While books are generally out in the open for all to see, I still feel like I’m peeking inside someone’s medicine cabinet. Spotting a dog eared copy of The Bell Jar feels the same to me as discovering anti-depressants in an acquaintance's bathroom.
I think we can all agree that the titles a person owns speaks volumes (oh yes, I did) about their personality, but could it also be true that the way they arrange and keep their books tells us something too? I’ve come up with a few (ok, 5) common profiles of book collectors and their corresponding arrangement Modus Operandi.
The Color Coder: Reads lifestyle blogs (possibly more than actual books), is an avid Pinterest user with possible obsessive tendencies. Likely owns more than one title by Jane Austen and Jane Green, and can be found sharing comically inspiring quotes on social media by Anne Lamott and Tina Fey.
The Vertical Stacker: Reads for the pleasure of it, and doesn’t feel the need to invest in something so unnecessary as a shelf; possibly a post grad, or someone who lives like one. (See bachelor.) In addition to dust, book jackets will have sticky coaster marks on them—iced coffee and Yuengling, most likely. Expect to find the entire Stieg Larsson series.
The Milk Crate Collector: The Nomad you hate to love, this one bears close resemblance to the vertical stacker, but lacks their vision in creating a home. Citing “form follows function,” they remain content to live in boxes, but don’t be surprised when he can tell you exactly which books are in what crate. (Spoiler alert: lots of Jack Kerouac.)
The Built In Big Shot: Refers to their books as a “library” and invests time and money to house them. Likely arranges books by topic or era. Dependent upon their political leanings, expect biased presidential biographies and war memoirs.
The One Shelf Wonder: Underneath assorted knick knacks and tchotchkes stand a few random chick lit titles, alongside the best of John Grisham. Here’s to hoping their music collection is more inspired?
Do you see yourself in any of these? Or have you stumbled upon a collector who resembles one of these? Also, what are you READING this summer?