My friend Sue has started a really cool project over at exposeyourshelf.blogspot.com. She is collecting pictures of people's book shelves and hopes one day to manage the worlds largest collection of bookshelf pictures. The project has only recently begun, and she already has a pretty cool collection of bookshelf pictures. You can learn a lot about someone from what books they choose to share their space with. Head on over and have a look, and send in your bookshelf pictures!
The bookshelf displays only a slight sliver of time and place at any given moment, and allows the observer only a few inferences about us. It reveals both the content and the structure of our lives simultaneously. Who we are. What we think. How we organize, if at all. It contains books, yes, but also memories and outrage, tears and photos, secrets and flummery. The bookshelf may seem permanent and timeless, but unless you are a stagnant human being, your library has mutated over the course of your lifetime. People change. So do their bookshelves.