It’s a shelf. And boxes.
I love books – the physical objects – as well as texts – the intellectual content. I love the feel of them, of a brand new hardback – stiff pages with still sharp ragged edges. The smell of them – even the slightly musty smell from an old paperback I’ve picked up at an op shop or garage sale. I love the look of them. I’ve been known to rearrange the books on my shelves, not by subject or in alphabetical order, but simply to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing balance of spines, of heights and colours.
And I have a special fondness for Penguins and Pelicans – nostalgic, almost erotic or fetishistic, springing not just from my love of books, but also from a particular relationship to intellectualism, the life of the mind, and the sense (part marketing fantasy, part high culture snobbery, part real) of those imprints as particularly worthy… All of which is to say, I want that shelf unit.