Now, I’m always interested in other people’s book shelves. If I’m around someone’s house I like to check out what they read and, more importantly, what they keep on their shelves. This interest extends to when I pick up one of the crap lifestyle/celebrity/woman’s magazines (usually in a dentist’s) and flick through it. I’m not looking at the people, or most of their furnishings, I’m looking for books. This is usually a disappointment because, if you pick up one of the celebrity lifestyle magazines like Hello, on the rare occasions you see a room with a book shelf in it, the books arrayed there are usually for appearance sake. Often you’ll see the beautifully-bound collected works of Shakespeare which you know for damned certain have never been opened. Sometimes I wonder if the book spines might be some decorative plastic moulding that came with the set of shelves. A sad reflection on those ‘celebs’ that demonstrates the victory of appearance over substance. Anyway, getting to the point, all this is why I like to see pictures like this one of Pekka Jonsson’s book case in Italy, tagged for me on Facebook. Pay special attention to the bottom righthand corner.
I’ve been an engineer, barman, skip lorry driver, coalman, boat window manufacturer, contract grass cutter and builder. Now I write science fiction books, and am slowly getting over the feeling that someone is going to find me out, and can call myself a writer without wincing and ducking my head. As professions go, I prefer this one: I don’t have to clock-in, change my clothes after work, nor scrub sensitive parts of my body with detergent. I think I’ll hang around.