Title: My Ideal Bookshelf
Authors: Edited by Thessaly La Force and Art by Jane Mount
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Nothing gives me more pleasure than reading a book about books. The bibliophile in me is overjoyed at the sight of such reads and what makes it even better is when these books come with pictures or art. For this year, the book on books has to be, “My Ideal Bookshelf”, edited by Thessaly La Force and illustrated beautifully by Jane Mount.
This book is an experiment of sorts. The editor of the book asked over 100 people from various fields – architects, writers, chefs, painters, and the rest to compile their list of favourite books and write something about them. The spines of the titles selected were then beautifully illustrated by Jane Mount, resembling a book shelf, with watercolors and ink. This then is the book that I read and cherished.
I guess what connected me to the book was the titles I recognized on most shelves which also happened to be my favourites. The connection that a reader has with other readers is the one that no one can take away. Thessaly and Jane have created something beautiful here for the book lover, something he can go back and refer to again and again. I for one intend to choose books for my next purchase from here. There is so much I haven’t read and so much that I have discovered while reading this book.
The illustrations are something which I still thought of way after I had finished reading the book. In fact so much so that I wanted my very own illustration from Ms. Mount, however that would not be possible. However, there is a space for the readers at the end of the book to create their own “ideal bookshelf”, which I already have and loved the experience.
I love the almost close to perfection of the spines drawn by Ms. Mount – it is a different experience to go through every bookshelf. With some bookshelves, the personal artifacts of the person are also drawn, which gets you closer as a reader to the collection.
I love reading about books that feature in books. The collection or the books closest to someone’s heart are always something that I want to know, because I honestly believe that you are what you read. “My Ideal Bookshelf” is a fantastic book for someone like me and also for you, if knowing what stands on someone’s bookshelf interests you. I would say pick up the book, even if others’ bookshelves do not interest you, because after reading and going through this book, they sure will.