#Shelfie and Books Unread

Yesterday on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House current affairs programme there was a feature about how many books people own that they haven’t actually read. Apparently a survey revealed that on average, people haven’t read around half the books on their shelves. There was a suggestion that we should feel ashamed about this and to  be honest, this is one of the main reasons why I started this challenge to read a book a week, to try and get through some of the many stacking my shelves. But a lot of it does depend on what you mean by “read”. Many of my non-fiction books, particularly the history ones, may not have been read cover to cover but I may have used them to research a topic in university or for a class I’ve taught or just dipped in to from time to time.

At the end of the programme there was  short interview ( can be heard here, at around 56 mins)with writer, rare-book dealer, broadcaster, academic and Booker prize judge Dr Rick Gekoski. I liked his attitude to books, he made me feel a lot better as he said a house full of read books is like a “mausoleum”. You should be able to walk through your house and feel tempted by the books there which represent your future as well as your past. In particular I liked his quote  “just because I bought it, its not like a lamb chop… I don’t have to eat it in three days”.

I love having shelves and shelves of books both read and unread. I like keeping read books to lend and share, or re-read if I have time. Or just to look at and remember how I felt about them. Some of them evoke memories of when and where I read them, such as a sunny holiday in France, or a wet weekend in Pembrokeshire. So here are a few “shelfies”…

shelfie 006 shelfie 001 shelfie 003 shelfie 004 shelfie 005


2 thoughts on “#Shelfie and Books Unread

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