Memes, Thoughts and other Miscellany

Musing Mondays – Bibliovoyeurism

Today’s question from Should Be Reading is:

Do you like looking at other people’s bookshelves?

Er. Yes. Next question.

Seriously, I can’t walk past a bookshelf without looking at it. I’d get stuck a lot more often in my own house if my bookcase wasn’t behind the door in the main room.

London being unsociably large and most of my friends still living in share houses, which means that their books are usually tucked away in their bedrooms rather than in communal space, deprives me of regular opportunities to booksnoop. However, I take every opportunity that I can! And it’s not just physical bookshelves that are ripe for inspecting – sites like Shelfari, Librarything and Goodreads enable me to snoop virtually.

It’s not just the book contents that I love inspecting either. How do you think that sites like Bookshelfporn come to be? Claire at The Captive Reader runs a weekly Library Lust item. Entire groups are devoted to sharing photos of bookshelves on Librarything.

Let me ask a question: how can you not like looking at other people’s bookshelves?

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12 thoughts on “Musing Mondays – Bibliovoyeurism”

  1. RE your question: exactly! Booksnooping is the best. I’m also guilty of trying to see the cover and title of whatever people are reading in public spaces. I do try to be discreet about it rather than outright creepy, though 😛

    1. Oh yes, that’s me too. I don’t tend to travel by public transport all that much any more thanks to having a bicycle, but when I do and I see someone reading something I know is good, I get very excited 🙂

  2. I can’t understand how so many of my guests don’t pay ANY attention to my living room bookshelves! When I find someone who shares my passion for looking (& reading!) I drag them all through the house to see all my other bookshelves.

  3. Well, yes! I look at other people’s shelves with great curiosity and am disappointed when they don’t have all their books out where they are easy to see, or if they don’t take me into their studies and let me look around. It’s one of the best ways to figure out what to think about someone! 🙂

    1. My shelves don’t necessarily give a proper report – they show what books I want to read, not what I have read, as I only hang on to my absolute favourites (no space to keep the rest!)

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