Wednesday, November 12, 2008

?you are what you read

sitting here watching a movie, or tv, or when shopping at some furniture store like crate & barrel, i see that the decor is populated with tomes. some of these books are clearly fake, lacquered or laminated plates with a title in faded embossed gold while the edges are gilted. but there are many, many times the books are very real. sometimes there is an author whom i have read, or maybe sometimes the author is a person i've just heard of.

i am drawn to these books, these fictive creations of false personalities designed to sell or create an illusion of a lived, and perhaps well-read, life. i wonder who it is that is hired to make these dioramas of books and if that person is deliberate in his/her choice of author. for a genteel, sad, yet slightly gothic setting why not faulkner's as i lay dying. or if the mood is meant to connote the outdoors perhaps there will be a faded hardback copy of hemingway's the old man and the sea set next to the leather settee.

or are the choices of the bookbuyer haphazard and the books bought sight unseen by the yard. what matters is the conveyance of an examined life and what better expression is the clump of books set on the table or toppled in a bookcase. do the bookbuyer and the decorator ever meet to discuss the books to be displayed or is the decorator and the bookbuyer the same person who nevertheless makes these displays because to make and gain capital one needs a specific tone. books then set that tone.

which leads me to wonder again how those books are chosen. i'm not the only one - am i - that upon entering a store display picks up these books and wonder why john updike and not don delilo, or why there is never any poetry. i'm not the only one who watches a scene in a movie or tv show where a character is either reading or standing or sitting near a stack of books and attempt to read the titles and the names of the authors. i look because i think what you read communicates the mechanisms of your life. more than that i look because one always is hyper aware of what motivates obsession and my life is a long obsession with printed words. i look because i can't stop my wonder at looking.


Post a Comment

<< Home