Isn’t this what happens to all the best bloggers: you get a little publicity and suddenly, writer’s block. It happened to J.D. Salinger, it happened to Harper Lee, it happened to Stephen King, and now me: one big success and then, bam!, nothing. Well, my excuse was that over the last two weeks with most of my free time spent working on the grand culling/eBay project (more on that in a post later this weekend); I honestly don’t think that Harper Lee had an excuse that good.
But I did want to share some amazing book collection links that I’ve gathered over the recent history. Some really good “Shelf Porn” entries, the bookshelves of the rich and famous, and an example of what I always imagined my own collection to look like in my head.
First, after the flood of requests, my father has provided a few more detail photos of his science-fiction collection. You can view the new set of images on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikoday/sets/72157616802482734/ He’s added commentary for each photo. Thanks again for sharing dad.
Second, the “Shelf Porn” series over at the Robot6 blog continues every Wednesday. There have been several very good weeks since my turn at bat earlier this month. Two I wanted to share. The week after mine was an amazing example of presentation. Joe Hare, who manages a comic book store in Pennsylvania, didn’t just create a space to store his collection: he created a little graphic novel museum:
Yes, that is a room in a home, and not a store (the photo at the top of this entry is also from this collection). With the statues and the posters and the other items, this isn’t just a library but an interactive experience. And I love the little island of shelves in the middle of the room. I’ll have to steal that some day. This is the space of a person who loves this collection and wants to let the world know how much it means to him. Check out the full tour and gallery at http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/04/send-us-your-shelf-porn-16/
Then, this past week was a wonderful example of filling every available space. Writer & editor Jason Thompson shared his overflowing San Francisco apartment, where every available space is filled with manga, and I mean every space:
Of course, he needs all these books for work, this isn’t just an obsession gone wrong (well, not just). But it is amazing how a collection can take over every space it can find. This really seems like one of those experiments with the expanding foam. Be sure to read the full tour and check out all the photos at http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/05/send-us-your-shelf-porn-19/
Now on to the Libraries of the Rich & Famous. First, just a quick link to Where I Write, a portfolio of Fantasy & Science Fiction authors photographed in their working space by Kyle Cassidy. My favorite is Samuel R. Delany. I know it is just the camera angle, but it really gives the impression of a many surrounded by his work and his research.
This is where the famous keep their working materials. But we also love the collections of the famous. You hear stories about the Los Angeles’ home of Harlan Ellison, Ellison Wonderland, with its veritable museum of collectibles and books. A recent appearance by rapper Eminem on UK television personality (and known graphic novel reader) Jonathan Ross’ talk show lead to an article in the Daily Mail about their “Bizarre Bonding Session” in which they discussed “Comic Books”. The article includes one quick photo of Ross’ collection room:
The room of a man with money and confidence in his hobbies.
And a last few photos before I leave. This past week the staff of my library, The Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, took a little trip down to Hyde Park, IL to visit the Center For Research Libraries to tour their facilities and talk about their services. This huge, cold, concrete building holds a vast store of archives, specialty publications, and other materials of interest to research libraries, but not important enough for them to include in their collection. The actual stacks floors are huge, fascinating examples of vast collections of printed material:
This is what I want my personal library to be in my dream home: a vast concrete warehouse filled with movable stacks (in fact, I think Harlan Ellison uses movable stacks for his comic book collection). This floor the material isn’t arranged by any system other than acquisition order and size!
Another floor is all ongoing periodicals (mostly East European science & medical journals) stored flat. This is where I think I will store my comics.
Empty shelves, just waiting to be filled. This is from a floor filled with Dissertations from institutions outside the US & Canada.
And the top floor is filled with Newspapers, foreign, specialty, and “ethnic.” Here I learned the Norwegian word for newspaper (Tidende).
That’s enough photos of other peoples books for now. I’ll be back soon with more on what I’ve learned from my months of selling my books and comics and other more philosophical essays. Thanks all for the continued eyeballs and support.