In My Ideal Bookshelf edited by Thessaly La Force and art by Jane Mount, various people in various professions are asked to build their “ideal bookshelf”. Guests responded to the following– What are your favorite books? Name a book or books that changed your life. What book do you read over and over? What book(s) made you who you are today and why? What is the best book you ever read and how did it influence you? What book makes you cry every time? You get the picture.
The artists, writers, designers, etc. are friends/acquaintances of the editor and illustrator. I believe they also sought out some celebrities like Thomas Keller, Mary Karr and David Sedaris. The questions are a starting point for discussion.
On one side of the page is a colored drawing depicting the spines of each bookshelf for each person. Some bookshelves have few books, others have many, some are arranged vertically and horizontally and some include bookends, artifacts or sentimental décor.
The illustrated bookshelf represents the person and reveals them as they describe the reason for their selection on the opposite page. A few titles kept popping up repeatedly out of the one hundred and five readers. Some of those, I decided were a must read due to their popularity. Lolita by Nabokov was on practically everyone’s bookshelf.
Start thinking about your ideal bookshelf and why. What books could you not live without; helped you surmount some disappointment or gotten you through a major life event? What books stimulate your imagination? Which books inspire you? Whose writing are you drawn to and resonate with? What time period or type of book do you relish?
This is an interesting retrospect. Enjoy.