My book collection – the entire sum of my own private library. I used to buy books all the time, but when I started doing interlibrary loans, I had less of an ownership need (unless we had a deep soul connection). I’ve borrowed from Snail’s admirable shelf by shelf approach. I am actually very gentle and careful with books from libraries and other people, and I considered restacking things before I took the picture, but at least this is real!
Above the cupboard (not shown): pieces of bark, Perspex dollhouse, box, painted canvas.
First shelf: sketch books (empty and filled), art catalogues, cookbooks, VHS, aromatherapy books, fiction, travel and Footrot Flats books belonging to Mr. S. Plus a tin that I bought at Benedict House and an icon that was a gift.
Middle shelf: cookbooks, spirituality/sex books (I normally hide these if someone is staying in the room), business cards, gallstone jewellery, fiction, art books and golden books (we bought these at a fete, having the crazy idea that they would be huge money spinners).
Lower shelf: cookbooks/history and aquarium books belonging to Mr. S, Norwegian language books/sets, art books, and at least one book that I need to return to a friend. Plus a heart-shaped leaf and some breadtags.
My favourite fiction book is Gangles (top shelf in the messy bit), it is by Ronald McCuaig (illustrated by Noela Young) and I’ve had it since I was little. Fitting, as I grew up in its setting of Canberra (although it is called Candybar). Even the Canberra Times is the Candybar Times.
“Candybar is a city with gardens growing out of it, and houses, among them two Houses of Parliament, a university and the Governor’s palace.
Gangles used to live on one of the mountains surrounding the city. When they put a lake in the middle of the city and a fountain in the middle of the lake, Gangles went to live on top of the fountain.” p. 1.
If you look carefully at Captain Cook fountain, sometimes Gangles is dancing there.
“Not everyone who comes to Candybar sees Gangles. …the spurts of water that rise and fall at the very top of the fountain are Gangles’ hair. It is long and bleached in the sun. And when the wind blows the fountain in a mist across the lake and the sun shines through in all those rainbow colours – that is Gangles’ dress.” pp. 124-.
You can see what looks like the National Gallery on the right hand side of the picture. I used to have many more books but they were destroyed in a flood, so perhaps my reluctance to purchase books is really from unresolved grief.
McCuaig, R., & Young, N. (1972). Gangles. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.
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