Finally I have a book shelf to myself. To a book lover but a non-collector of things it can be quite a disconcerting thing.
Its not really spacious- nor does it have a lot of partitions- just 4 shelves where I can finally display and arrange some of the few things which are precious to me. Instead of having them gathering dust underneath the divan or haphazardly locked up on the top shelf of a wooden cabinet. So last weekend was a happy time putting it all behind a nice glass case in the drawing room. Neatly arranged for display by authors. The bottom shelf for Booker prize winners- one top shelf for authors of whom I have more than one book of. Also- some space for inevitable junk and pulp fiction which piles up.
I'd like to believe I've never been a collector of anything in my life- and I hope I shall never get that urge. I intensely feel there's something very vulgar in that act of drawing boundaries and demarcating 'this is mine..while you view and envy..i shall gloat'. Or you may simply put it down to lack of ambition. For whichever cause- I've always wanted to leverage and share whatever little I had to momentarily lay my hands on some thing which is pleasurable, joyous, yet very transitory. And then pass it on. Comic books, wrestling/cricket cards, music tapes, everything.
Even when i graduated into started reading serious stuff-I'd never feel the urge to hold onto any of it.
So now- the book shelf is an interesting dilemma. Looking at all those books together gives me deep sense of peace and fulfilment. So much so that I've printed a photograph of it and kept it on my work desk. Just looking at those well told stories neatly nestled against each other makes me somehow feel I've done justice to the pleasure they gave me while reading them. But then- doesn't that also make me a collector now?