Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Shelf

The Row of Spotted Dog Guardians
The Soulful One       

OK, kitty-cats, here are some pictures of my book shelf.  I live in a very small house (600 sq. feet) and had to lose a lot of books to make the move. This used to be a very small closet, but ex-boyfriend converted it into a built-in bookshelf on this side and a walk-in bedroom closet on the other.

I had to include close-ups of my little Japanese friends.  I was hanging out with some people who were avid collectors of vintage stuff.   I decided that I would limit myself to one specific thing.  I bought my first pair of Japanese Spotted Dog Salt and Pepper shakers at an antique place on Clark Street in Chicago.  They are not terribly rare, or expensive, or collectible, but they make me happy.

Hmm.  Bookshelf notes:  I didn't want to post these because I seem to have such a hodge-podge of things.  Some pairings make me laugh.  "The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair" rests on top of Edward Gorey's "The Doubtful Guest."  "The Immoralist" is atop "The Ethical Slut" which is above "The Heritage of Russian Verse."  (Oh, dear.  I considered polyamory for a minute, once, but it didn't work out.  I can't even manage monamory.)  I've got lots of short stories and poetry.  Much Rilke, of course.  And unfiled cds here and there.  A Zeppelin boot below Billie Holiday and Aaron Copland.  Rostropovich. Yup.  Ooh, there's some Rory Gallagher.  I might listen to that right now.  "This is the Empire State Express . . . "  Yes. 
"The Golden Notebook" I "borrowed" from a housemate twenty years ago and have never finished.
The Barthelme I had forgotten about until I read a poem that reminded me of "The Falling Dog" and I had to pull it out to re-read:  "Yes, a dog jumped on me out of a high window.  I think it was the third floor, or the fourth floor.  Or the third floor.  Well, it knocked me down. . . ."
Anais Nin's "Delta of Venus" is rightly beside Meridel Le Sueur's "Ripening."  Sylvia Plath has the ignominy of resting next to three books on Dachshunds while a vintage postcard of deer in the northwoods falls out of its frame.
A Christmas cactus grafted from my mother's pokes into the frame of the bottom shelves which house photo albums, some music books (Italian Arias?), and hidden behind an oversized book of children's stories is a lovely picture book entitled "The Female Portrait in Russian Art" which leans on Helmut Newton's "Sleepless Nights."
Well, I guess that about sums it up. 


  1. i feel as though you have just shaken your head and let your hair go wild. you've taken off your shoes, too. naked toes all in row just like your spotted dogs.) such an exercise in control to have one collection. i see real value in the specificity of this.

    this is life, jane! this is beautiful life.


  2. This is the kind of organization I am drawn into.

    Look at all that Rilke! Love the doggies.

  3. I bet it was painful, fitting a library into a 600-ft. house, and still leave room for a bed and a stove ... What to keep, what to lose? I'd despair. I think you have enough miscellany here to satisfy the hunter-gatherer mind. Its an amorphous, immmorial and amoral mess, and its perfect. Rory Gallagher! - Brendan

  4. The poetry of our possessions. I got several restrained chuckles out of your catalogue of juxtapositions...and yours is a set of shelves that sets the fingers itching to just pull down a book, not necessarily to read it, but to touch it, to connect with it. Can't think of a better place for Plath than beside three dachshund books, unless it would be next to three books on feral rodents. Thanks for sharing your spotted dog collection--took me back to my grandmother's house in Evanston, though her dogs were odd, pink-shaped, little planters, along with lumpish elephants and the odd Romantic vase.