top of page

Shelf portrait

Welcome to my room! This is a general view of my bookcases which are by now almost at full capacity. I recently did a spring cleaning and gave some books away, but it didn't make much difference. They're not yet bursting at the seams, but you can hear them whisper "just buy a bloody Kindle already!". I keep most of my games here too, but we'll see them in another post. Let's first look at what sits on my shelves.

In the picture below, the upper middle shelf hosts books I read during my studies. "Art in Theory", two Deleuze & Guattaris, Michel Foucault, Arnold Hauser's social history of art, etc. The lower shelf contains literature: Thomas Mann, Jack Kerouac, David Sedaris, The Magus by John Fowles, Murakami's 1Q84, among others. Most prominent is Dune, which I half-read and then abandoned. I know everybody loves it, but it didn't touch me.

Squeezed between the bookcase is my small desk. I have four pencil cups, as if computers were never invented and I've been forced to hand-write everything. The truth is all of these are remnants from my school and uni years. You can also see two scented candles, a copy of Mapigami which I intend to dispose of, and an Olympic Airways vomit bag in which I keep receipts for the taxation period. The Solitaire Times t-shirt isn't left on the chair for show, I had actually been wearing it.

On the right hand side is where I keep my foreign language handbooks and dictionaries. English, French and German. There are a few art books in there too. As I grew up in a religious family, my mother has given me some icons to keep for protection. I made sure not to place them in front of "The Qabalistic Tarot".

On the left hand side, you can see a mix of academic and "occult" books. Jacques Derrida next to the Renaissance Art of Geomancy, hehe. The big golden book is a picture-and-recipe book of Salvador Dali's feasts. My PhD thesis sits here as well, two copies with a plain white spine.

More literature in the two shelves below. Books I read when I was a student. The bottom shelf is full of folders. Taxes, banking, health insurance, car insurance, all the boring stuff.

Finally, on the opposite side, next to the bed, I have my red bookcase. At the very top you can see stacks of magazines I used to collect: Wallpaper, I-D (lifestyle), and FMR (art). More Cabinet magazines underneath, next to Leni Riefenstal's Africa (the cinematographer of the Nazis. I'm not sure if she was ever atoned for her sympathies with the regime).

More art history books, literature, and art books. One shelf is occupied by Dunny Azteca figurines. Their sales pattern is an early example of FOMO-inducing tactics: when you bought a figurine, the box didn't show what was inside. You knew you were getting an Azteca out of 20 or so, but you couldn't tell which one until you opened the box. So you had to buy blindly if you wanted them all, but risked getting multiples of the same. A truly devilish selling scheme that I was a victim of for a short while. I didn't collect them all and thankfully soon lost interest.

As an addendum, in the slider below are a few of my favourite knick-knacks that I use as decorations: a wooden toy featuring the artists Gilbert & George, a container lid from Borneo (?) which I found in an antiques shop, a mobile I drew and assembled myself, a framed copy of a 'peeping tom' illustration by Amelie Fontaine, and a little woven skeleton. Thanks for stopping by!

236 views19 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page