If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t have romantic relations with them.
Or something like that… You get the idea.
The first thing I do when I walk into somebody’s home is scan their bookshelves. I just think it’s the best way to suss out their interests, see what they’re all about (plus it feels more refined that a prowl through their medicine chest).
(*Update — And it appears I’m not alone. Behold this commentary on books by our fearless leader, Christine Allison…)
Although it should be noted that I can’t be sure of the accuracy of my investigative approach, given the fact my own bookshelf houses both Kelly Wearstler’s Domicilium Decoratus (mine) and a beat-up copy of Guns, Germs, and Steel (my husband’s)… Suffice to say our bookshelf is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis.
But accurate arbiters of a person’s tastes aside, there’s no denying that books impart warmth and personality on a home. They give it heart and soul, serve as conversation pieces, and make for great coffee table decor. When I’m feeling like a room is lacking in some way, I hit up the Half Price Books mothership on Northwest Hwy. for a few old art tomes (they boast a stellar collection). It inevitably does the trick.
John Waters would be proud…
(Image of Lauren and Andrew Blake’s bookshelves in our July/August 2011 issue.)