I never tire of going to someone’s house and having a little peek at their bookshelves. CD collections used to be the same until iPods came along. Are they listening to Debussy or Katy Perry? Who would know! Both collections though give a sense of knowing someone – a wee look into their interests, beliefs and taste.
With the advent of e-books will this voyeurism become thing of the past? It would seem a bit odd to casually flip through someone’s e-book reader, whereas a casual flick along the bookshelves seems more socially acceptable.
I wonder too, for those of us who are slightly on the snobby side about what we are seen reading, could we secretly be harbouring the odd erotic romance on our e-book reader and no one need ever know?
Looking at the figures for Christchurch City Libraries e-books by the number of checkouts, it would seem that my theory might not be too far off the mark. Top of the list is Ravishing in red and Sinful in Satin closely followed by Dangerous in Diamonds and Accidentally engaged. Poor old Margaret Drabble languishes at 100 while the popular Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen can only manage a sedate 85.
All indications are that e-books are here to stay and in many cases are outstripping their paper copy companions by a good margin. I will miss the chance to peek into someone’s life via their bookshelves, and will have to think of other ways I can be nosy without being completely obvious and somewhat creepy! Any ideas?