Off the Shelf (4)

As followers of our blog will know, voracious reader Robyn has been sharing with us on a regular basis the titles that she has been adding to her For Later shelf. Here are some more titles that have recently graduated to her Completed shelf.

Cover for Maker & MuseMaker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry

This truly is a beauty. The pieces are breath-taking but the very best thing about it is the chance to read about  women as designers and makers as well as consumers.

Cover for Weeping BritanniaWeeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears by Thomas Dixon

Who knew that the British are actually quite emotional? Not me until I read this book. Turns out they’ve been giving free reign to their lachrymose tendencies for centuries, with a bit of time off for a more martial approach between 1870 and 1945. It’s full of fascinating facts such as Queen Elizabeth II crying in public (more accurately dabbing at the corners of her eyes) for the first time at the age of 71, when the royal yacht Britannia was  decommissioned . The author is the director of the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London so he knows what he’s talking about.

Industrial Vintage Interiors by Maria Eugenia SilvaCover for Industrial Vintage Interiors

A biggie and almost a beauty, this is probably one for the true enthusiasts who can pore over page after page of metal stools. It’s a world where your cat has to be grey to (mono) tone in with your colour scheme.

Off the shelf (3)

As followers of our blog will know, voracious reader Robyn has been sharing with us on a regular basis the titles that she has been adding to her For Later shelf. This time she reports back on some of the titles that have graduated to her Completed shelf.

Some lovely books that have come off the For Later shelf recently.

Cover for Robert KimeRobert Kime by Alastair Langlands. Matthew Dennison, author of a great book about Vita Sackville-West, reviewed this in that madly aspirational magazine World of Interiors. He said that Kime can “claim to devise schemes that genuinely appear ‘undecorated’: stylish but lacking obvious contrivance, with nothing matchy-matchy and not too much strangulated coordination”. An irresistible recommendation and the book did not disappoint.

The Face of Britain: The Nation Through its Portraits by Simon Schama. Power, Love, Fame, the Mirror, the People – these themes are covered with Schama’s customary skill; matching great stories with images from the National Portrait Gallery in London. This book accompanies a television series of the same name.

Cover for Portrait of FashionA Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery by Aileen Ribeiro with Cally Blackman. A happy accident that two books featuring the collections of the National Portrait Gallery  arrived at the same time. Amazing that so few of the images overlap. The reproductions in this one are bigger and more colourful than in The Face of Britain but then they should be; clothes need detail.

For later (much later)

For years I have noted the titles of books and authors I come across. Funnily enough, librarians come across a lot of books, and obsessives who cannot let a single interesting looking title escape them end up with a lot of scrappy bits of paper.

Number 224 on my For Later list

Sad attempts to be more organised  (Warwick 5B1 notebook indexed), more methodical (hardback with Andy Warhol shoes on the cover – so pretty I’d be sure to use it), more organised and methodical (basic black Moleskine indexed – essential to use it to justify the expense)  resulted in a proliferation of notebooks listing books to be read, books that had been read,  monthly issues of magazines so one wouldn’t be missed – on and on, spinning ever more out of control.

I tried on-line options but none of them were ideal, until I discovered the For Later option  in Bibliocommons, the library catalogue. Come across a book or an author, check the library catalogue, click Add to My Shelves – For Later and there it stays. My Account handily lets you know what books on your For Later list are available, so you can check the shelves at your local library, or put a reserve on knowing you won’t have to wait long.

The problem is that it’s just a little bit too easy. I currently have 224 items on my For Later list. “You won’t live that long,” said a book club friend. She is now a former friend. Some of them are of an idle flick through on a Friday night nature, so they will be easily transferred to my Completed shelf (an intensely satisfying feature of My Account in Bibliocommons), but others will require actual reading.

And I can’t stop adding to it. Now I have a list of books I took home in 2012 but didn’t read. In two weeks’ time, I will have to start a list of books I took home in 2013 but didn’t read.  And they just keep coming; calling to me from the new books shelf, thrusting themselves off the review pages of newspapers, magazines and web sites, inserting themselves into conversations with colleagues.  Please tell me there are longer For Later lists. Please.