By Cory Doctorow at 10:00 am Thu, Sep 25, 2008
This is really great. Really, really great.
Now… off to manipulate my bookshelves… Alpha by author? HA! How outdated.
For geeks only:
Operating Systems Design and Implementation
Hero For the Wired World
Great Work of Time
Shark 1 was a great book!
The sequels not so much…
This reminds me of the book poems that are up right now (through the end of September) at the Vancouver Public Library.
Here are some images from Vancouver’s office of Cultural affairs: http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/oca/publicart/projects.htm#RecentCivic
And here’s a review of the show from the Georgia Straight: Carol Sawyerâ€™s images sing in libraryâ€™s lyrical voice
As was already mentioned, this is very similar to Italo Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler, which happens to be one of my favorite books (and a great meta-book on readers and reading, too).
That. Is. So. Cool.
One from my shelf (with authors in brackets):
9/11 [Noam Chomsky]
Lies Across America [James Loewen]
Failed States [Noam Chomsky]
The Corporation [Joel Bakan]
Crash [JG Ballard]
Things Fall Apart [Chinua Achebe]
Dissent in America [Ralph Young]
World Changing [Alex Steffen]
Hey Nostradamus! [Douglas Coupland]
America Beyond Capitalism [Gar Alperovitz]
Post-Scarcity Anarchism [Murray Bookchin]
This is such a great idea!
i. love. this!
Italo Calvino: If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
Also, Raymond Queneau: One Hundred Billion Poems
Wonderful stuff indeed.
I once asked a girl out this way. She worked at a library check-out desk, and I brought in a series of books that, as she checked them out, asked her out on a date.
Unfortunately for the idea (but not for me) she was too busy trying to start a conversation with me to notice the book titles.
I’ve had one of these spine-stories on my shelf for years:
EINSTEIN DOESN’T WORK HERE ANYMORE
MAYBE HE’S DEAD
Who Got Einstein’s Office?
[by Maurice B. Cook, Mary Ann Madden, Neil Gaiman, and Ed Regis, respectively]
Shame some of the titles are too small to read.
Years ago, I visited a book store that had put their entire “for Dummies” inventory in a single display area near the front entrance. All the titles were arranged alphabetically by title, except for two that had been pulled out of sequence and put side by side:
Sex for Dummies
Parenting for Dummies
Suddenly, I’m seeing that memory in a whole new light.
I saw this done (unintentionally, I assume) at a cinema once:
Screen 1 – Big
Screen 2 – Frantic
Screen 3 – Shag
This reminds me of the artist Adrienne Salinger’s work, only instead of forming a narrative, the books are a sort of portrait of the person who’s shelf they came from.
http://adriennesalinger.com/ (navigate to ‘Self Help’)
From a friend’s bookshelf many years ago when we were young-ish;
Five go Camping
Five have plenty of Fun
Five get into Trouble
The Secret Seven
My boss recently did this as a promotion for a romance box pack. He gets paid a lot to do this crap.
The titles are in capitals.
SHE WAS A TAVERN WENCH, he THE OUTBACK DOCTOR, late ONE NIGHT IN PERENGA, whilst having dinner with HER CELEBRITY SURGEON, THE GREEK TYCOONS WIFE, and THE MAN FROM MADRID, discussions turned to the subject of THE ITALIAN MILLIONAIRE’S VIRGIN WIFE who bizarrely had been BOUGHT BY THE GREEK TYCOON. The wench was concerned about this turn of events. Was THE VIGIN’S SEDUCTION, FOR REVENGE OR…PLEASURE Would she soon be a VIRGIN FOR SALE. Surely she could only be THE DISOBEDIENT VIRGIN, for so long.
They hatched a plan to get her BACK IN HER HUSBAND’S BED. The plan was called THE SURGEON’S RESCUE MISSION. The tavern wench with the aid of her friends, WINTER WOMAN and O’REILLY’S BRIDE, persuaded the Greek Tycoon that she was HIS SECRET LOVE-CHILD, by HIS SECRETARY MISTRESS, who had been forced, AT HER BOSSES BIDDING into HAVING THE BOSSES BABY. This shocked the Greek who thought he had become a NEWBORN DADDY. THE GREEKS BRIDAL BARGAIN was in ruins, the Italian millionaire was COMING BACK FOR HIS BRIDE and theirs was a MARRIAGE REUNITED. The Wench was hailed as THE LIFE SAVER and her boyfriend, the HIGH-ALTITUDE DOCTOR decided she was A BRIDE WORTH WAITING FOR, and two months later shocked her with THE WEDDING SUPRISE
Sadly he was too late as she had run off with THE HOUSEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER, and after a civil partnership ceremony they lived happily ever after in Welwyn Garden City.
I remember that… Godard had that very idea in “A Woman is a Woman”
Love this juxtaposed with the shark cupcakes below.
Wow, thanks for the nostalgia trip! A group of friends and I back in the mid-70s would go to the annual Brandeis book sale (billed as the largest book sale in the world) and entertain ourselves by doing this.
I think the funny cigarettes we smoked before going in had something to do with our level of entertainment.
Shark-happy today Cory?
Cory, seriously. Are you repressing some deep-seated shark attack fears we should be aware of?
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