What would you choose if you wanted to take a picture of a few of your favorite books, not more than seven inches wide when stood together? The names of two websites I like, ‘Books ‘R Us’ and ‘Books Tell Us Why’, gave me the seeds of this idea for a new avatar. It would be right for the task, less random and superficial than a mug shot.
My books are up and down stairs on shelves all over the house so it was a good exercise. Digital, thumbed-over, dog-eared, faded, curled, moldy, soiled, frayed, ripped, incomplete, taped, sagging, spineless specimens wouldn’t do. I needed color and titles that would be attractive. What photogenic line-up could be readily assembled ?
After I’d made my choices and taken the shot, there seemed to be some categories and sense to it all. If you want to show who you are by presenting a few books, for an avatar or any other reason, here are my tips. You have to love them because they are all of these things:
- Useful: An indispensable reference book for your favorite passion or hobby
- Fun: An entertaining, exciting novel or fantasy book that carries you away to another world
- Shocking: A nonfiction exposethat stimulates your curiosityand thirst to get at the truth about what really happened
- For the mind and soul: A book that is a mentor and idol to give you an intellectual boost and spiritual understanding
- For social identity: A biographical history of a person or group who align with your own career path, background and type of companions
- From your family: A history or autobiography written by you or a relative
My books in the photo above are, from left to right:
- A collection of recipes which reflect my childhood and perpetual delight in good food, especially when cooked by loving people and served at communal events like harvest suppers, strawberry socials and silver teas. Someone suggested to me that ‘Who Cooked the Last Supper?’ might have been a better title than ‘Eating at Church.’
- The Black Tulip by Alexander Dumas. Hundreds of others would have done but only this one had a red cover, gold lettering and the sentimental value of having been a gift from my son when he was boy.
- The Pagan Christ. As a willful (but good) minister’s daughter, I was always interested in the pagan customs and natural images unsuccessfully squelched but peculiarly integrated into Christianity.
- Northrop Frye Myth and Metaphor: Selected Essays 1974-88. My class notes of his lectures are included in those now appearing online for public access at http://www.fryeblog.blog.lib.mcmaster.ca/, Robert D. Denham library collection.
- Sweet Sixteen, the story of the 16 irrepressible woman journalists who formed the first Canadian Women’s Press Club while on a privileged train trip to the St. Louis World Fair in 1904. I belong to their renamed club.
- A Book of Kells: Growing Up in an Ego Void (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00440DQNA), the 20th century family memoir I wrote about my parents and me.
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