Readers have been asking me about a Facebook page for years, and I’m sorry to have been so slow about it. I kept putting it off because I was reading. Then one day recently I got to the end of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet (all 1700 pages of it) and when I woke up the next morning the most extraordinary thing happened: I just didn’t feel like reading. So at long last, I made a Facebook page. It turns out to be a nice way of sharing my thoughts about reading and writing with people who like books as much as I do.
The best bit of putting the page together was selecting the cover photo, and this is it:
It’s a shelf in my bookcase. My favourite shelf. What is it that makes me love this collection of books so much?
- The whole collection fits the shelf to perfection: no empty spaces and no volumes left over. I am fond of neatness.
- The glory of the colours! If I didn’t have a novel to write I could while away hours reorganising them in different combinations…
- For any lover of typefaces and fonts, the books look brilliant from the front too:
- And look! The edges are coloured too!
- They were a gift from my Canadian publisher so they remind me of happy times in Toronto with Lynn, Martha and Ruta and the whole team at Penguin Random House.
- Every book on it is a good one.
These are beautiful books to look at and to hold. But that would mean little if what is inside didn’t match up. This collection came about when the booklovers at Random House Canada decided to bring out new editions of their favourite novels and story collections in brand new jackets. As soon as I saw the list of titles I knew it would be special. About a third were books I had already read – and loved. (Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace is there; it’s the regal purple volume, far left.) Another third were on my radar and I was planning to get round to them one day. (David Mitchell, Black Swan Green and Rohinton Mistry, Such a Long Journey; peacock green and saffron yellow respectively.) Alongside these familiar names and titles were a number of new names, new voices. Over the months and years that I have been exploring them, I have come to realise that there is not a single disappointing book in the collection. So finally, this is my favourite shelf because:
That’s why I photographed it for my Facebook page. You are cordially invited to come and visit me there. You’ll find it at: https://www.facebook.com/dianesetterfieldauthor/
But if you are too busy reading, I quite understand.