I was sitting around adding things to Shelfari when it occurred to me, like it often does, how funny it is I still use it. The moment when Shelfari was a promising phenomenon is past; it's doing very little now. And while speed and searches for foreign titles have improved a lot, something about it still rings hilariously low-fi, like being in a town where the pop music is from two years ago.
But I like being able to chart the progression of my life with digital spines, watching the pixel-wood shelf fill with colours, ideas and gifts that finally got read. It's the cartography of a mind that zigzags, occasionally descending upon long-forgotten threads of obsession: a miracle of human consistency.
Someday when Shelfari is able to manipulate data in ways that tell you interesting stories about yourself, your loves and your subconscious thoughts, I'll be happy I packed all this work into it, and in proper order, too.
I feel safe between pages, wordless in the backseat of a car, filled with the cacophonous invented voices of others. Maybe because of that, I'm comfortable with silence, letting the weight of it settle and bake as others wait for me to hold up my corner of the frothy conversational parachute.
"She's thinking," close friends and ex-bosses used to apologetically say on my account.
But the impression isn't always that flattering. An ex-boyfriend once told me he thought I was a two-dimensional character.
"Then I saw your bookshelf," he said. "A lot of people keep books they read at school, and their beach reading. But you ... you have a real fuck-you bookshelf."
A fuck-you bookshelf!
It's probably my favorite thing he ever said, ever.
Image credit: Trompe l'oeil bookshelf (a cheatershelf!) was submitted to bookshelfporn.com, which in turn was passed to me by blogging amigo (and compulsive 'tog) Bertrand.