A window into what? All sorts of celebrities are appearing on video these days, backed up by their bookshelves. In an entertaining piece, the NYTimes uses the videos to spy on their book collections. Cate Blanchett owns all 20 hardbound volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary! Prince Charles’ collection is maybe the most eclectic. (Using your bookshelf as a backdrop can be a kind of image management, so I suppose the selection may reflect how a celebrity wants to be perceived.)
It made me wonder what, if anything, my own bookshelf would say about me. I’m a pretty aggressive downsizer and try only to keep reference books and works that I think I’m likely to read again in the next few years. The result is that the selection is quite a bit narrower than what I actually read. If I ever appeared in front of my bookcase in a Zoom meeting, and someone decided to spy on my books, they might conclude that my only interests were Orthodox Christianity, bugs and birds. I read other things, honest.