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Shelfwalking: The Beast’s Library in the Making (I Wish)

BY CAKE EVANGELISTA

Call me weird, but what I’m most excited to see in the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” (starring St. Hermione Granger Emma Watson) is the Beast’s bookgasmic bibliophile paradise.

Four stories of shelves, spiral staircases, overstuffed couches, giant globes, a grand fireplace, and GAZILLIONS AND GAZILLIONS OF BOOKS(!).

I mean, just LOOK AT IT.

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We’re all willing to endure a little Stockholm Syndrome for this wonderland, amirite?

Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

My collection of books, unfortunately, is so tiny, so minute, so insignificant compared to even 0.1 % of the Beast’s monstrous library. I remember replaying that library reveal scene repeatedly, going greener and greener with envy after each replay. (How to be you po, Belle?)

Anyway, so while I work and earn money to fund my own ceiling-to-floor library, here’s a peek into my beloved bookshelf.

Quick history and disclaimer: My floating bookcase, which I designed and my uncle made, was years in the making. It is made of wood, has 5 levels and 10 “compartments.” I won’t be showing one entire level because some of the books there are “for review” for my writing gig. So no “fully body” pic, too. Sorry. If you want to see my bookshelf sans the books, go here.

With that out of the way, let’s begin.

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These aren’t all nonfic books, I know. But in my defense, most of them are.

Can you see how much I love Chuck Klosterman? Aside from him being one of my favorite pop culture essayists, he’s also one of my biggest writing influences.

Recommended Reads: Klosterman’s Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, Rob Sheffield’s Love is a Mix Tape and Alain de Botton’s Essays in Love.

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There was a year when I just read Nick Hornby. I like that dude. His books are easy to digest yet “filling.”

I have yet to finish American Psycho, because holy crap, I just can’t. It’s not the gruesome theme I find troublesome, but the overly detailed, rambling descriptions. (Example: A couple of pages were dedicated to describing a calling card! A freaking calling card!)

Recommended read: Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is prominently displayed because it’s one of my favorite books ever. If you haven’t read it, do it now!

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The name of this collection was stolen from Head Cheer Reader KB’s young adult writing project. It’s apt since all the novels here belong to the YA genre.

I have two hardback copies of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl because WHY NOT?

Recommended reads: Rowell’s Fangirl and Eleanor & Park

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A couple of weeks ago, KB and I were chatting about a fire incident that happened in her neighborhood. This got us to talking about which books we would save in case our houses were to catch fire. Me? I’m saving all my precious graphic novels and comics trade paperbacks. I’d probably cry if any of them would be incinerated.

I started reading comics just last year and what can I say? I’m addicted. My bank account is, unfortunately, being a bitch about it. (Mahal na bisyo, guys!)

Recommended reads: I’m staking my reputation as a book lover on all of my Image Comics titles (Saga, ODY-C, The Wicked + The Divine, Paper Girls, and Sex Criminals). If you’re going to read only one title, read Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga.

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The Wes Anderson Collection, need I say more?

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If you know me personally, you know I am a hardcore Harry Potter fan. I’ve written articles about Harry Potter and the fandom here on Bookbed and in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. But as you can see, I currently don’t own any of the books.

This is also the reason why I’m reluctant to let just anyone borrow my books. Sometimes, my books get back to me dirty, damaged or tattered. Sometimes, like my precious Potter books, they’re not returned at all.

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I love Jane Austen. I think she’s funny and brilliant. The only book of hers I haven’t read is Persuasion, which, according to my fellow Austen fans, has the best Austen hero (yes, even better than Fitzwilliam Darcy).

Recommended reads: Pride and Prejudice, of course! And Emma.

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Oh, Barthes! Do you see my Barthes books? I love, love them.

Another one of my favorite authors is George Orwell. He’s amazing! I can honestly say 1984 has changed me. The book is not pictured here because my brother borrowed it. I have two copies of Animal Farm. The pretty one, cover by Shepard Fairey, was gifted to me by a friend.

Recommended reads: Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, Orwell’s 1984, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (never mind the theme, keep at it, don’t give up, read it for the writing!)

While fixing my bookshelf, I realized that contrary to popular belief, I am not a hoarder. I buy physical copies of the books that I really like and that I really WANT to read and reread. No shade on anyone. This is just my personal philosophy.

I also realized ebooks really have changed the reading and publishing landscape. I’ve read a lot of ebooks, most of them romance novels that aren’t available in local bookstores. That’s another confession by the way, I love love stories. I love romance novels. I read almost all kinds: historical, contemporary, new adult, chick lit, romantic thrillers, even erotic romance.

So that’s it! Hope you enjoyed my long-ish raving about my beloved books.

If anybody wants to recommend any graphic novels/comics to me, just hit me up on the comments section! ☁

Shelfwalking: Walking through people’s bookshelves. See more here.
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