When I walk into someone's home for the first time, I tend to pay very little attention. I'm simply uninterested in the fashion and pretension of decorating. I don't care for furniture, fixtures, framed art or bricabrac so I mostly just ignore it all.
There is one thing that sticks out to me, that troubles me when I walk into a house: books, or rather, their absence. My house is piled high with them, so is my parents', so was my grandparents'. I grew up surrounded by dozens of volumes, by tomes of every description. They seem as vital to a home as trees to a forest. As a result, a home devoid of books is strangely hollow. A domicile lacking books is, more empty than a home lacking tables, couches and chairs. Such a place, no matter how decorated, is cavernous, stark, bare and I find it physically uncomfortable to be there.
I've spent time shooting in three bookless houses this year, all huge, multi-million dollar homes in some of the city's most affluent neighborhoods, all decorated in the most severe, fashionable, expensive styles and all absolutely barren of bound volumes, save perhaps a cookbook or something with the words "for Dummies" in the title. All empty, empty, empty.
I do not like such places.
Here's to a more literate year.