Alexandria Burned.

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.


Jod{i} said...

Ahhh yes, the cold sterile environment of banality...blech...
I have books on my kitchen counter(not cookbooks) I have books on my end tables, in my bookcases, on the side of bed, on the floor by the bookcase, in my truck and yes, even here with me at work..
Fahrenheit 451 scared me as a kid, to me that would be the worst offense(with many) against humanity...a wordless world.

peony said...

...and your nephews have asked for BOOKS for Christmas. ET, phone home for titles requested.

Anne Johnson said...

You would love my house.

Sandi K. Solow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John (Grasping for the Wind) said...

with over 2,000 volumes in my house, you'd sure enjoy it. I also dislike it when houses are so bare of literature. And one bookshelf doesn't cut it!