Saturday, February 10, 2018

What's on YOUR Kerouac bookshelf?

I'll assume, since you are reading this blog, that you have a bookshelf or two dedicated to Jack Kerouac. In my case, it's an entire 5-shelf bookcase (plus I use the top). There are also various Kerouac or related books strewn throughout the house at any given time (next to the bed, on the bookshelves upstairs, etc.). For the most part, though -- I'd say 95% -- my Kerouac and related books are on what is affectionately known in my house as my "Kerouac bookshelf" (albeit it is a bookcase).

Before we get to pictures, I want to share an idea to spur future blog entries. As with all ideas, I don't know where it came from, but I think it's a pretty good one. What if I go through my Kerouac bookshelf in order -- top to bottom and left to right -- and discuss each book? One per blog entry per item. Such entries might be critiques of said book (or item -- there are a couple of non-book items), a story about how I acquired it (if I can remember), a quote from within, meaningfulness, copyright details, and so on. In other words, I will riff a little about each item on the bookshelf.

I plan to get started with this project soon, maybe tomorrow. It will last a while as there are approximately 160 discreet items! That will give me blog fodder for months.

And that was really the genesis of my idea: What the Hell do I have to write about that hasn't already been said? The answer was to write about my collection of Kerouac and related books. It's a curation of sorts, more for my benefit than anything else, but it may generate some interesting posts.

The pictures will drive the order -- whatever the order was when I took the below pictures is the order in which I will discuss the items. This is because the actual physical order might change. For example, when Richard visits he usually borrows a book or two to read during his stay and it's not necessary that it goes back exactly where he got it. Or, I might add some books along the way (I'm trying not to do that so much anymore, being on a fixed retirement income and thinking about having less stuff, not more). The few relevant books in other parts of the house I can add on at the end or at some point along the way. I know, for example, that The Unknown Kerouac and The Holy Barbarians are on my bedside table, as is Pomes All Sizes. I think there's a book of Ferlinghetti's poetry floating around upstairs somewhere (and it might belong to Crystal -- I've lost track).

So, without further ado, herewith are pictures of my Kerouac bookshelf as of 10:30 AM on February 10, 2018. I did not fancy it up or organize it in advance. This is the actual state of the situation as I found it this morning. Please note: The position of a book on the shelf is irrelevant to its importance and has more to do with whether it is Kerouac-authored or related as well as where it happened to physically "fit" at a given point in time. I know you can't read each title very well (maybe you can if you enlarge the pic), so stay tuned and I will get to it in time.

The top of my Kerouac bookshelf -- Miscellaneous items

Shelf #1 -- All Kerouac-authored

Shelf #2 -- Some Kerouac-authored plus Kerouac-related books

Shelf #3 -- Biographies and Kerouac-related books

Shelf #4 -- Biographies and Kerouac-related books

Shelf #5 (bottom shelf) -- Kerouac-related books and items


Anonymous said...

Grand idea, looking forward to this.
Sometimes I just sit and look at my collection, scan through and remember the feel of each book.

Christopher Newton said...

I love this idea and I'm looking forward to every single blog entry.