Shallow Bookshelf



Would it be considered

Rather shallow

If in your living room

There were books

Volumes upon volumes

 Of books

Stacked proudly on a shelf

Filled end to end

Well renowned authors

Classic tales

Famous covers

Never read



A bookshelf dusted regularly

Display kept pristine

Great care always given

Standing tall as a feature

In this room an exhibit

To gaze upon

Never touch

A neglected library



An invisible velvet rope

Cordons off the bookshelf

Guarding unread books

None shall pass

None shall be permitted

To peruse it’s collected pages

No one shall dare disturb

The display purposefully arranged



This is no mere bookshelf

This is an art installation

A symbol of extravagance

A reflection of education

A showcase of culture

You don’t read the books

You show them

Grandly on display

Cultivating an image

A library of vanity

Filled with fiction

To present a fiction

A monument to pretention

Arrogantly arranged



The purpose

To look good

To make the owner

Look good

To make the owner

Feel good

Every time the eye is drawn

The illusion of refinement

Reinforces itself

Illusion though it may be

It brings comfort

Like the cosmetic surgery

Your friend just got

The new neck tie

Your boyfriend bought

Something pretty

To grab a little attention

Alter perspectives

Recognise your world



What if that very bookshelf

Thats meant to enchant visitors

That’s meant to enhance reputation

That’s there to be seen

Has never been seen

Not by another

No visitor

No patron

No guest

Only the owner’s eyes

This marvellous collection

Neglected and hidden



But unfulfilled



Does it make you shallow

To have these famed books

To curate an astounding collection

When no-one will see

When no-one will know

All its literary glory

Does it make you shallow

If this grand collection

Brings you peace

A private comfort

Not meant to be shared

Does it make you shallow

When the only person

You’re showing off to

Is you




Cameron D Hamilton 15/08/2016



18 thoughts on “Shallow Bookshelf

    1. Agreed, it’s quite a pretencious vanity. I’m surprised I don’t don’t it, im rather pretencious if you haven’t noticed.
      I liked this idea though, all the vanity and arrogance aside, if no one can see it but yourself are you being shallow or is this a way to boost confidence.
      If I knew anyone that done it I’d ask but the question itself is still fun…especially when asked poetically 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eric

        I, perhaps, fall into the category of pretentious book hoarder, though I prefer to refer to them as a literary treasures. What do you do with treasures? Aye, you keep them cleaned and aligned ever so perfectly to demonstrate both your recognition of the worth of the pieces within your collection and to bombard the senses of visitors with your erudition. Moreover, it provides one with an inflated ego, and we both know how necessary it is to maintain a properly inflated ego!


        1. Ah but there is a difference between the hoarder who reads or who has intentions to read but life gets in the way. The person who has a brief history of time or war and peace only to pretend they’re well read is the actions of pretension. Simply collecting books is a different calling.
          Treasures are to be displayed and that’s the conflict I’m attempting to discuss. The description of the shallow mind but when it’s just for you, can that be shallow. The piece itself is a judging indictment and jealous or was written with that subtle intent. To judge this collector and his private pleasures is in itself the shallow actions of someone who can’t believe you wouldn’t show off your treasures. I don’t know if that came across.


    1. Ahahaha…Nothing wrong with a well stocked bookcase, just as long as you’ve read or plan on reading the books it contains.
      …an added effect you say. Well I suppose that would be good if you had lots of horror books, dust comes before the cobwebs and spiders 😄


        1. I have mine all over the place, there’s no shelf or display. That’s probably why I don’t get to read them, I tend to forget I have things if I camt see them. That’s why I don’t have a mirror so I can forget 😁

          That’s a great idea, you could have a really spooky vibe with all the dust and cobwebs all for free
          I used to do the same but with blood for Halloween. *apparently* that’s a health and safety risk so I was made to stop. It’s always something with me ans the authorities. To be fair it made my doctor happy she was getting worried. 😄


  1. Oh but I have to agree that it is quite a gorgeous thing to have, read or not. I actually Google pictures of libraries from time to time because they make me so happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful to look at but part of that beauty is the desire to read what’s contained. It’s a strange one because it is a plesent sight but alot of the pleasure is taken from the desire to emerse yourself in reading it all. That’s the way it should be, not just display so you give the impression your cultured.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. From the moment this started I was struck by the imagery of the scene in beauty and the beast where he gives belle her own library. just floor to ceiling books that he had owned but never read. I love this. I don’t find it vain at all…that being said I could never be surrounded by that many books and never read them. Books are so magical. They transport you to different worlds. Why wouldn’t you want to loose yourself in them ya know? I like the piece though. good stuff. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s the main point of this that why would you just have books so you could show off but in keeping them to show off for yourself are you shallow.
      I like that this piece is provoking conversation. It’s very different that my usual brand of nonsense!
      Regardless is very pleaded you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

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