If it’s not colour coded or you didn’t discover some of the titles propping up a harpsichord at a car boot, if you didn’t have it made to measure and spent years training your kids not to climb it – it doesn’t not make it a bookshelf. Especially If you’re Rafaël and your shelf looks remarkably like a beach and some impossible piece of biblio-techno. In excellent style, web artist Rafaël Rozendaal presents his Bookshelf from… is that Rio?
“As a child I used to read a lot. The people at the library knew me by name because I would get new books every week. On my 11th birthday I got a TV in my room and my reading days were over. I upgraded to a livelier medium and lost my interest in books. In high school I was forced to read some novels. This is when I really started to hate books. I swore I’d never read again. A few months ago I was investigating Werner Herzog’s “Rogue Filmschool”. He mentioned that “If you want to make films you have to understand stories. To understand stories you have to read and read and read and read.” I immediately ordered a kindle. $139 is not much for a device that accepts pirated e-books. It’s basically free books for life. And it reads much better than a “real” book! As soon as I started reading again I realized how much I was missing before. I hardly watch movies now, I find reading much more compelling. I’ll probably get back to movies at some point but I dont look at them in awe like I used to. Novels are great."
Brett Easton Ellis American Psycho
This is the one book I did read in my non-reading days. The novel takes the first person perspective to the extreme, every thought of the protagonist Patrick Bateman is spelled out. The book is a million times better than the movie, as usual. If you haven’t seen the film yet, read the book before you see the movie. I just read it again and I couldn’t believe how detailed and disgusting and intricate this book is.
The Doors of Perception Aldous Huxley
This is Aldous Huxley detailing his experiences when taking mescaline. It is not possible to describe the psychedelic experience in words, it is something that hits your brain in a part before words existed. The book fails at translating his trip into text, but it is very interesting nonetheless. “What the rest of us see only under the influence of mescalin, the artist is congenitally equipped to see all the time. His perception is not limited to what is biologically or socially useful.”
I am Ozzy Ozzy Osbourne
“I Am Ozzy” is the autobiography of Ozzy Osbourne, vocalist of Black Sabbath and solo singer. I’m a big fan of (heavy) metal and Black Sabbath started it all. It’s awesome that someone who is incapable of dealing with regular life found a way to surround himself with genius people and create amazing music. Full of crazy anecdotes, some funny, some sad.
A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again David Foster Wallace
Different people told me about David Foster Wallace, and I looked him up on YouTube. He seems to be a truly intelligent person, very articulate and sharp. Perhaps a bit too intelligent, you have to be a bit stupid to accept that life is ridiculous. The poor guy killed himself a few years ago. This book is a collection of essays and I really enjoyed Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley. It is a description of his early life playing tennis in the American Midwest, and getting caught in a tornado in the middle of a game. The story is very detailed and dry, subtle and complex perception without judgement.
Catching the Big Fish David Lynch
In this book David Lynch talks about his love of Transcendental Meditation and how it has helped him as a filmmaker. It’s a bit cheesy but I always feel motivated when I hear Lynch speak, even in a book. He has this great energy that I don’t see anywhere else. I wanted to try Transcendental Meditation myself but it’s fucking expensive, which makes you think is this all a big scam? He did make awesome movies and he does seem very happy, so I think I will try meditation at some point.
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