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Somewhere between a tulip-friendly Merseyside driveway and a vulgar bedsit in Camberwell sits a silent somebody. Suffocating inside a dust-collecting novel and a computer screen, said somebody reads from said screen: don’t forget to send submission. 

 

Above the screen there is a shelf. The shelf cost five pounds and threatens to uproot itself. The screws were too thin for the wall plugs, and now the shelf creaks when weight is added or removed. Therefore, the shelf’s contents must remain untouched. 

 

On the shelf there are books. Some bad, some worse, mostly unread. Among them Milligan and Spark, Faulkner and Morrison; Dorothy Wordsworth's journals and Waugh's 'Scoop'. Besides them are framed prints and emblems of interests gone stale. 

 

Reading is a dirty art. It causes blemishes and bruises and is not to be taken on lightly unless in absolute excess. Books are only books and their covers are usually more important. But for all it’s worth, read whilst you still can. 

"THE BOOKSHELF SERIES" 

with the launch issue artists

The Bookshelf of Ned Green...

Kate Walker, unfinished works. @katepaintwalker on instagram

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The Bookshelf of Alyina Zaidi...

My bookshelf in London is still a baby and has a long way to go before it will start to feel like a reflection of me.

Sometimes I think about reading like this: I open a book and I’m swimming underwater , trying to find my way and then whoosh. Suddenly I caught the current , it’s happening to me as much as Im happening to it. Why does the current exist ? To carry information in the form of temperatures or little fishies from one place to another , why does the book exist ? To carry information from one place to another. The book is the middle man between the writer and the reader , the current only exists as as the full cycle from departure to destination . Does the book not exist it if is never read? I’ve not read some of those books on my shelves , does that mean they don’t exist ?
The Bookshelf of Imogen Allen...
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Artaud’s ‘The Monk’ is the most gripping book I’ve ever read, it scared me to death. While Franz Kafka’s ‘The Trail’ sent me down a hole of existential gloom... I quickly turned to a childhood favourite, ‘ The Twits’ to relieve my anxious mind. Back to normal, back to sanity. I thought I’d go backwards in time with Joyce’s ‘Dubliners’. It was okay. A very joyous read. That man has a way with words I tell you! But In all honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted to be in Dublin back then. - I love the modern world and being able to shower everyday. In relation to Joyce, his pal Samuel Beckett stands along side him. ‘Cascando’ is a book of short plays. But I find myself often, going in circles, back to the front... around the back... way back when... upside down... I’m hungry... I’m not... I’m here, no I’m there. You see things often end like this with Beckett or begin... Who knows? But ‘Gilgamesh’ - what a way to find yourself… We are taken on a tiresome journey of adventure, love, heartache, morality, the Gods, what it means to live. After I read it I can confirm I still don’t know. Anyway I think that’s enough. Although I’d lastly like to mention the story of how I got Gilgamesh... I used to live in New Zealand and from my travels I took home with me a special necklace which I wear all the time. It is made from a gem native to the land. A kiwi fellow in the bookshop saw my necklace. He said ‘Hi!’ I said ‘gooday’..’You should take this’ he said and that was that. 
The Bookshelf of Matthew Darby...
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The Bookshelf of Sarah Savage...

Henry Thoreau or more personified ‘Walden’ put me into a state of complete despair and determination that I must find a way to live amongst the trees. If you also like the idea of building your house within nature then you would probably feel the same drives if you read ‘Walden’. 

I thought to myself about Ireland and how some born here have such godly reverence for their land, always seeking the mountains so they are, always so in love with the inspiration of the land, its myths and danger as is Walter Macken. Once his books were banned in Ireland. 

 

There is a place in ‘The Rune Poem’ far away in time and causes ancient senses to heighten. It is written by an anonymous Anglo Saxon which only adds more to the mystery - but what applies such universal laws, truth and fate as its example.

 

I am taunted by technology, by our ‘Brave New World’, where just like Huxley’s it’s a hypnotism. Though our age is equally measured by similarity and differences, maybe we can see that we are getting forgetful of things like reverence for the land, the spirit of souls or deep-seated fate to go under.