Before I let you in on the books I’ve chosen to read to start my year of books, I thought I should tell you a bit about my bookshelf. You see, it’s arranged in a certain way. Not alphabetically, nor by author; it’s not colour-coded, nor is it dictated by height, width or thickness.
Instead it’s arranged just as the shelves are in my most favourite of bookshops – Daunt Books. Daunt Books can be found in Belsize Park, South End Green and in Marylebone High Street in London. With its quaint, shop front, and softly spoken, book-loving employees, Daunt Book sells itself not as a travel bookshop, but a bookshop for travellers.
Walk into Daunt Books and you can be transported to another world. Or if you are indeed heading abroad, you can find all that you’re looking for – and more – on your chosen country’s shelf. For Daunt Books arranges its bookshelves by country. If you’re planning a week in Italy, not only can you purchase Guidebooks to this fabulous country of pizza, pasta and olive oil, not to mention vino rosso, but you can find books written by Italian authors, books set in Italian cities and countryside, stories of soul searching in Tuscany, childhoods in Florence, or murder mysteries in Rome.
To complement my love of travel, with my love of literature, and to house my collection of some 680 books (and counting), my shelves aspire to be like those of Daunt’s. Arranged by country – from France, to Spain, Morocco to Egypt, Cuba, Denmark and Poland. There are picture books of Scotland, history books of England, guide books of Europe and phrasebooks to get me by. Tucked into pages are travel articles, magazine articles, maps, photos and bookmarks. This is my bookshelf that makes up my literary world. One I’m going to delve into and explore this year.