« The guttating horsetail | Main | The highway skirt »

26 October 2006



Love it. Just after finishing putting my books in place (much more hapharzardly I hasten to add - my organization is much looser and more along the line of themes - bu111111111111111111 t then I've a lot less literature - travel books, history, RCMP history, nature, science, magic etc) I can easily envision the books on the floor, stacked on top, etc. I too need more shelf space.


I don't think books sit, in French. They may fit into, but not sit... On the other hand, I think they stand, but I'm not so sure... I wasn't able to remember the word that is used in these case...


Clare--don't you think that ordering the library is a little like reading itself? I tend to feel bad when I have books in piles on floors, but I must admit that books are piled nearly everywhere in my house. I do kind of like slipping a few books here and there on top of books that sit on the shelves--those top-sitting books are usually new and unread, and I don't like to put them too cosily on shelves until they are read or known a little better at least.

Laurent--thanks for your thoughts on the language problem. Surely, books in French don't "fit into" a shelf or anything else--it seems so unFrench to "fit into" too easily. Could a book by Genet or Sartre simply fit into a shelf? I like the idea that French might have books standing (smoking a little, perhaps). I kind of think that my books from the French might seduce the shelves.


Larry, I was laughing at your bookish, bibliophilish shenigans and quandaries, thinking you sounded like me, and then I found your homage to my Paris sketches! Thank you so much for it. Ranger is the French word for 'to arrange, to tidy up.' Ranger par ordre alphabetique might be useful. (I used to have software that allowed me to type in french vowels and accents, but with my new Mac, I don't know how to do this. Se mettre en rang: to line up. Rang and rangee (with accent aigu over first e) both also mean 'row.' This doesn't answer your question, except perhaps obliquely. Thanks for a lovely post, mon ami.


I finally remembered that the most frequent word that would be used for books on shelves, in French, is that they "rest". Just as if reading were not a resting activity...

But I find a bit scarrying not even knowing about this in my own maternal language!


Laura--if you're using Word on the Mac, pull down Insert on the header bar to Symbol--choose the special characters menu at Symbols to see the key strokes to use for all of those wonderful French characters.

I like the image of 'ranging' and 'rowing' in the French literature on my shelves--literature should always be ranged, I think, in the way that a ranger would have once surveyed landscape. And to row literature has wonderful poetry.

Thanks for adding bilingual exoticism to my blog!

Laurent--it seems a shame that French volumes would 'rest' on shelves. My Sade, Foucault, and others seem far too unruly.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

July 2015

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Blog powered by Typepad

Natural History, Biology, and Other Science