Dietz_2022.pdf (415.29 kB)
Projection or Reflection? The Pandemic Bookshelf as a Mirror for Self-Image and Personal Identity
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-01, 14:55 authored by Laura Dietz
The opportunity for display of books is a frequently cited reason for choosing print reading over e-reading. But the desired display is not always intended for others. For many, the most important observer of a personal bookshelf is the person to whom it belongs: a physical shelf as means to access, commemorate, and honour reading history and reading identity. This makes it essential to consider bookshelves in the era of COVID-19 not only in terms of the Zoom feed, beaming snapshots of collections to the outside world, but also Zoom “self view”: the digital selfportrait hovering in the corner of our device screens. Drawing on qualitative data from surveys, focus groups and interviews conducted between 2014 and 2021, this paper will explore the phenomenon of the backdrop as mirror, and examine curated bookshelves - including manipulated, misattributed, or appropriated bookshelves - in terms of self- as well as public image.
Publication titleEnglish Studies
PublisherInforma UK Limited
- Accepted version