Our Booksellers' Book Cellars

bottle of wine and books

We came across an interesting quote recently attributed to one Luc van Donkersgoed:

"Think not of the books you've bought as a 'to be read' pile.  Instead, think of your bookcase as a wine cellar.  You collect books to be read at the right time, the right place, and the right mood."

What a fascinating concept!  It certainly takes the guilt out of those towering stacks of unread books.  But we also had to know: what books are our booksellers keeping on hand to pair with just the right moment?


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Stefen pairs James Joyce with lunchbreaks

"This might be a weird one, but I love reading James Joyce's Ulysses on my lunch breaks. There's something about just opening it up at random and being immediately swept away by the polyphony of voices. It fills me with a feeling like electricity, and playfulness, and its better than doomscrolling Twitter."


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Caitlin pairs horror with dinner out

"I rarely read books in print anymore; I can get through 2-3 audiobooks a week, but sitting down to read is a rare treat.  So when I do get the opportunity, I try to make a it a real treat.  Once a month, I take myself out to eat and I bring along the current 'special occasion' book, which, for the last year or so, has usually been horror for some reason.  I enjoy my meal and my book, tip the waitstaff well for letting me linger at a table, and then go home and stash the book away for the next special occasion.  It isn't always dinner out night, but that's its most regular outing.  Currently I'm reading Sundial by Catriona Ward.  It is gloriously ominous."


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Tory pairs Moomins with bad days

"When either of us has a really bad day, my spouse and I pull out the Moomin at bedtime and we read a chapter aloud to one another (saddest person gets to listen, least sad person gets to read aloud). Moomin takes you to a sweet, surreal, magical place where kindness, togetherness, and adventure prevail. It always does the trick."


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Carissa pairs re-reads with introspection

"The Little Prince has been a comfort book I return to again and again. It's a short read with adorable illustrations and introspective messages. There's not really one specific mood I'm usually in when rereading it, but I visit it again at least once or twice a year. And the Netflix movie adaptation is fantastic too!"


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Peter pairs doorstop books with time off

"Most of my colleagues have read Priory of the Orange Tree and rave about it.  But it is huge, 848 pages.  So I am saving it for my next vacation when I can devote a couple of days to it."


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Stefen pairs philosophy with insomnia

"When I can't sleep, I read philosophy. My brain needs to be at the right level of mushiness for it. There are a few books I return to: Deleuze's Spinoza: Practical Philosophy, Deleuze's Nietzsche and Philosophy, and Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism. The dreams are usually pretty insane."


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Peter pairs Patchett with sunshine

"I am waiting until the summer to read Tom Lake.  Cherry harvest time. Not sure why, but I think as it is set in a Northern Michigan summer, that’s the best time to read it.  But feel free to buy it now—I’m sure its good at any time of year."