As I sat staring at my bookshelves, taking stock of the books that surround and inspire me, I started to notice some titles that seemed like maybe I should shelve them next to each other. I kept looking, dug deeper into the closet, and began playing a little game with titles. It killed some time when I should have been doing other work, and I suggest you try it with your shelves. Really, it was a lot of fun and it kept me from doing any real work for almost a whole evening.
The first two that caught my eye were these:
Hmm, tough choice. Do you go with the Amateurs or the Professionals?
I figured these two should be on a shelf together for sentimental reasons:
I’m not sure I would want to live on either of these:
This Ross MacDonald classic title can be answered in so many ways. First, the method:
Of course there’s also timing:
Really, with this title, I had about a dozen ways to go. Some other options from my shelves: Gun Work, The Big Bang, Crimes in Southern Indiana, A Night of Long Knives.
Maybe I should keep these two far away from each other:
And now I know detective Mike Shayne’s occupation and his prices:
Frankly if it has that many rules, I do not consider it a simple plan:
Of course Drive and Boulevard travel together, right? (You can see how this killed my evening.)
And in a crime novel, how would this mouthful taste? I know how I’m betting.
Sometimes it seems like my bookshelf is trying to tell me a whole story just from the spines. Share what you’ve got! What’s on your shelves that belongs together?
Eric Beetner is an ex-musician, one time film director, and a working television editor and producer, as well as author (with JB Kohl) of the novels One Too Many Blows To The Head and Borrowed Trouble. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, two daughters, and one really great dog. His upcoming novella Dig Two Graves will be out later this summer, along with short stories in the anthologies Pulp Ink, D*cked, and Grimm Tales.