Shelf Esteem is an as-told-to measure of the books on the shelves of writers, editors, and other word lovers, founded by Emily M. Keeler. This week’s shelves belong to Andrea Lukic, the bassist-vocalist for Vancouver punk band, Nü Sensae. The band recently returned from successive US and European tours to promote their latest album, “Sundowning.” Lukic’s lofty, East Vancouver bedroom is a messy kaleidoscope of rock n’roll artifacts, strange trinkets and stacks upon stacks of books. In the late afternoon and into the evening we combed through Lukic’s eclectic collection of weird and beautiful books.
I don’t organize my books at all and I can’t find anything. Here’s the thing, I have too many books. I know I have too many books. The problem is I have a lot of books that I think are really beautiful. There’s lots of books I’ve read, like Cormac McCarthy books—that I love—that I could give away. The editions aren’t that great, they don’t look that cool. But so many of these books are so beautiful. Like, A Pictorial History of Magic and the Supernatural from the ‘70s. I can’t give that away! They’re like reference books.
I have a tendency, because I do visual arts, to judge a book by its cover. And I think that it’s a false statement anyway, because the kind of books that I collect, a lot of them you can tell a lot by their cover. Even just the choice of colours and the layout, I can tell they’re going to be good.
[My collection] is like Kenneth Anger-ish, because it’s a lot of Hollywood, a lot of pop culture, but a lot of occult, a lot of magic. What’s behind things that are really beautiful.
Okay, I made this when I was 13. It’s pretty intense. This is the first book I made. I’ve been making zines since I was 13. I got into the Sex Pistols in grade six and I would just photocopy photos of them at the library. I used to steal books from Chapters and I got caught stealing and my parents grounded me and the only place that I was allowed to go—they’re like Eastern European, so I had to study—was to the library. So then I would just photocopy at the library and work on this, didn’t study, there’s nothing to study when you’re in grade six.
Shelf Esteem runs every Tuesday