Mark Medley's Segregated Bookshelves

Shelf Esteem is a weekly measure of the books on the shelves of writers, editors, and other word lovers, as told to Emily M. Keeler. This week’s shelf belongs to Mark Medley, who edits the National Post’s book section. Mark is a prolific interviewer, both in print and on stage, and under his stewardship NPBooks is a vital space for literary news and opinion. His bookshelves are in his home in downtown Toronto, which he shares with his wife and their cat. Mark’s sagging, overstuffed bookshelves are the first thing you see once he opens the door.

These are my bookshelves, and over there are my wife’s bookshelves. We live together, we share a cat, but we don’t share bookshelves. That’s the last remaining frontier of our relationship. Although some of her books have made their way over to my shelves. I kind of steal books from her. She’s the one person I know who reads more than I do. I can’t think of anything I’ve stolen, lately. Actually, is this bad? Do you know what I do? Because I have a bit more than she does, if I have a book I think she’ll like and that I want to keep, I’ll hide it on her shelf because it saves me some room.

Sometimes when people introduce me to someone for the first time, they’ll call me a critic. And I’ll say, no-no-no-no, I’m not a critic. I don’t write book reviews. Obviously I think they’re important, I assign them, but I’m just too enthusiastic about books.

Shelf Esteem runs every Tuesday.

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