Ideal Bookshelf


Patti Smith’s Ideal Bookshelf Featured In The My Ideal Bookshelf book, Jane Mount illustration, 2012.

Some believe that the books we choose to read, covet, and display, communicate quite a bit about who we are, and how we view ourselves. In the new book My Ideal Bookshelf, one hundred modern-day cultural figures, including writers Malcolm Gladwell, Jennifer Egan, David Sedaris, artists Oliver Jeffers and Marilyn Minter, musicians Patti Smith and Thurston Moore, chefs and food writers Alice Waters and Mark Bittman, and designers Pamela Love and Coralie Bickford-Smith, reveal the books that are most meaningful and influential for them -their ‘favorite favorites’ from the eclectic to the classic. The ones that resonate best with their interests, dreams, and ambitions in the world, and in some cases, have changed their lives from the ‘first read’ ever forward.


Original paintings by  Jane Mount -who began the Ideal Bookshelf project in 2007, showcase the selections, with colorful, artfully illustrated hand-lettered book spines and occasional objets d’art from the contributors’ personal bookshelves. The paintings are accompanied by first-person commentary drawn from interviews with editor Thessaly La Force (from the Paris Review), which touch on everything from the choice of books to becoming a writer to surprising sources of inspiration. Providing rare insight into the creative process and artistic development of some of today’s most intriguing and iconic creative writers, innovators, and visionaries.


James Franco’s Ideal Bookshelf Featured In The My Ideal Bookshelf Book, Jane Mount illustration, 2012.

Everything about this book is great -the lush, landscape format; the crisp, and generous white space; the thick, varnished pages; and of course the great illustrations and insightful commentary. A feast for the eyes, mind, heart, and soul. And just when you think it couldn’t get any better, the end pages feature a drawing of ten book spines, so that you can add your own Ideal Bookshelf. Love this. Mount does portraits on commission and will paint your books, or you can buy archival pigment prints of her work. What a great gift for the book-lover-avid-reader-aesthetic-savvy-bibliophile-with-great-taste. Visit the Ideal Bookshelf to get yourself/send out some Book Love!