These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart. ~Gilbert Highet
I wonder if this is why being surrounded by my favorite books is like being surrounded by friends.
And, I wouldn't recommend this particular bookshelf arrangement if you live in an earthquake zone. Or that lamp, either. Ouch.