St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

Pandemic Chaekgeori

Tofu's painting of my bookcase.

My friend Tofu, who is always sending me lovely crap in the mail, undertook a little project to paint all of his friends’ bookshelves. He found out there’s a Korean genre of painting called “Chaekgeori” which involves painting books and objects on shelves, and he asked me for some photos of my bookcases. The result was the painting above and I love the way it came out. The titles are blotted out, but the colors are so distinct that I can name every book on those shelves.

Tofu painted a bunch of different shelves, so head over to his blog to see more of his Chaekgeori paintings. The man’s got talent, people.

Me doing an online reading.

Of course what got Tofu going was how we see everyone’s books behind them when they do interviews from home. I won’t lie, I’ve definitely whipped out the ol’ magnifying glass and tried to spy on famous people’s books. It’s the first thing I do whenever I go to someone’s house — have a good stickybeak at their bookcases so I can judge them. You’d be amazed how much you can judge complete strangers just from the terrible books they own. I haven’t found anything really scandalous on a celebrity’s shelves yet, so yo, famous people, you need to up your damn game. My shelves include such glamorous titles as Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish, The Faggiest Vampire, and How to Become a Virgin (the third one’s a must-read, and you’ll need it after you’re done with the first two).

The bookcase that Tofu painted is the same one I sit in front of when I do an interview or a reading, so it may look somewhat recognizable. Why yes, I did write a novel, thank you for asking! Gosh, you’ve embarrassed me now, I wasn’t even going to talk about my book but you dragged it out of me. Quake City is available at a quality bookshop near you. Bold Strokes Books have also posted a new reading on YouTube from their Summer Bookathon series, so you can hear me read from chapter one and see if you like my stupid voices: