Shelfie by Peter Walters, (newly minted) PhD!

Before the Shelfie, we just want to note that Pete just passed his Viva two weeks ago, so congratulations Pete!!



This is my bookshelf streamlined for viva preparation, although some of these are general reference books. Part of the plan was to have the shelf exactly full for a change for the purposes of enhanced aesthetics and perceived professionalism. The horizontal stack which spoils the effect is comprised of books normally locked in the pedestal, owing to high value and/or limited availability, and brought out specifically for this photo opportunity. The one lurking in the shadows at the top is Strategies of Discourse Comprehension (van Dijk/Kintsch, one edition only, 1983) which, when I needed it, was both unavailable from our library services (I suspect some villain had moved the only copy to some spurious location for private accessibility) and like the internet equivalent of unobtanium (sometimes popping up at around £150 in the States, plus delivery etc.). The definition of a nanosecond is how long it took me to hit ‘Buy’ when I accidentally saw one come up on Amazon France for twenty-seven quid, after having to do without it for more than a year. I don’t actually use it for that much, but there are a couple of things which are essential to my research. This one is a presentation copy from the authors to a friend/colleague, which doesn’t look it’s been read except for a small, incomprehensible note in the back which I suspect has something to do with the vanity of the recipient and/or criticism of the reasoning on p. 316. Interestingly I noticed the other day that our library copy has returned (been replaced?), though now resides in the IC rather than Western Bank. It looks innocent, as if incapable of giving me any trouble at all.

The card is from a well-wisher. The full text reads ‘ALL BEER HOLDS THE KEY TO GREAT WISDOM AND ENLIGHTENMENT AND A LITTLE DELUSION’, in reducing font, like a sight test for one who is gradually growing more alcoholically compromised intellectually and, indeed, blind from excess consumption. Clearly this is from someone who knows me well (!).

Best buy on the shelf? So much knowledge, so much inherent value, but I especially congratulate myself on A G S Ensor’s Filmed Books and Plays, which I bought speculatively from withdrawn library stock as a departing undergraduate of BCHE (now Bath Spa University) with unprecedented prescience that I would be referring to it on a PhD programme twenty years later. Total cost: 10p.

Have I read all the books on the shelf? Er, no, but the point is that I could read them, now that I have had a proper edukayshun at The University of Sheffield.



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