I had to share this fascinating article. I found it in The Guardian, on Sunday.
Many authors whose writing has given pleasure to others have taken the time to create and describe their ideal bookshelf.
This is Stephenie Meyer's Ideal Bookshelf:
"I was the reader. That was my identity in my family: I was that girl who was always in a corner reading; I read my whole life away. I skipped children's books. My dad would read to us at night, and I first began to read on my own by reading ahead in those books. I was seven when I read Little Women for the first time, and it became nearly as real to me as the rest of my life.
I always identified with Jo; I was the tomboy. My big sister was Meg, the pretty one, the sweet one. We didn't have a Beth, but my younger sister was definitely Amy, the frivolous one who liked nice things. I was like Jo in every way except for her passion for writing; I was perfectly content just to read. It wasn't until much later, after I had published three books, that I went back to Little Women and realised that I had become even more like Jo. Now I was a writer, too.
Of all the heroines I was invested in throughout my childhood, Jane Eyre was the one I most identified with, despite my having a happy and supportive family. I liked heroines who weren't perfectly beautiful. I liked that everyone wasn't swept away and captivated by her. Jane Eyre has this huge stubborn streak, which I have, too. I have my ideals, and I really don't diverge from them – it's probably off-putting to a lot of people. Jane is like that, too; she sticks to things even when she's uncomfortable and unhappy and making other people feel the same way. Of course, she's pushed to deeper extremes than I've ever been forced to go to, but I always felt we would see eye to eye. When I think about the books that were formative to me as a writer, I can see how much I was influenced by Anne of Green Gables. When the series starts, Anne is a young girl, and we follow her as she becomes a teenager, an adult, a mother, and finally almost a grandmother. It's so rare that we get to grow up with a character. When I was first imagining my novels, I skipped from Twilight to Breaking Dawn because I was eager to see Bella as an adult.
My editor encouraged me to slow down and show more of her in high school. I don't enjoy a character as much when he or she stays the same age. I want to see what comes next. These books contain threads of what I like to write about: the way people interact, how we relate to one another when life is both beautiful and horrible. But these books are greater than anything I could ever aspire to create. I'll never love what I've done as much as I love what these authors have done. However, for me, just getting to create is its own reward."
My bookshelf would look like this:
WHICH BOOKS WOULD MAKE IT ONTO YOUR IDEAL BOOKSHELF?