Shelf Portrait (iii)

The Compact Disc has been largely unloved for at least the past fifteen years. There are scattered signs of a slight revival of interest in some quarters, but it still seems to fall some way short of the groundswell of affection that brought about vinyl’s second coming. I came to CDs quite late (not until 1997) and retained a stubborn affection for the medium while it it was pushed aside in the rush toward digital downloads and streaming. I’ve done a good deal of downloading myself, but still prefer the pleasures of physical media.

At one time I had at least half a dozen Gnedby-esque units to house DVDs and CDs. Nowadays I’m down to three, with those fully-devoted to CDs. I currently own somewhere in the region of four hundred and fifty shiny discs. A section of my central shelving unit is shown above, covering some of H, all of I & J and most of K in my more-or-less alphabetical arrangement. There’s at least one album here I’ve owned for twenty-two years, and at least one other I’ve had for less than a month.

This subset of my collection goes from 17th-century harpsichord music by way of big-band jazz to near-contemporary pop/soul tunes. it contains singing in Welsh, Swedish, Spanish and German (not to mention English). I sometimes congratulate myself on having diverse tastes, yet was already doing that back when they were rather narrower, so perhaps I ought to try instead to be more conscious of what’s not represented here. In any case, if experience is anything to go by, the contents of my shelves will continue to change over time.