So much depends on where you, the reader, are – physically and metaphorically – when you decide to pick up a book and give it a chance. Which explains why there's no such thing as one ideal bookshelf; there is no ur-bookshelf. It would be a mistake to try to read this book with that goal in mind. In the end, the one element that links all the ideal bookshelves in these pages is the never-ending search. We're all still hunting, still hoping to discover one more book that we'll love and treasure for the rest of our lives.
It's fun (and a tad voyeuristic) to see the crossovers of books we love with people we admire. Below are a few more samples. (Here's the full list of contributors.)
Mount also does commissions and themed bookshelves, such as this "Ideal Kids' Bookshelf":