If a library is a mirror of a personality, then a photograph of a shelf is a sort of selfie. In that spirit we bring you the shelfie: a series of self-portraits with books. Today we explore the library of Leonardo Di Carlo, master pastry chef, teacher, author and television personality. In more or less perpetual motion, his consulting business takes him to destinations around the world where his expertise is avidly sought by companies and chefs in the pastry sector. A highly personal didactic style has made him a much requested teacher, one who combines empathy and strong communication skills with a deep scientific understanding of his trade. A great success on the home front, his book Tradizione in Evoluzione has recently been translated into English. – How long have you been accumulating cook books? Since 1995. – Do you remember the first cookbook you bought? Decor 2000 by Eliseo Tonti, via telephone. – How many books make up your personal gastronomical library? I think I have around 350, but I’d prefer not to count them. – Do you collect books in more than one language? Yes: English, French, a few titles in Arabic and also in Greek and Japanese. – Where do you keep your books and how are they organized? They’re arranged in two bookcases in such a way that I can quickly find the ones I consult the most and consider more interesting. – Do you have a system for ferreting out the single tome quickly or does that tend to become a scavenger hunt? The more interesting titles are on the easy-to-reach shelves while for the others it can get to be a bit of a scavenger hunt. – Would you define yourself as a serial accumulator or do you, from time to time, eliminate books of less interest to you? I was once an accumulator, but now I’ve restricted myself to “archiving” the books that are not of immediate interest to me. Space is a precious commodity! – How do you imagine your library in 20 years from now? With at least five more titles by LDC!! – Are you interested in culinary APPs and/or e-books? They’re convenient, but being able to page though a book is, fortunately, quite another sensation. -Do you think the time will come when you will abandon paper for digital media? Never!!! – Are you possessive about your books? Very much so!! -Do you ever lend them? I did do that in the past, however, that often led to their being forgotten and not being returned. Now, I prefer to tell people they can consult my books at my place. – Do you ever make gifts of cook books? Yes, often. I think books make great gifts and I find they are much appreciated. – Do you write in your books? Certainly. I underline, add notes, make corrections… – Do you add notes to recipes you’ve tried, insert comments about the text or criticisms of the author? Yes, I confess to crossing out entire pages that I find obsolete or perceive as being cribbed from other authors. – Do cook books ever make it to your bedside table? Rarely. When I’m at home in the evening I prefer to read to my son and after that, Morpheus tends to possess me… – Where do you prefer to read ? In my office, in airports (given my frequent travel); what’s interesting to me is to assimilate an author’s message so as to subsequently metabolize it. – Is there a particular cookbook you would like to possess, but have never been able to find? My next book, with all due respect to other authors… I need to always look ahead and not rest on the recipes and attractive photos that I have already produced. Let’s talk about this again in a couple of years!!!! – In the case of a disaster in which you could only save five titles from your gastronomic library, what would you choose? Why? Obviously Tradizione in Evoluzione and then the ones that I find myself consulting at the moment. – Why? I conceived of Tradizione in Evoluzione for those who like me, at the outset of my career, were searching in vain for a didactic work capable of transmitting emotions as well as ideas.