Bookshelves are of course important in the great Notes on a Scandal (which turns 10 next year, can you believe that?) -- important enough that they get the prime placement alongside the title card, even! But these aren't the shelves I noticed re-watching the movie for the five-hundredth time yesterday...
"Is this the last night of her old life?"
"I wonder how long my messenger will take?"
... no, the shelves I noticed were the shelves that surround Cate Blanchett's last gasp of domestic bliss -- the shelves that smother it, you might even say. This sequence is immediately following the moment when Judi Dench lets the pedophilic cat out of the bag, as it were - Cate's house of cards (or tastefully arranged hardcovers, even) is about to collapse around her. But who will be left to pick up the pieces?
But of course.