If you can't give the is-ness of a thing give the not-ness of it! The main thing is to hook up, get the wheels turning, sound off. When your brakes jam, try going in reverse. If often works.
Harriet, to hide her excitement, had turned to the bookshelves in the corner between the windows and the fireplace. The books, untidily arranged, some standing, some piled on their sides, with newspapers and magazines wedged among them, confused her. There were no sets and a great many were paper-backed. She saw friends - Mr. Dickens was present — and nodding acquaintances - Laurence Sterne, for instance, and Theodore Dreiser — but they were among strangers: Henry Miller, Norman Douglas, Saki, Ronald Firbank, strangers all.