Thursday, December 2, 2010

Books as décor

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss

You are what you read.

At least that’s what I hoped, when I was rocking Dr. Seuss as a five-year-old or Jane Austen as a 30-something lady.

But some folks don’t care what they read. They use books as props, buy or rent them by the foot from various companies, who will select them by color, style, or subject for you. I’ve even seen a company that sells you blocks of books that have been glued together, apparently to make it easier to move when dusting. And heck, they’ll always be lined up perfectly.

I just threw up a little in my mind.

My bookshelves offer a snapshot into my history, my interests, my (now vomit-covered) brain. They reflect my intellectual DNA (yes, even the Betty & Veronica collection) and it’s hard to imagine viewing my books only as squares and rectangles of color to accent my home. I’ve even seen books arranged spine IN, to create a swath of white along the shelves. I was confused. How are you supposed to figure out what book to read? Oh, right. They aren’t there to be read. They’re there for me to knock some Sense and Sensibility into your head.

(photo: littlegraypixel.blogspot.com)



12 comments:

Sue (Vintage Rescue) said...

Hilarious. And dead-on. I DO want a lot of books in my home. But books that I've READ.

Generic Jen B said...

I had no idea people were doing this. I'm losing hope by the day.

Heather said...

I had no idea this was even a THING! And yes, I'm revolted...

Yet Another Steve said...

Who on earth has enough free bookshelf space to rent or use "books by the foot"? Don't they have books, DVDs and CDs that are desperate for a place to sit? I have to constantly winnow to find places for things.

nicopedia said...

Word to this post!!! One of the most ANNOYING things I've ever seen...this crap has been all over the design blogs and I can't tell you how happy I am to see this get punched in the face. This beeswax is for people who don't actually USE their books...if your collection is color-coded or spine-in (?!) instead of grouped by theme, alphabetically, whatever - you. don't. read.

Zazzu said...

Sadly, the homekeeping blogs I read are all over this. I hope it's a fad, but fear it's a trend. People can't be bothered to read.

Those fake books go just fine with the granite countertops and stainless steel appliances that fill every McMansion.

Tara said...

Sadly, I know people who would probably appreciate receiving color-coded, glued-together books for their living room. These are probably the same people who buy those decorative rocks and put them in strategically placed glass jars in every bathroom.

ThoughtShot said...

I happen to know that there is a woman in Columbus, Georgia who "does books" for all the wealthy Southern ladies in the community.

When I first heard this, I said "You mean like bookkeeping?" "No, no, honey, as in she arranges your books and makes them look pretty on tables and shelves. All the doctors' wives hire her!"

I was more stunned to learn that for an extra fee you can borrow her books for a few months. Not to read--just to "pretty-up the room a while, Sugar."

bonnie said...

Once again you hit the nail on the head. Home decorating blogs have been driving me nuts with this, and of course, if one of them does it the rest have to jump on the band wagon. The worst book trend of 2010? Tearing the covers off antique books because the Restoration Hardware catalogue did it.

Leila Anasazi said...

I just about choked today when I saw in the latest Restoration Hardware catalog the "Antiqued Uncovered Book Bundles"--sets of four books that have had their covers ripped off completely. Only $29.00, plus shipping. Oh. My.

Zeph Keyes said...

When I saw the title, I figured more people were using coffee-table books as mini-tables or something, but this is beyond ridiculous!

Parabolic Muse said...

I saw this 'backwards on the shelf' thing on a design show lately and screamed bloody murder. And now I'm hearing it's a TREND? Oh, brother. And books stuck together for SHOW? This is the stupidest-ass move by troglodytes I've seen in... ever.

I'm trying to hide my vitriol. I hope it's working.

Bastards!!!