After having worked in bookstores for 10+ years I’ve developed a mild obsession with books, not to mention some overstuffed shelves!! Books are like little, portable worlds; each with a different point of view or focus and always willing and ready when needed. As a designer, books will always be your best friend, they can provide not only inspiration but make the best accessories money can buy. When styling and finishing out a space, they can say a lot about the person or the home, and its intention. Bookshelves on the other hand can be tricky. Too many shelves and not enough books = sad and underwhelming; too many books and not enough shelving = chaos. Finding that right balance of book to shelf is hard!! Then there is the organization, do you go nerdy and alphabetize everything, divide by subject? Perhaps you go purely aesthetic and arrange by color? Or maybe minimalist and turn all the books backwards, exposing just the pages? I think it really depends on the space and personal preference I guess. I love collecting random objects and for me bookshelves are one of the best ways to showcase collections and those one of a kind finds. When adding shelving into a space I think it’s always best to over estimate the amount you will need. This not only allows you to grow your collection without cramming everything in, but gives you space to display fun, little vignettes that can easily be revamped when you get bored!
Boredom with a static display obviously wasn’t the case for the two who made the video below, take a look at this is amazing and super inspiring animation. I guess it shows with a little creativity (and a lot of time) you can create beauty using just about anything. Also to note, they list every book used in the credits, now that’s patience and attention to detail!!
For the ultimate in all things book + shelf, check out the Bookshelf Porn Blog. This is a cool photo collection dedicated to book storage and art!! Here is a highlight from that blog and an ingenious use of space…
The next set of images is a space that I have pined for ever since I laid eyes one it. They come from a Design Sponge Sneak Peek into the home of owners of the Brooklyn Home Co. These people know a good bookshelf when they see one and aren’t afraid to use them, oh and they have a rolling library ladder! I’m so getting one of these one day.
On a much grander scale, is the Seattle Central Library by architect Rem Koolhaas and OMA. Though I’ve never visited in person, I’ve drooled over these images and found them to be very inspirational while working on my thesis. The conception and design of this library is truly innovative and breathtaking. All images are from The Seattle Times.
Lastly, I couldn’t do a post on books without mentioning my favorite bookstore and former employer of almost 8 years, Brookline Booksmith. It is here where I learned to perfect the art of sliding on library ladders down long aisles and precariously balancing stacks of books between my chin and hands while deftly maneuvering between crowded stacks and browsing customers. This place is a fixture in the independent bookstore world and rightfully so. They have been thriving since 1961 and are everything you could want in a bookstore and more. On top of an amazing selection they also have an all-star author reading series. If you are ever in Brookline, Ma (Coolidge Corner) stop in and buy lots of stuff. Oh and the used book section archives all the fun things they find amongst the dusty pages and put them up on the site for all to see… UBC Find of The Week Archive here are a few gems: