Decorating by the Book. Or... Not.

I am not so good at packing. A normal person puts their belongings in a cardboard box, seals it up, and moves on to the next. I, on the other hand, put one item in a cardboard box, suddenly recall details about how I acquired said item, and spend several hours in pleasant reminiscence. Utterly hopeless.

For this move, I've decided to pack up books first. This is no small feat, as books (by mass) comprise a considerable percentage of our belongings. It's also rather difficult for me to resist reading as I go. I've stayed pretty strong on that front, but I couldn't help goofing off just a little bit...

A while back an Apartment Therapy blogger presented a trend in book display that piqued my interest. Don't worry- I'm not talking about color-coding!

Image from Crooked House

As you can probably imagine, the comments on this post were, well... "not enthusiastic." I was sort of ashamed to admit it, but I was tempted by the dark side- in this case, the non-spine side!

We have a ton of books. While we love every last word of each of them, we don't love every cover. It's difficult to integrate them into our decor- our bookshelves seem to dominate the room with color and weight.

These shelves represent about half of our library.

So, on a whim, I decided to flip em'.

The picture-perfect results.

As you can see, I went about halfway. I left all of my treasured Everyman's Library tomes right-side-out, but anything that was shabby, neon, or not frequently re-read got the flip. This allowed me to showcase my love of books without sacrificing my color scheme. The occasional visible volume served as a reference point for the alphabetical order. I noticed that the variance of thicknesses and the shades of cream and white made a beautiful backdrop- it was easy to add a few more artifacts without the shelves feeling cluttered. As a whole, everything looked softer, and blended so much better with the muted tones of my living room.

Would I execute this design more permanently? I'm not sure. I loved the visual effect, and honestly- I didn't find it to be terribly impractical. Then again, I know my book collection backwards and forwards. I don't need to see a cover to know a book!

My verdict? Don't judge a book by its cover. I'm talking to you, AT community. Creative book displays don't indicate that the owner "never reads," or "doesn't need them."


4 Have Spoken.:

paisley bourgeois said...

I saw this on AT and liked the idea. I like how you left some spines facing out - great tweak.

ShockTheBourgeois said...

Paisley Bourgeois: Thanks! So glad to hear I'm not the only one...

PS: Loving your blog name, and your blog!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I think I want bookcases on wheels, with glass doors in front and glass doors in back, then I can create a tableau of books with selected spines facing out and objects set in front. My Marx, Engels, and Alinsky lit would face one direction, and my Hayek, Jefferson, Sholzenitsyn would face the other side. I would simply spin my bookshelves in anticipation of the guests that I might entertain. Genius!

Anonymous said...

This was the normal way of shelving books in the seventeenth century and before.