New look for books?

Hey. I’m in the process of moving – very slowly I might add – and all the attendant clearing out that involves. Although the place we’re moving to is bigger, it doesn’t have the advantage of a cellar to hide everything in, so I’m trying to do a massive edit of stuff. One of the things I’m trying to edit is…. those books. I have probably said before but I don’t really like books displayed in my house. I don’t need to prove I’m well read, y’all. And while books do furnish a room, the inevitable Rough Guides, Made In Chelsea autobiographies and thrillers people have lent you because you were too polite to say no kind of spoil the effect. I have shelves in a cupboard where all my books live, except for some charmingly themed ‘collections’ that are fit for display.

Gali Cnaani

In the new house however there is no such space, and so book storage will be a thing. In two of the bedrooms there is a huge deep shelf formed by the stepping in of the chimney breast. Here the books will live, stacked vertically, spines showing. Or so I thought. The Huffington Post just did a story about this artist, Gali Cnaani, who was inspired to stack her books in various ways that are more like weaving, highlighting the subtle colour differences of the paper within rather than the bold brights of the spines. I have to say I love the top image and am thinking of replicating it.

Gali Cnaani

Yes, prepare to have a very annoying wait if I promise to lend you a book cos I won’t be able to find a damn thing. But be honest – when could you? In yet a previous house I organised the books in graduated rainbows of colour. Looked amazing – couldn’t find a thing. In the current cupboard – no system whatsoever and no, I can’t find a thing. At least this system won’t involve that rage of knowing something is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES and you still can’t find it. I’m fully expecting to develop a kind of sixth sense eventually, intuiting which book it is I’m looking for by the mottled colour of the pages alone. Or just operating a kind of lucky dip system. Thoughts?

Gali Cnaani

6 Responses to “New look for books?”

  1. Fiona Duke
    January 27, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    laughing to myself reading that as I was thinking ‘yep love the patterns’ they are fab but how the hell do you find a book? but then you’re right, you can never find one anyway and at least you are prepared for that from the off and we all know if we lower our expectations in life, everything seems so much brighter !!! so go for it…..hate lending books anyway as no bugger every gives them back!!! so at least this way you can confidently say ‘no’ sorry can’t lend to you as absolutely no idea where it is and then everyone knows where they stand 🙂

  2. Emma HORAN
    January 27, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    I’ve started reading spark joy after hearing about it on women’s hour. Not got to the book section yet but your post has left me wondering what Marie Kondo would suggest. The last image above definitely sparks joy!

  3. Vivienne
    January 27, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

    Buy a Kindle and give your books to charity? Than find a wallpaper that looks like this. 😉

  4. Pat
    January 27, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

    I’m at the stage of thinning out my books, either giving them to the coffee stall in a nearby station which functions as an informal library, or to a local Church which has a library and people pay £1 to borrow or buy a book and this works as an effective money-raiser.

    Re the patterns above, I love the second one down. It brings to mind a dry stone wall, but I’m with Fiona’s first thought, the difficulty of finding any book! Sometimes it’s the spines which evoke a book you’ve read… it would drive me crazy not being able those. I’m afraid my diminishing library is in alphabetical order under authors’ surnames which does make finding one in a hurry very easy.

  5. Mike
    January 28, 2016 at 8:54 am #

    You think you can’t find books now, just wait until you put them on the shelf with the paper edges showing!

    More seriously (despite the ‘look’ of the books showing the edges as a work of art being quite attractive) most publishers go to a lot of effort to make sure books look good on the shelf, but what matters most is that they are arranged in some kind of logical order.

    I don’t mean as a library would, but any system you want as long as it is logical – as you did with the colours of spines etc.

    As for getting rid of books! What an outrageous suggestion! I’m not entirely serious here, but not that far away from it.

    It will be interesting to see what you actually do on the new house, perhaps it is better to show off that you are well read. Houses without books or any sign of reading material are soulless places.

    • myfriendshouse
      January 28, 2016 at 9:48 am #

      Don’t worry Mike, there are plenty of piles of books around the place, just not on display. I’m a hopeless case of Sundoku, as covered here on the blog some time ago – the Japanese word for letting unread books pile up beside the bed!

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