I am in South Africa at the moment with a super busy week of teaching on my plate. I had no plans to write a post, but noticed this little tidbit in the Guardian, and couldn’t resist. Apparently, there is a new fad going around (by that I mean in places I don’t normally navigate like Instagram and Pinterest) which involves shelving your books with the spines facing backwards, in order to maintain a neutral colour scheme. For your enlightenment, a photo:
You can’t make this stuff up!
The article, with the fantastic title, “Shelf effacement: how not to organise your bookshelves”, notes:
“Back in October, design blog Apartment Therapy shared one of these backwards bookshelves on its Instagram account, with advice for emulating the look. (“Books don’t match your decor? Don’t fret … Flip them for a perfectly coordinated look.”) US morning show Today called it “a beautiful thing to try”, and, naturally, it’s all over Pinterest.”
Perhaps I am the last person on earth to have seen this trend (alas, I have failed at Trends R Us), but surely this is a scam perpetrated by a blogger on a slow news day? This is so ridiculous I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
News alert: There is no single prettier thing to have in a room than a bookshelf filled with a riot of books. (Dare I say it? Even a bookcase full of YARN cannot match up to it. That’s how much I believe this!) Who needs order and bland beige-ness when one can have disorder and colour and BOOKS!
The whole joy of a bookshelf is in reading the titles (hopefully followed by reading the books). What do they say about the owner? How many fantastic conversations can you start by examining the shelves? How can you make a rainy day lovely? Will you discover a kindred spirit? How can we make your heart go pitter-pat and your fingers start to tingle just by the proximity to the lovely written word? And, far more importantly, what little treasures are there just waiting for you to read, or at the very least, drool over (figuratively, of course)?
And now, rant over, we return you to your regularly scheduled entertainment. Tune in again soon for some knitting news (guaranteed to not match your colour scheme).
How ridiculous! I love a busy bookshelf!
But how would I find the book I want? Obviously this method is for people who don’t read…
Obviously. But if you don’t read, why bother? Confused….
agree completely love seeing all the different sizes and colors of the books’ spines, along with author’s name and title. And, you know from what I have had over the years that is so true. I only sort by author, nothing else.
I had a house guest, who was jet lagged and couldn’t sleep. I had put her in Leah’s room. Overnight, she got up and arranged all the books (on all three 6foot tall bookcases) by height. When I asked her about it, she said that when all the books on each shelf are the same height, it is easier to dust them! At least she had a scheme, and the spines were visible! (PS – it is much easier to dust them.)
Indeed that must be a bit of wicked naughtiness The Guardian published in order to see if anyone’s actually awake out there. I do like Beth’s comment, though … 😀
I so loathe social networking that trends pass me by entirely (I don’t consider blogging to be part of that ‘orrilble movement); and reading your post tells me how right I am to feel that way !
The old saying “different strokes for different folks” comes to mind.
Reminds me of the only time my sister ever sought a decorator’s help. The poor decorator, entering yet another room, kept wailing “books again!”
Hee hee. I would certainly drive a decorator mad!
This is crazy! Be happy you live in England, here in the US we get way crazier things in the news EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!!
This is so true. We get a lot of crazy news here, too. (Much of it from over there!) Thankfully, we can push the “off” button when it gets too much and pull out the knitting.
OMG, this is crazy! It’s a trend I am happy to skip. Bookshelves are wonderful mysterious cozy places, and should remain so.
It is amazingly silly, isn’t it? I loved the quote from the Today show: that really cracked me up!
Walking past your book shelf and catching sight of a loved book – or a thought provoking book – or a pattern book – all that joy in one place and people want to hide it!!!!!! NEVER!!!!
I think looking at the backs of all those books would give me a nervous breakdown. Clearly, I am not cut out to be a trend setter.
This idiotic trend has been floating around for a while now! Makes me grind my teeth with frustration whenever I see it! Other, related, equally idiotic trends: cover all your books with brown paper (yeah, and lose the joy of recognising beloved titles, plus who has that much time??!!) and pile up books to make ‘legs’ of a diy coffee table (imagine the severe frustration of wanting to read one of those books!). I can only imagine these asinine decorating trends are created by people who don’t read!
I hadn’t heard the brown paper one! You truly can’t make this stuff up. I did see a lot of Christmas trees made from books this year, but consoled myself with the fact that it was a temporary installation and would probably force you to dust the books!
A sad example of style over substance. I’m with you and my fellow commentators – of COURSE one should be able to see the spines.
Agreed, Liz. I’ll take the substance any day!
Thank you for sharing the absurdity! Somehow this seems very appropriate given the current political situation.
It’s hard for anything to stand out as silly these days, isn’t it? When everything is crazy, what’s a little bit more craziness? Sometimes, you just need to laugh (or else we’d be crying all day).
This post is so relatable to my thoughts exactly. And you’re right, the books on your self does say a lot about you as a person. In my opinion you bookshelf in itself tells a sorry. And is GREAT conversation starters. Loved your post! ❤