I think it is fair to say that those of us who love books also probably love the shelves they go on.
Our shelves here are fairly standard, some match, some don't, and inbetween we have an accumulation of oddities picked up by Bookhound in sale rooms, markets and probably off the back of skips. In fact now that the nest is empty we have spent the last week or more changing the use of various rooms, shifting furniture and engineering a major re-shuffle of books around the house.
Bookhound has been blessed with a much roomier study because, over a pot ot tea we debated... did we really need a huge family-sized sitting room with a lovely woodburner but barely used for weeks on end?? No was the swift answer and though it all took us days and days to empty and shift it has left us with a perfect little sitting room ...now called the Cosy, which houses a sofa and all my wool and fabrics and art and craft books and tapestries on the walls and we love it already.
We also looked at our sixteen-year old TV, an average sized- screen nowadays but state-of-the-art when we bought it, and the rest of it the size of a block of flats and decided that had to go too, and we would manage with a much smaller flat-screen thing, and once we'd made that decision everything else fell into place...isn't it amazing how entire rooms can revolve around the god in the corner.
At one point the house really did look like Tutankhamun's tomb as we stacked things up and shuffled piano and sofas and tables and desks and stuffed cased fish and hundreds of books from A to B to C to B to D to A to E to B to F to C... do you get the idea, and even then we made a mistake with the piano moved to G, when really we should have opted for H, and moving it again was no laughing matter because that involved shifting around almost an entire wall of books until it eventually looked like this by midnight...
And yes, even though it was midnight of course I alpabeticized them.
Bookshelf by Alex Johnson is inspiring ...well it inspires covetousness if I'm honest, and you wonder how on earth a book with 305 illustrations of bookshelves could be of the least interest to many... but you and I know different don't we.
There is some anxiety that e books may finally chase the bookshelf out of existence and Alex Johnson suggests that this is why bookshelf design needs to be so innovative, perhaps too we will all be housing fewer books in the future making the book case something of a trophy cabinet. I'm in the 'shelves as important as the books' camp so in my lifetime I can't see me whittling this houseful down into a trophy cabinet's worth any time soon.
Alex Johnson blogs here and be warned it is all a bit addictive. I have a few favourites and in particular, after a week of shifting shelves and re-drilling walls to re-hang them I am quite taken with the whole idea of these bookshelves which just sort of lean...
Libri designed by Michael Bihain.
and surprisingly, in the right surroundings, nor would I be averse to these, Cell designed by Peter Cohen...
and I think the Levitate book staircase is now legendary amongst the book-loving fraternity..
But perhaps what we all really need is one of these...
Bless Ljubodrag Andric for coming to our rescue.
Do you all love your shelves this much too??