Booklicious: A New Design Twist: Spines In

August 02, 2010


As a lover of all things book (and a can't-be-stopped acquirer), I understand how books can become objects of design - after all, we are proverbially warned not to judge them by their covers, so their visual appeal was noted a while ago. But as a reader - and I am a reader, first and foremost - I feel rather strongly that the purpose and accessibility of a book should always come first and not be overruled by an aesthetic. Books organized by color? Sure - it's a method that can actually help visual people find specific books. But turning books spine in? If I walked into a home in which the books greeted me pages out, I'd think a couple of things - that either the books got about as much use as a dummy display or that the books were too provocative/embarrassing to publicize. But hey, maybe I'm just an old stick-in-the-mud. I've gathered a few specimens of the trend - let me know where you stand.

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Sarah A. said... @ August 2, 2010 at 2:20 PM

What a horrible design trend! Clearly for people who like to "have" books but don't care for reading/sharing them. Gross.

I generally group my books by height which generally works out for genre as well. But my current library is pretty small still.

Sarah said... @ August 2, 2010 at 3:21 PM

I don't like it. I saw some of this around town this weekend at places that don't sell books, but decorate with them. I thought it was strange. I don't like it.

Dani said... @ August 2, 2010 at 3:55 PM

How do you find a book to look up something/lend out/re-read? I would absolutely go crazy. My own library is not very organized at the moment (it's a project for the future) but I still generally know where everything is and rely on being able to see the titles/spines to find things. This makes me a little crazy. Also, I love going into other people's homes and looking at their books! you can learn so much about a person from their book collection. I don't like this trend and hope it doesn't catch on.

Miren said... @ August 3, 2010 at 6:47 PM

At "El Escorial", Spain, they have a libreary which books are all spines-in. Apparently (according to what they told me when I was there) it keeps humidity away so the books are better preserved.
Obviously, it's not practical but I find it kind of mysterious =)
Greetings from Chile!
PD: forgive my mistakes, English is not my first language ;)

Evangeline said... @ August 3, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Chentxu, that is fascinating! Did they explain how they find individual books? It does make sense - I can see that having the spines face in does protect them from the atmosphere and sunlight, but it hadn't occurred to me before this. Thanks for sharing - this is really interesting.

(And your English is better than many non-native speakers' usage - you have no reason to apologize!)

Michele said... @ August 8, 2010 at 6:38 AM

Great topic. This has been a big deal in interior design for some time. It is the continuation of books as accessories. Designers love this. If you are a book lover and reader it cannot possibly work if you have a large collection. It is meant to work to get rid of the visual clutter, make the lines smooth. But don't you think they almost look like ghosts of themselves? Like old photographs where the people seem to be slowly evaporating before your eyes? A little eerie for me. Give me my colored spines and riot of fonts.....

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