Isn't this a purty, purty place? Lovely colours, that sweet turquoise, delicate embroidery on the sofa fabric, and books....
um, about the books?
WARNING: RANT FOLLOWS!
Didya notice, fellow readers, that the books are SPINE IN??? This image is from the March 2008 Country Home magazine, a magazine I've been buying for years, a magazine I normally respect and enjoy. But holy-moly! It's the second magazine in the last few months (yup, I'll name names, the other one was Elle Decor and I meant to blog that picture too, an apartment in Houston if I remember) to proudly show a collection of books displayed this way.
I hardly know where to start.
Um, why do they have books at all?
Why are their books merely decorative?
How the fangdoodle do they find a book to read, or are these books not about reading, but about having books to show they're nice reading folks, only if you're nice reading folks wouldn't you want to prioritise FINDING the nice books you want to read, not storing them so YOU CAN'T FIND ANYTHING EASILY unless you spent your entire childhood playing memory games like Pelmonism (I think that's what it's called, I spent my childhood, or substantial parts of it, READING).
Bookcase by the Stupids.
I'll reproduce the description below, because multiple folks have been responsible for not pointing out that this particular Emperor is not only nekkid, but daft as well.
Oh Country Home, you make me weep. And you said it yourself: the backward facing books (backward. Do I need to labour that point? Nope. The readers who read this blog aren't daft) turn what could have been a distracting jumble (both words hugely offensive. Distracting from what? Why is distracting bad? Jumble? Cornucopia, that's what a bookshelf is, a collection of treasures. If you buy a 'jumble' of books, then that's your taste. What, you should just buy books with blue spines or beige ones, so they're decor-books-by-the-yard, irrespective of the WORDS AND STUFF INSIDE THEM?) into a neutral element (neutral. Um, neutered, maybe? simple demonstration of owner cringe? into a laughingstock, maybe....).
From memory, in the Houston apartment in Elle Decor (designed by a son for his mother, but who made the book-organising choice I don't recollect), the decision to put the books spine-in was partly influenced by the fact that they were all dirt-common bestsellery stuff - implication, in this posh noice apartment, they were ashamed of their reading tastes so preferred the calm cream of the page-ends to, omigosh, revealing the titles/authors and their common tastes in reading. Well heck, then put your bookcases in a private room in your apartment, not the living room. Surely any booklover who comes into your parlour will pull out a book or two and instantly know that you're a reader with your own tastes. If they don't share yours, tough luck. They can read what they like.
(I'm steaming, can you tell?????)
Now if only every library in the world adopted this fabulous idea for neatness and design style, wouldn't that be grand? Bit tricky to bung on the spine labels, of course, and it might drive the patrons NUTS...
...and I wonder why there are NO BOOKSHOPS with this display idea?
I are boggled like whoa and damn.
(Just in case you wondered, the fourteen bookshelves scattered through this house all subscribe to the wonderfully old fashioned and incredibly messy idea of having the spines on display, the spines being part of the browsing wonder of the books. Retro, but, um, NOT STUPID?!)
Country Home, I have loved so many of the rooms and ideas and houses you've included over the many years I've been reading. But omigosh.... couldn't someone, at some stage in the editorial process that resulted in this page, have spoken up about this?