Archive for August 24th, 2010

Home furnishings: It’s come to this

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

As ebook fever takes the land, Americans become more and more ingenuous in ways to use all those musty old books that have been cluttering their space-hogging bookshelves for years.

A few weeks ago, we discussed the man who made a room of books.  Here’s the next step: bringing books as objets (we will not say d’art) into your own home.

The New York Times recently discussed all the alternative uses people are finding for their books — planters for bonzai, for example.  Among the more aesthetically pleasing is Jim Rosenau‘s effort, at left.  Berkeley’s Rosenau gives a new twist to the word “bookcase.”

Then there’s the bookshelf at right, also by Rosenau — more of a high concept thing.

This from the New York Times piece:

“Certainly it’s relevant that most of these examples involve older volumes: whether it’s because of changing production standards or changing tastes, most contemporary mass-market books simply aren’t as appealing, as physical objects, as their ‘vintage’ predecessors. As pure decoration, a shelf of 19th-century tomes just looks more interesting than a typical shelf of, say, recent nonfiction at Barnes & Noble.”

Let alone a Kindle.

Things get wackier from here.  Got a pile of your own remaindered books? Here’s a solution, at left:

“These legs are quite easy to make and very stable if done correctly – but they possess a bit of wobble as well.

“That wobble came in handy when a car crashed through the art section of the bookstore I work at, however. The shelves fell when the car came through and the table merely leaned out of the way as the shelves hit it.”

For earthquake protection, you might try this solution at right.

In any case, recent reports say the ebook is taking over — don’t believe it, as we discussed here, the numbers may have been jiggled a bit.

But one city may have already lost the battle to save the book as an object to peruse, rather than a building material — or perhaps the Kansas City Library simply found an acceptable compromise.  According to the “Community Bookshelf” website:

It runs along the south wall of the Central Library’s parking garage on 10th Street between Wyandotte Street and Baltimore Avenue. The book spines, which measure approximately 25 feet by 9 feet, are made of signboard mylar. The shelf showcases 22 titles reflecting a wide variety of reading interests as suggested by Kansas City readers and then selected by The Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees.”