Home libraries

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Home libraries

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Dic 16, 2013, 9:42am


An interesting FT weekend article on home libraries ..

Dic 16, 2013, 4:13pm

Great article! e-books are good for traveling, other than that, I prefer a hardback any day. I heard about organizing your library by color just last week, and the decorator who was proposing that also was rash enough to suggest that you throw away the dust jacket to make the color sections more uniform. Heresy!! ;-)

Dic 17, 2013, 2:33am

These decorators who see books as backdrop give the impression of never having read a book in their lives .. Kind of people who buy old books by the yard for effect. if a book collection has not been built up volume by volume over time it's a give away of v little interest in books as a source of ideas .

Dic 17, 2013, 9:50am

There were articles on home decoration 50 or more years ago that treated books like backdrops or wallpaper. Some encouraged selecting books of a certain color, regardless of subject. Others urged the removal of dust jackets for a more uniform appearance.

When you see libraries in mansions like the Huntington Library and Museum near Pasadena, California, many of the books shown are part of long author sets with fine uniform bindings. Books are as likely to be grouped by size as anything else to create imposing walls of leather spines. It's a little like the family that has the Britannica Great Books series. Every so often the owner glances at the shelf and says "yep, they're still there."

All that said, when you have multiple bookcases in a home, it is likely that those that are seen by most visitors may be placed there either because of the aesthetic appearance or what statement the owner wants to convey with the books to a visitor.

I thought the photo gallery with the article was beautiful but hardly representative of the text. If one is going to talk about living with books, show real home libraries, especially the ones being discussed.

Ebooks and even readers have their place but I don't think that every article on book collecting or home libraries needs to present again the ebook vs. real book debate. Editors probably think differently which is why we see the articles the way they are. The point of having an article on home libraries, to my mind is to celebrate them, not trying to convince the built in audience that they should really divest themselves of physical books and rebuy their in-copyright texts in temporary electronic form that can be lost or taken away at the whim of a source (see George Orwell texts--somehow fitting--and the Kindle in the news a few years ago).


Dic 17, 2013, 10:37am

4: See Gatsby, Great: the shock of a library containing real books.

Dic 17, 2013, 12:05pm

#5 by ajsomerset>

Yes. Chapter 3. It is not a new phenomena.