There are certain items in your home that are like good friends: they always cheer you up. This month, we feel the love for the bookshelf on page 112 of the September issue.
It’s an undeniable fact that a bookshelf improves a room. The addition of a row of books, no matter how small, instantly adds warmth, colour and personality. Novelist Anthony Powell knew this when he entitled the tenth book in his ‘Dance to the Music of Time’ series Books do Furnish a Room. Any house without at least one bookshelf feels empty and unloved, and its owner risks the danger of looking like someone with a sketchy, suspicious identity. Nosing around other homes lined with a bookshelf or two, on the other hand, can reveal much, and is as irresistible as poking around a vinyl collection once was.
But which book lover are you?
Organises their books according to category, chronologically, or alphabetically by author’s names, like a bookshop.
Arranges their books in colour bands: all books with colour co-ordinated spines are grouped together. Not especially handy when actually looking for a book however.
The would-be librarian
Houses books in bookcases that line walls or even entire rooms, which can then be called ‘the library’ or ‘the study’ with justification.
The curl-up-with-a-good-book loafer
Sits and reads on a wet afternoon in a designated armchair by a window next to a shelf of books.
The interior designer
Intersperses objects, plants and photographs in front of books. Shelves can then be treated as ‘decorative installation’ with displays changing according to whim.
Turn to page 112 of September's The Simple Things for more, including our pick of bookshelves to buy, make or hack.