Saturday, January 8, 2011


I just finished reading this article from the NYT:
"Selling a Book by It's Cover"

Some quotes from the article:

“Architects build so many shelves into new construction — it adds warmth and their aesthetic stamp. Thatcher is a necessity at this point in these large homes,” she said, ticking off five projects on which she and Mr. Wine have collaborated. “I couldn’t pull off filling these miles of bookshelves without him.” For his work, Mr. Wine charges from $80 to $350 a foot...
The Maryland-based Wonder Book, then, with its 54,000-square-foot warehouse, represents the mass market. Chuck Roberts, its amiable owner, said he gets requests from developers, set designers, decorators needing 1,000 books for a holiday deadline, even wedding planners.
“We’ve had a great year — it’s broken all records,” Mr. Roberts said, noting that his book-by-the-foot business now represents almost 20 percent of his total sales. Though “earth tones” are his bestsellers, he said, last week a national builder asked for light blue and gray books to stage multiple homes. A TV news program wanted linen-wrapped books chopped in half to fit the shallow, faux-shelves of a political interview program. And on Tuesday, a Chicago restaurant called for 100 linear feet of distressed clothbound books. “Must be there by Monday!” Mr. Roberts said."
"LAST year, Restoration Hardware sold a decorative product called a book bundle. It was a fascinating modern relic, even a fetish item — a clutch of books with rough edges and the covers ripped off, stitched with twine. The company’s Web site described it rather winningly: “Liberated from their covers, stitched and bound together with jute twine, the foxed and faded pages of old books become objets d’art.”
The bundles, “rich with texture and intrigue,” were sold for $29, and evoked much ridicule from bloggers around the country. They have since been discontinued.
As of this week, however, you can find a similar product, created by an abashed Mr. Wine for Pottery Barn, though it is a bit less atmospheric (somewhat less rich with intrigue, as the copywriters might say) and priced $10 higher.
“I’m not so proud of these, but they do make the point that you can do a lot with books,” said Mr. Wine"
The now defunct "book bundle" by Restoration Hardware\

"Ms. Mack added that she was working with a decorator to “refresh” her own Manhattan apartment, and was hoping to decorate lavishly with books. She wondered if she might stack her books and turn them into legs for a coffee table.
“Then,” she said, “I can put my Kindle on top.”"
Although after looking at the slide show I have to admit that this thing is sort of beautiful, I don't think I can approve of it. 
It reminds me of this:
     "...She couldn't find him from the top of the steps, and he wasn't on the veranda. On a chance we tried an important-looking door, and walked into a high Gothic library, panelled with carved English oak, and probably transported complete from some ruin overseas.
     A stout, middl-aged man with enormous owl-eyed spectacles was sitting somewhat drunk on the edge of a great table, staring with unsteady concentration at the shelves of books. As we entered he wheeled excitedly around and examined Jordan from head to foot.
     'What do you think' he demanded impetuously.
     'About what?'
     He waved his hand toward the book-shelves.
     'About that. As a matter of fact you needn't bother to ascertain. I ascertained. They're real.'
     'The books?'
     He nodded.
     'Absolutely real -- have pages and everything. I thought they're be a nice durable cardboard. Matter of fact, they're absolutely real. Pages and --Here! Lemme show you.'
     Taking our skepticism for granted, he rushed to the bookcases and returned with Volume One of the 'Stoddard Lectures.'
     'See!' he cried triumphantly. 'It's a bona fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella's a regular Belasco. It's a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop too -- didn't cut the pages. But what do you want? What do you expect?'
     He snatched the book from me and replaced it hastily on its shelf muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse."

We all know how ol' Gatsby ended up.

I should probably re-read "The Great Gastsby". It has been a while. Did you know that Baz Luhrman is doing a movie remake of it? That will be something.

I remember talking with someone who worked at Deseret Book, and she referred to the Joseph Smith series that is being released as "furniture". One of the books in the series was larger because it included true-to-life copies of manuscripts. they changed it because customers thought it looked funny. By making the book smaller, it is, in a sense, less accurate. But since it is only "furniture" (books put on the shelf to look nice, and not necessarily be read), it doesn't matter.

I guess we are allowed to do whatever we want with books...

You can highlight in them and write notes in the margins

You can lose them and let them end up in a place like this

You can burn them

Or you hook them up with this apparatus that turns the pages for you!

I think it is just good to remember that books are meant to be read. That is probably how they want to be used. 

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