Saturday, August 22, 2009

Things to consider when designing bookcases

- Do the books look happy on the shelf?

- Does the shelf appear to understand that it is holding the fruits of difficult work which requires deep contemplation and self-knowledge, and is sometimes completed against considerable odds, in great pain?

- Does the bookcase seem aware that books can reach backwards and forwards in time, some having been written thousands of years ago on clay tablets, or hand-copied in the middle ages by devout monks with secret desires, while some tell stories of distant futures; and that books also have considerable reach in space, across cities, deserts, oceans, galaxies, underground and in the sky, and to the molten core of the Earth?

- Is the bookcase capable of playfulness despite the gravity of some literature? Comedy is nothing to be frowned at.

- Does the bookcase not flinch at heavy lifting?

- Is it a bookcase that can keep secrets, hide journals and love letters, or is it an open and democratic one wishing to distribute the benefits of reading to everyone?

- Does the bookcase know what kind of bookcase it is?

- When empty, does the bookcase look lonely and bereft, happy and expectant, or self-satisfied and not in need of any content?

- Is the bookcase's main function to make us feel or think something about ourselves, about bookcases, about literature, or some or all of the above?

- Who can own this bookcase? Is it likely that person owns any books?

- Does the bookcase invite further expansion of the library, and new bookcases?

- And finally, is it a nice color?

I've decided to re-post some of my favorite things from my old blog. This is the first one. The picture is of the Bibliochaise.


sb said...

Wonderful post -- what a great use of links!

Sussu said...

Thanks! :)

Jenn said...

You might like this Web Urbanist photo essay on creative book cases -

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