Living with books

The boyfriend and I spent a few days in Gothenburg last week, on the West coast of Sweden. As well as the wonderful food and fantastically friendly people, some of the best attractions are the city’s art galleries and museums. As well as visiting the Röhsska design museum we also swung by the excellent Konstmuseumpurported to be one of the best art galleries in Sweden.  The building was fabulous and we wiled away a good few hours strolling around looking at some fantastic artwork from each and every period. (Including a huge  dancer on a rotating pole that the bf wasn’t too keen on.) Amongst various other books on art, design and architecture in the shop on the way out we stumbled across Living with books by Dominique Dupuich and Roland Beaufre and the photography, which basically takes a peek at personal libraries and the way the people choose to display their books. It got me thinking about books as aesthetic objects. I have admitted that I like to own the books I read because I think they are wonderful things to be treasured and displayed with pride, but why display them?  Is it because I like to put out the image of being a well-read, educated individual or because I simply like to drool over them and dream about what I’m going to read next and keep them out on display because they simply look so nice and colourful?  I’d like to think that the latter is more true in my case.
We live in a modest one bedroom flat where we squeeze in as many bookcases as we possibly can here and there, there is barely any room to think about aesthetics. However, our books are by far my favourite objects in any room. One day, when we have a house, I plan to have a cosy room that we can use as a library, stacking books even above the doorways, like the picture above, using them as lampstands and in all other manner of imaginative ways.
How do you like to display your books?

2 thoughts on “Living with books

  1. I think books to offer comfort. I love to be surrounded by books. There is something about the way they look and smell and draw me in. I'll sometimes just sit and scan the bookshelves, looking at titles. We have multiple bookcases in multiple rooms in our small home and we still have books that don't have a home yet. Our one living room wall has three bookcases and I hope to put another one wall of bookcases in the dining room, rather than have our books spread throughout the house. Thanks for the great post – I love looking at how others keep and display their books. Books make me happy and I think they can be used as part of good home decor if that's your style.(And then there are the homes where books are pile everywhere, and I like that, too!)

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  2. Hi LinIf you like piles and piles of books everywhere then you would love our little flat! We even have a crate full in the hallway acting as a bookshelf :-)It's so nice to hear from people who adore being surrounded by books as objects in the same way I do. Like you I am desperate to cram them into every corner of my home…It's also good to hear that I'm not the only one who finds just scanning the shelves such a therapeutic process…

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