OMG, the *books*. Piles of nonfiction, stacks of mysteries and romances, dusty autobiographies and Norton Anthologies (Norton Anthologies? really?!)…. I’ve carried books with me since I was in college — in the last century.
But as I found out during my home office reorg, in my gypsy lifestyle, books were important. The people behind them, the writers and the characters, were extended family. The Nortons represented happy college days in the library. Even though I didn’t have a house, they were my physical roots.
During my first coaching with Julie Morgenstern, author of SHED Your Stuff Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck, I marked the books as being the things to which I had the highest emotional attachment. In this organizing process, you first get rid of the things that are 100% obsolete, to which you have no attachment, building momentum to the obsolete items you’re most attached to. (As a quick reminder: SHED = Separate the Treasures, Heave the Trash, Embrace Your Identity and Drive Yourself Forward.)
Dude! I can find my cookbooks!
It’s the perfect time of year to grab a throw and a good book. Check out what our editors have to say about their latest favorite interior design, architecture and craft book reads. Here’s what we’ve been reading this month.
It’s Banned Books Week, and libraries and bookstores across the US are holding events that raise awareness about censorship and celebrate the freedom to read. (Fun fact: According to the American Library Association, books that I’m a fan of — Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series — were among the most challenged titles of 2010.) In honor of the celebration, here are some giant book stairs that I fell in love with on Pinterest.
Turns out that this is a busy parking garage in Greenville, SC, and the stairs were sponsored by The Greenville Literacy Association to promote their annual book sale. (The tactic must have worked, because apparently they raised $127,000 in 8 hours!)
I especially like the inclusion of The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird, but I wish more of my faves, like The Great Gatsby, were represented. What books would you showcase on a set of stairs?
If you’ve been following the blog, you know we’re all big bibliophiles. (Being editors, it kinda comes with the territory.) So, naturally, we swoon over majestic bookshelves or clever uses for old hardbacks. At the risk of repeating ourselves, how cool is this stacked book desk we spotted on Design*Sponge the other day?
The post, which features stylish shots of a Brooklyn couple’s loft, gave this image the caption: “Daniel’s desk is an object of wonder that he created using old books (and a clever optical illusion).” We were already hooked by the look, but the added idea of an optical illusion mystery intrigued us. If the desktop is not actually balancing on the towers of tomes, how is it constructed? Are the books just placed carefully in front of the actual desk legs? Could the legs have thin shelves build into them, like the “invisible bookshelf” towers I have in my apartment do? (When filled to capacity, the shelves disappear between the books, so it looks like I have a massive game of Jenga on my hands if I want to read.) How do YOU think it works?
“What We’re Reading” brings you our monthly pick of new design-related books, along with comments from our HGTV.com editors. For May, here’s a look into the world of French cottage decor, the grand apartment homes of 5th & Park Avenues and the retro-fantasy stylings of the Steampunk movement.
Don’t get rid of the books you’re not going to read again. Turn them into art.
This is just one of the inspiring bookshelves at the salaciously named Bookshelf Porn. Head on over to their site for a dazzling array of books. It’s a bibliophile’s dream.
I am an unabashed bibliophile and would love to own every one of these books.
Penguin Classics has released hardcover editions of 20 great books featuring beautifully designed covers by Coralie Bickford-Smith. The publisher even suggests on their site that you should buy them, “just for their covers.” I’d venture to say that any book and design lover’s library would be incomplete without them.
This month’s feature in the newly launched online magazine Covet Garden is a tour of an art historian’s loft that elegantly blends his two passions: plants and books.
Laddered library shelves are one feature I’d want to have in my dream home. What’s yours?
Every Friday, we post a question. You have until 12 Noon ET on Monday to comment on this post with a valid email address and you’re entered for that week’s giveaway. It’s that simple!
This week we partnered with one of our favorite independent publishers, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. They’re the oldest and largest publishing house owned wholly by its employees and they strive to “publish books not for a single season, but for the years.” Their design books are impeccably researched and beautifully bound — the one I reviewed on Michael Taylor remains a favorite in my library. Our giveaway is their book, Arts and Crafts Rugs for Craftsman Interiors.
Here’s a blurb from the book jacket:
Gustav Stickley is revered not only as a furniture maker but also as a leading proponent for the American Arts and Crafts movement.
He designed simple, well-made household furnishings and forward-looking interiors, which he promoted through his magazine, The Craftsman (1901–1916). The rugs used in his interiors are arguably the most under-studied of all the decorative arts of the Arts and Crafts movement. Arts and Crafts Rugs for Craftsman Interiors considers both the rugs that The Craftsman recommended and designs by artists who influenced the work and philosophy of Stickley.
This is a worthy addition to any design library, especially for those interested in the influence of Stickley, William Morris and Gavin Morton on the field of interior design.
And here’s our question: What’s your favorite design style? Are you an Arts and Crafts fan? Do you drool over mid-century modern? Does updated traditional best reflect your personality? Or do you blend them all, in eclectic glory?
Answer before 12 Noon ET on Monday. Click here for the Official Rules
The last time I posted a blog entry I imagined the perfect cozy reading nook – very easy to do. The hard part is sorting through the books you’ve got and storing them. Personally, I find the bargain section at the bookstore irresistible and I accumulate huge piles like snowflakes in winter. So I’ve developed a system. Every six months or so, I go through my shelves and ask three key questions. 1. Did I love this book? 2. Will I read it again? 3. If I have yet to read this book, will I ever? If I answer “no” to any of these, the book goes to charity.
HGTV.com has a few great tips about decorating shelves and bookcases at http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/home-decorating-guide-shelf-decorating/index.html.
I also discovered creative, stylish ways to store your favorite tomes. Check this out:
shelves in rafters – apartmentherapy.com
More Cool Shelves »