Pet Peeves: Spines in


Ranting & raving is something I do periodically on this blog. Look for the “rants and raves” category for past rants and raves.

This has been a peeve for a couple of years. I think that’s how long it’s been since I started noticing  bookshelves in certain furniture catalogs with the books shelved spine in. There is uniformity and the furniture can stand out.  This makes sense when you want a consumer’s attention to be on the furniture, not to be distracted by what’s on it, but this trend in decorating is annoying otherwise:

  • Unless you know all your books and where they go by heart, or you are going to have a hell of a time finding a book.
  • There is no way a guest could come in and discover a book.  No way to have a conversation about a book on those shelves.
  • It implies that a books function is as a design element rather than to be, you know, actually read.

Images are from Apartment Therapy. I am pleased to see from the comments that I am not alone in my dislike of the spine in thing.

A trend in the same vein, (but at least you can label the books in this case) is wrapping books in covers to display them:


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11 thoughts on “Pet Peeves: Spines in

  1. Wow, I’ve actually never seen that done before now, but that is incredibly annoying. Like you said, how would anyone ever be able to find a book they were looking for? And it’s so bland without all the colors from the covers. I love being able to see what books people have on their shelves – that would just drive me crazy!

    Now I have a new pet peeve, too.

    • I think decorators find books to be problematic unless all you own are art and coffee table books. This is the stuff they come up with to solve the “problem”. Meh! *makes a face*.

  2. That IS annoying! I’ve never seen it done until you mentioned it in this post. It makes the bookshelves look bland and boring, you don’t even know what kind of books the person is reading when he/she arranges books like that. I love seeing the spines of my books because it feels like the bookshelf has more personality because of the books on it.

  3. I haven’t seen either trend personally (in photo or real life), but it’s ridiculous, I agree. Sometimes fashion and design forget about pragmatic issues. 😉

  4. I haven’t seen this before either, but yeah, do not like. Also not a fan of the book covers. I’ve seen covers to protect books while you read them, which I can understand. But covering them for display? That just doesn’t make sense.

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