Books as Decor?
Books are an integral part of my life. They settle like dust on every available surface. I cannot imagine not being surrounded by these little, fiber souls.
Our books live with us. They embrace us at every corner, every turn. They populate the shelves, of course, but they are also on tables, in chairs, propped up in different angles to create "visual interest" on surfaces that are severely lacking in soulless props found in those posh decorating outlets.
Were I an archaeologist, there would be far more interesting pieces of art around my house. For now, I use books and my husband collects paintings from Goodwill.
Books, however, aren't just there for show. Sure, they take up space and create that lived-in feel, but we actually READ them. Humans surround themselves with the things that support them, that nourish them and bring them joy. My books help create the safe haven my home represents.
I found an interesting article today that looks at books as strictly objects of decor. Star Tribune has an article titled "The Dubious Art of 'Decorating; with Books". At first I wondered what could be so dubious about using one's books as home filler. The author, Laurie Hertzel, however, writes that there are people who buy books ONLY for decorating. In other words, there are actually people out there who urge others to buy books because they are of uniform size and/or are the same color. This creates, for some it seems, a sense of conformity and visual cohesiveness in the home.
This is going to sound odd but, I feel sorry for any book that is bought solely for it's aesthetic appearance. Don't get me wrong: I LOVE a good, solid, coffee-table book. I have several. But they aren't there just to add interest or gather dust. They are read, loved, browsed through, dog-eared (don't judge).
I think of my books as doing double duty. Sure, they look nice on the shelves and I try to group similar books when I use them on the side tables but they also provide conversation. Friends come over and ask all the time, "Ooooh! What's THAT one about?" I LOVE introducing people to books and stories and authors. Using my books as objets d'art, I'm able to keep my mind active, keep my friends informed, and keep my coffee table from looking forlorn.
What about you? Do you proudly display your books throughout the house or do you feel they should be designated to a library or book room? There is no right or wrong answer. Just curious.
Read widely, my Friends.