Would you put Margaret Atwood thorn against thorn with Martin Amis?
Martin was inspired by Australian-American author Geraldine Brooks, who wrote that she liked to “organize my shelves like I would seat guests at a dinner party.”
“Anne Tyler and Anthony Trollope seem engaged in diligent scrutiny of manners. So I imagine them, placed side by side, comparing notes on the customs of their respective times, ”Brooks said.
Brooks didn’t like to think of Martin Amis with Jane Austen.
In contrast, actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s children’s playroom features books grouped by color. It was popular in the interior decoration show. The House Edit as a way to make a room feel lighter and less cluttered.
A prolific reader, Pymble’s Cindy Larson classified her fiction “loosely by subject” (Indian writers, African authors, chick lit) and “then by author within that and non-fiction by general subject area.” Never by color. “
Patton said that among serious book lovers, color-coding books was a signal, “forget it, they’re just not interested in books.”
However, organizing shelves today hardly compares to the 18th century challenges of organizing by leather type, lettering or gold glitter, he writes in the library online magazine.
Early collectors bought unbound books and then put them in a binder for bespoke covers in red, green, or blue Moroccan leathers.
They were often embossed with gold seals, coats of arms, and the spine of the book decorated with real gold leaf.
A well-designed spine was an opportunity for booksellers to promote publications; for binders to demonstrate their skills; and for collectors to create the best personal “bookshelf,” wrote Ms. Patton.
When books were covered in the same leather, the owners of large Downton Abbey-style libraries faced the same challenge as the aspiring modern bookshelf: how do you find books?
Books of the same genre, like philosophy, were placed in the same press (named after a set of shelves). In a well-known 17th century library, the bust of a relevant famous person, such as the philosopher Sophocles, was placed on top. A great clue to the content below.
Stuck at home locked up and on Zoom, a backdrop of books often provides a peek into the privacy of colleagues and public officials. Mrs. Patton uses a backdrop from her own library: displaying clusters of old leather books, her Penguin collection, and atlases, a special interest to her.
Some sites offer virtual backgrounds with awesome bookshelves to make you look smart. To get the best ratings from the popular Twitter handle, @RoomRater, which classifies interviews in the background, avoids color coding and rainbow ordering.
Despite some elitism around the color-coded bookshelves, Ms Patton said the attractive book covers, such as the gold lettering on the spine of Hilary Mantel The mirror and the light – attracted readers.
Fleetwood said he often bought books based on the covers. “If a book is really nice, I will buy it even if I already have it.”
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and ideas of the day. sign up here.