A Defense of Books as Decor

Does this photo of perfectly curated green books set you off? This article is for you.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Over the years, I’ve been surprised (and also strangely delighted) by the passion with which our Apartment Therapy community approaches certain design ideas. Chief among them: organizing books by color. Few other topics evoke such vehement responses. The argument in favor is fairly self-evident: it looks pretty. (And maybe helps you find your favorite books, if your brain works a certain way.) The argument against delves more into the philosophy of things, and the idea of what a book is and ought to be. I’ve read your comments, and I know you feel strongly about this. A book, the thinking goes, is a repository of information. It is not a decorative object. To think of a book as something that ornaments your space, for its colorful spine or for any other qualities, reduces its importance as a channel of information and imagination. But… why can’t it be both?

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