Friday, 4 August 2017

The 100-year stair at Paju Book City

The 100-year stair forms the main façade of the Rainbow Publishing House building. A bookshelf rises over four stories, with one shelf for each of the years of the twentieth century. The main stair wraps around the bookshelf and tall glazing gives views over all of Paju Book City. As Rainbow publishes small print run biographies of the people who lived through Korea’s rebuilding, the books will be placed on the shelves corresponding to the year in which each person was born. 
Photos: kyungsub shinDesign: DaeWha Kang
This project will feature in my new book, Book Towns, published in spring 2018.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Flybraries: easyJet's new book club

easyJet has launched a new initiative ‘Flybraries’ (flying libraries) following new research that suggests that the number of children reading for pleasure is at an all-time low. Seven thousand copies of children’s classics including Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, The Wizard Of Oz, and The Railway Children will be made available on easyJet’s fleet. Kids can start reading them on the flight and then when they land download free samples of other classics to try from Children will leave the books on board for the next passenger to enjoy.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Bookshelf shelfie craze

Bookshelves are making a comeback in living rooms as a "shelfie" interior design craze is sweeping the UK... Experts said consumers' growing tendency to invest in physical books was partly down to a trend for bookshelves, which they believe make them look more interesting to dinner party guests and on social media.
The Telegraph
Image: The British Library

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Book chair

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Painted steel with solid italian (35mm) chestnut base
FINISH Painted steel, wood (italian chestnut)
DIMENSIONS base 35 cm x 35 cm, height 70 cm
COLORS Steel: white glossy, grey glossy. Base: solid italian chestnut with wax finish

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

My bookshelf says who I am – and a Kindle cannot do that

The biggest question for every bibliophile when they move in with a loved one is: do we merge collections? Mrs Dalloway believed that love and religion would destroy the privacy of the soul; she’d agree with me that merging collections threatens the same. But perhaps those taking shelfies are right and books are soul music, made for sharing on gloriously open shelves.
Patrick Barkham in The Guardian

Monday, 17 July 2017

LINK Regalsystem bookshelf

Das LINK Regalsystem besticht durch seine Einfachheit und Funktionalität. Auf das Wesentliche reduziert erlauben die frei arrangierbaren Vollholz-Regalbretter und Hängevorrichtungen aus Stahl flexible und individuelle Konstruktionen.

Jörg Final 29.02.2016 (Assemble korr.)_HD from Jörg Höltje on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Nautilus bookshelf

The body of this piece is loosely derived from the image of a boat on water and is designed to remind the viewer that books (and education in general) can be a form of transportation.
Plywood, reclaimed wood, wood, fasteners & hardware, plexiglass, paint, ink, dye, lacquer, wax with two ink on paper drawings framed in wood by the artist.
64 x 120 x 24 inches
Katie Hudnall for The Public Collection a public art and literacy project consisting of artist-designed book share stations, developed to increase access to books and art.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Read Manchester BookBench exhibition

This summer, 58 book-shaped benches are on display across Manchester for you to enjoy (above, Elmer the Elephant by St Luke's CE Primary School, Longsight). The BookBenches have been designed by local children and community groups, who were inspired by books and reading. To celebrate the exhibition, there are lots of events taking place over the summer at the venues where the BookBenches are on display. You can also follow a trail between the BookBenches and children can complete fun activities along the way.  In partnership with Wild in Art, the BookBench project is part of the Read Manchester campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust. The campaign promotes reading across the city to boost literacy levels.
National Literacy Trust

Wednesday, 5 July 2017


Drawing his inspiration from the relationship between architectural space and the human body, the Japanese architect styled a compact, essential bookcase from which you can extract a chair. A veritable object within the object, which underscores the relationship between people and books: after choosing a book, the reader can take the chair and sit down to read it. Bookchair is available in one colour only – white – in order to underline the abstractness of the product and the strong ties between the content and the container, between the container and the user.
Sou Fujimoto for Alias

Monday, 26 June 2017

Impossible bookshelf

I decided to make a bookshelf in which books fanned out like the voussoirs (the wedge-shaped stones) that make up a stone arch...There were a couple of problems that had to be overcome. Books are not wedge-shaped, so they will not fan out neatly into an arch like voussoirs do without some help. And I needed to find a way to stop all the books in the middle of the shelf from sliding down to the sides if someone took a book out from one of the ends. I realised I could solve both problems but fixing angled bookends at regular intervals along the shelf. However, rather than spoil the impression that the arch was entirely made from books, I disguised the bookends to look like dummy books.
Jonathan Emmett

Friday, 16 June 2017

Starfield Library

Shinsegae Property has officially opened the large-scale library in Starfield Coex Mall, featuring some 50,000 books placed on towering two-story bookshelves. The 2,800 square meter-sized library is located at the center of the underground shopping mall. Shoppers can freely browse, read and search for books of their choice on kiosks stationed at various points inside the open library area.
Korea Herald

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Unearthed book installation

As part of the Shubbak Festival of Arab Culture, the Great Court will be filled by Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj with hundreds of old hardback book covers placed side by side to cover 60 square meters of floor. Some covers are painted with blocks of colour, many others have a black line across them, echoing the Syrian tradition of placing black ribbons over the photographs of the recently deceased. These covers evoke memories of lost knowledge and lives. Watch the artist create the installation over a matter of hours.
Sunday 2 July, 10am–5.30pm. Free.
British Museum 

Monday, 12 June 2017

Subway library train

For the next six weeks, any member of the public in New York can head to or download the New York Public Library's reader app, SimplyE, to have unlimited access to a wide selection of NYPL-provided e-books. The initiative also aims to promote the free Wi-Fi service at each of the subway's underground stations, which rolled out late last year. When users log onto the service, a link to the Subway Library website will appear, encouraging you to read a book instead of your Facebook feed.

Library Train is designed to look like the iconic Rose Reading Room with the seats and walls on each car made to resemble bookshelves (and a fauxGilded Age ceiling to boot). The train is scheduled to run on the E and F lines between Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.

TimeOut  and New York Public Library

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Parthenon of Books

The Parthenon of Books is the main showpiece at this year’s Documenta, the cult contemporary art show held once every five years in the university town of Kassel. The work by Argentine artist Marta Minujin is a plea against all forms of censorship. Minujin, 74, a pop art icon in South America, has described it as “the most political” of her works. In fact, the Parthenon of Books stands at the same site where, in 1933, Nazis set in flames books by Jewish or Marxist writers.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Whale Vilma bookase

A bookcase for children that can be used as a place to take a seat.
Villo Design

Monday, 5 June 2017

British Heart Foundation 'bookcase': Wear it, beat it

Rachel McCaulery, who had a heart infection last year, is painted red by make-up artist Carolyn Roper to blend into the Royal Society of Medicine Library for the launch of the British Heart Foundation's 'Wear it, beat it' campaign.
i News

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Chocolate library

There’s a mixture of favourite classics and beautiful vintage books, along with whole bays dedicated to books shortlisted for prizes this year...They may have chocolate inside, but on the outside they have blurbs and barcodes, just like real books.
More details and how to make your own at Playing by the book

Friday, 19 May 2017

Bookselling in the 21st century: When your store is a photo op

The more that the book is venerated as a physical item, something that, unlike a screen, people want to hold and even smell, the more the bookstore turns into a temple. The physical space where books are kept, and where booksellers friendly and grumpy alike can provide guidance in the world of books, becomes more important.
More by Katie Orphan at Literary Hub

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Double J bookcase and lamp

A bookcase and floor lamp. The weight of the books helps the lamp to bend in a manner so accentuated to support the LED panel placed at the end.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

BooKaos bookshelves

Modular and flexible bookshelf composed of vertical rails and horizontal elements that can be attanged to form shelves, containers, bookholders.
Mauro del Santo

Monday, 15 May 2017

How real books have trumped ebooks

Books have always had a fetishistic quality to them, with their dusty secretiveness. Now, though, it feels like we’re living through a special moment in the history of book design and beautiful books are everywhere. Take George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo with its marmoreal endpapers or Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads, with its cover inspired by mosaic from the Imam mosque at Isfahan; Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent, its sumptuous jacket inspired by the tiles of William Morris; 4th Estate’s gorgeous repackaging of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s backlist, based on vibrant African headwrap patterns; the glimmering Penguin Hardcover Classics reissue of the works of F Scott Fitzgerald, or its clothbound editions of Austen, Brontë and Dickens. It’s hard to know whether to read these books or caress them.
Read more at The Guardian

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile's Compendium

If you liked my books 'Bookshelf' (inspired by this site) and 'Improbable Libraries' (ditto), then I think you will enjoy my next one too. A Book of Book Lists will be published by The British Library in October and is now available for pre-order (if you're in the US then this is the link for information) and will also be available from your local independent bookseller. I know it's a little early for Christmas shopping but...

Monday, 8 May 2017

Friday, 5 May 2017

Reading snug shed

Rebecca Jones’ reading snug is the winning shed, as chosen by design guru, Kevin McCloud, at the Grand Designs Live, Grand Shed Project in London. The Grand Shed Project challenged five of the UK’s top interior and garden designers to transform our 10ft x 8ft Tradesman Storage Sheds into stylish garden retreats to showcase how the shed can become an extension of the home.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Bricks bookcase

A free standing metal bookcase and room divider.
Material: 8 mm bar steel
Dimensions version 1: h 165 x w 100 x d 36 cm
Dimensions version 2: h 198 x w 45 x d 36 cm
Gerard de Hoop

Friday, 28 April 2017

Thursday, 27 April 2017

'Screen fatigue' sees UK ebook sales plunge 17% as readers return to print

Britons are abandoning the ebook at an alarming rate with sales of consumer titles down almost a fifth last year, as “screen fatigue” helped fuel a five-year high in printed book sales. Sales of consumer ebooks plunged 17% to £204m last year, the lowest level since 2011 – the year the ebook craze took off as Jeff Bezos’ market-dominating Amazon Kindle took the UK by storm. It is the second year running that sales of consumer ebooks – the biggest segment of the £538m ebook market, which fell 3% last year – have slumped as commuters, holidaymakers and leisure readers shelve digital editions in favour of good old fashioned print novels.
The Guardian (and also here)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

How to make your bookshelves beautiful

Whether you have few, or many books in your possession, the real trick is to arrange them in a way that is visually appealing as their contents. A tour of the most beautiful and beguiling bookcases to inspire your library-in-the-making.
More at Vogue

Monday, 24 April 2017

Oddly bookshelf

This project started with the idea that household items such as furniture would be able to add energy to many people if they were designed to function in a new structure, beyond the static and tedious vertical and horizontal structure. At first, the position of the ball is variable according to the gradient. But when you put the book on the Oddly, the center of gravity is shifted to the right. And at this time, the ball rolls down to hold the book as a book stopper.
Materials: Brass & Black Walnut Wood
Youngmin Kang

ODDLY from Youngmin Kang on Vimeo.


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Franz Kafka Society Center's rotating bookcase

All new partitioning in the building, even when carving out spaces for restrooms and a kitchenette, is created exclusively by book shelves. In one half of the building these bookshelves appear in white (offices) and the other half is filled with black bookshelves (entry hall). Coming from the central corridor one only sees black bookshelves and when coming from the offices one encounters white bookshelves. A 360-degree rotating door between the corridor and the director’s offices, black on one side and white on the other, reverses white to black.
Marcela Steinbachová (Skupina) and Steven Holl Architects 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Borges's Library of Babel in Sketchup

I was thinking about the Borges story The Library of Babel and I got to wondering whether anyone had done any decent renderings of it.
Full story at JWZ  via Boing Boing

Monday, 10 April 2017

Historic Book Odour Wheel: The smell of books

The historic book odour wheel is a new tool that combines the chemical and sensory aspects of the odour experience and can be considered a preliminary piece in an archival method for heritage smells. It has the potential to be used as a diagnostic tool by conservators, informing on the condition of the object through its olfactory profile. In terms of visitor experience and interpretation, the olfactory experience in museums, both as a communication strategy and as an art form, could contribute to improved learning, to a more personal connection to the exhibits and an increased overall enjoyment.
More at Heritage Science Journal,  by Cecilia Bembibre and Matija Strlič
Pictured above, odour wheel of historic book containing general aroma categories, sensory descriptors and chemical information on the smells as sampled (colours are arbitrary)
“Chocolate”, “cocoa’” or “chocolatey” were the most frequent words used to describe the smell of a copy of French writer Bernard Gasset’s 1928 novel Les Chardons du Baragan, followed by “coffee”, “old”, “wood” and “burnt”.
More at The Guardian