Friday, 20 July 2018

Behind the Desk of a Used-Book Buyer

"Books come to me in cardboard boxes, paper bags, reusable totes, children’s organizational cubes, rattan baskets, and plastic bins. These are all a welcome sight; the books will tend to be recently purchased and in reasonable condition. What I dread are the decrepit cardboard boxes or trash bags. Books schlepped in a rippling thirty-gallon plastic bag are not books in reasonable condition; they are books which have become recyclables or a mold hazard. And yet occasionally there are treasures."
More at Popula

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Bookmark bookcase

The books we are currently reading can easily be misplaced or the page lost. This slimline bookcase can solve these problems. The bookcase stores a minimum of four books, holding them open at the current page. This makes a feature of the book you are currently reading and also acts as a bookmark.
Rachel Proctor

Friday, 13 July 2018

Home library design ideas

Kit Kemp explains how shelves of carefully chosen books can transform a room.
More at Country Life

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Magic Library: A Jacob's Ladder for Book Lovers

This classic creative amusement uses optical illusion to surprise, inspire, and focus energy. Crafted from wood and hand-painted to look like a stack of leather-bound volumes, it will keep your imagination in perpetual motion.
Chronicle Books

Monday, 9 July 2018

Shelf Life

My latest book Shelf Life will be published by The British Library in early October. Here's the info:
Books; reading, collecting and the physical housing of them has brought the book-lover joy and stress for centuries. Fascinated writers have tried to capture the particular relationships we form with our library, and the desperate troubles we will undergo to preserve it. With Alex Johnson as your guide, immerse yourself in this eclectic anthology and hear from an iconic Prime Minister musing over the best way to store your books and an illustrious US President explaining the best works to read outdoors. Enjoy serious speculations on the psychological implications of reading from a 19th century philosopher, and less serious ones concerning the predicament of dispensing with unwanted volumes or the danger of letting children (the enemies of books) near your collection. The many facets of book-mania are pondered and celebrated with both sincerity and irreverence in this lively selection of essays, poems, lectures and commentaries ranging from the 16th to the 20th century.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Köllen bookshelf

The bookshelf is inspired by the Nordic style, in its name, Köllen, which is Swedish for Alps, and the materials and shapes used. The former is essentially natural and uses light tones with shades of white. The shapes represent the mountains, in a nod to the piece's originary region. Created from the repetition of adaptable pieces in matter of size and shape of the objects on it. Its autonomous structure allows an independent working of each of the strips, so that they can be placed in different positions according to the user’s need.
Köllen Design

Köllen Design | Köllen Bookshelf from Köllen Design on Vimeo.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Beach book bars

Tourists read books at a book bar on the beach in Haigang District, Qinhuangdao city, North China's Hebei province. Qinhuangdao set up 6 book bars in several beaches. People can read books and have leisure in these bars for free.
China Daily

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Book beach shade

Location and photographer unknown (let me know if it's you so we can credit you). One suggestion is that it could be this -

Monday, 25 June 2018

concretelibraries on Instagram

Library architecture photography | Toronto 🇨🇦 All 📷 by @timtom | Thomas Guignard🇨🇭 📬 ~ say hi! 👋🏻

Monday, 18 June 2018

Parisian open-air booksellers apply for UNESCO status

"After baguettes and bistros, second-hand booksellers along the banks of the Seine River in Paris are pushing to be recognised as one of the world's cultural treasures on UNESCO's list of "intangible heritage". Calling themselves "the biggest open-air bookshop in the world", the "bouquinistes" and their dark green stalls have been a fixture of the French capital since the 17th century."
More at AFP
Photo: Pierre Bourru

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Ben Fogle's colour-coded bookshelves

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Owning books vs ebooks: New study

"Participants described being more emotionally attached to physical books, and said they use physical books to establish a sense of self and belonging. Participants across age groups frequently spoke about their nostalgia for certain childhood books. They also talked about experiencing physical books through multiple senses — describing, for example, the sound, smell and tactile experience of opening a new book, and the ability to highlight or write notes on paper pages. Participants also said they use their physical book collections to express their identity to others who might be perusing their shelves. E-books did not have these associations."
University of Arizona

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Zex bookshelves

Each of these elements can be in five different color solutions. Shelves made of veneered boards and sheet metal.
Leo D'uk

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Wave bookshelf

A customizable bookshelf where each separate layer can be moved independently. The clever system allows the user to create any shape for the bookshelf. Simply slide it in the desired position and lock the full shape in place by just one single screw for the whole bookcase. Made of solid pine wood and available in multiple heights. Layers can be added or removed to get the ideal height.
Dimensions: Height: 130 cm (51”) Wide: 60 cm (24”) Deep: 38 cm (15”)
Studio Lorier 

Friday, 1 June 2018

Penguin Huddle bookshelf

SCP were invited by Penguin to create a new home for books. The result is an original design by Jasper Morrison, manufactured by SCP, named the Penguin Huddle. It is an adjustable book clamp that provides a new way to store books and can be placed anywhere around the home or workplace.
The Penguin Huddle is made from two sections of folded aluminium joined together with a sliding mechanism. It can hold between 15 and 25 books and accommodates paperbacks of all sizes.
This new design explores how we experience books, connecting the way we read with the way we live.
W 24-39   D 13   H 15 cm

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Corda (Rope) bookshelf

The Rope is a project developed in the context of architectural spaces. I relied on the simplicity of the supporting structures in architecture to develop a minimal bookcase that requires very little space and few materials. It is supported by only two structure points and therefore it is suspended.
Pedro Carvalho

Friday, 18 May 2018

The Second Shelf: One woman's fight to keep great female writers on shelves

Book collectors help determine which writers are remembered – and which are forgotten. Author and book dealer AN Devers explains how seeing female authors being undervalued inspired her to start The Second Shelf project.
More at The Guardian

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Earthquake-proof bookcase

Because all the shelves of the bookshelf are inclined, people can easily climb without a ladder, and books of high position can be easily taken out and put in. In addition, books don't collapse when an earthquake occurs.
Shinsuke Fujii Architects
Photo: Tsukui Teruaki

Friday, 4 May 2018

Book Towns in the Daily Mail

Have you ever thought of going on a literary holiday, travelling to dedicated book towns? Well, you will now. Journalist and author Alex Johnson has written the world’s first directory of paradises of the printed world. Featuring 45 locations in 30 countries from France to Finland, New York to Norway, all illustrated with delightful photographs, there isn’t a place in here you won’t want to visit. A must-have for explorers and bookworms alike.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Comb bookcase and bench

The modular design allows you to use the single element as a bench for indoor and outdoor use, or a combination of various elements, changing it into a large bookcase. The design is characterized by a series of decorative and structural grooves which lighten the weight of each module.
Photo: Enrico Amici

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Monday, 30 April 2018

Friday, 27 April 2018

Book Towns in The Guardian

Book towns started with Hay-on-Wye; now there are communities around the world that celebrate the written word. In this extract from a new book, the author picks 10 to leaf through – and visit.
Read the whole thing at The Guardian.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Beauty and the Beast Lego Library

Beauty and the Beast Lego Library
The library from the 1991 Disney Classic Beauty and the Beast, imagined in Lego. Click the image for full slideshow.
By Sarah von Innerebner

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Book Towns interview in Forbes

There's an interview by Lois Alter Mark with me today in Forbes talking about the Book Town book. The whole thing is here but here's a snippet:
For readers, there’s nothing better than discovering a bookstore on vacation. Now imagine discovering an entire book town. Yes, book towns are a thing. They are, like they sound, towns filled with bookstores and book lovers and book-related activities. There are more of these than you think there are, and Alex Johnson celebrates them in Book Towns: Forty Five Paradises of the Printed Word. The book is a bibliophile’s dream. Johnson takes readers on an illustrated tour of the world’s most dedicated havens of literature, revealing their history, celebrating authors and booksellers and offering travel tips. In honor of World Book Day, I talked to Johnson about book towns and his own book. You may want to start booking a trip.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Remembering My Parents’ Bookshelf

"All at once, I’m looking at my parents’ bookcase, circa 1965. I can picture the spine of that book through the glass door, encased in a green paper cover. Sadly, I can’t picture the books on either side of it. Pretty much all of them dated from the same era, when hard-drinking men like John Huston were making movies. I wish I’d taken a picture of those book shelves, but who would think of doing that?  They spoke to me of my parents’ lives, their education, and the era which formed them."
The Millions

Monday, 16 April 2018

Sneglen Snail bookshelf

Sneglen "The Snail" is a spare time project, that evolved from the basic goal of creating a shelf, - to an exploration of shape, abstract recognition, structural feasibility and usability.
Morten Grønning Nielsen

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Book Towns book published today in the UK

Book towns are a reader’s ultimate getaway destination. From Hay-on-Wye in Wales to Urueña in Spain, Fjaerland in Norway to Jimbochu in Japan, around 40 semi-official book towns now exist around the world. But until now, there has been no complete directory of their location, history and charm. Book Towns takes readers on a richly illustrated tour of these captivating, dedicated havens of literature, outlining the origins and development of each community, and offering practical travel advice. Explore bustling book markets in Kolkata and Buenos Aires, and pop-up shops in old churches, ferry waiting rooms and stables. A stylish and original guide, it is the perfect gift for both book lovers and travel enthusiasts.
Already published in the USA, published today in the UK.

Pier bookcase

Pier, getting its proportions from Mondrian’s Neoplasticism, gets its name as well from his famous composition “Pier and Ocean”. The sense of fineness and lightness is Pier’s trademark.
105cm x 28cm x 194cm
Designer: Başak Bakkaloğlu
Abra Design Studio

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Library chair for children

The project started with the thought, “Can a piece of furniture become a library?” In this project, the chair transforms into a bookcase and a library. The moment the user sits on the chair as they store the book that they were currently reading or sit on the pile of books, the surrounding is no longer a bedroom or a living room but transforms into a library. 
Yang Si Young

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Object-A chair bookcase

"I am looking in every nook and cranny of the room to find hidden spaces. Under the table, beneath the bed, above the wardrobe ... All the space in the room is completely full of odds and ends. There's no other choice. And I start building my objet like the city's tallest building seen from the window in the room."
White birch, UV gloss paint
540x700x2370 (mm)
SY Design

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Book Towns book published today

Book towns are a reader’s ultimate getaway destination. From Hay-on-Wye in Wales to Urueña in Spain, Fjaerland in Norway to Jimbochu in Japan, around 40 semi-official book towns now exist around the world. But until now, there has been no complete directory of their location, history and charm. Book Towns takes readers on a richly illustrated tour of these captivating, dedicated havens of literature, outlining the origins and development of each community, and offering practical travel advice. Explore bustling book markets in Kolkata and Buenos Aires, and pop-up shops in old churches, ferry waiting rooms and stables. A stylish and original guide, it is the perfect gift for both book lovers and travel enthusiasts.
Published today in the USA, published on April 5 in the UK.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Objet élevé

An installation in three parts that functions as a connection between two floors while also offering space to work, collect and store.
Dimensions: 98 x 155 x 290 cm
Materials: Steel, oak
Studio Mieke Meijer

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Book Towns Are Made for Book Lovers

What makes a book town?
It can’t be too big—not a city, but a genuine town, usually in a rural setting. It has to have bookshops—not one or two, but a real concentration, where a bibliophile might spend hours, even days, browsing. Usually a book town begins with a couple of secondhand bookstores and later grows to offer new books, too.

But mostly, they have a lot of books for sale.

Hobart, New York, is a perfect example of how having one bookstore in a small town is nice, but having many bookstores together makes a place special—a destination. Since the 1970s, book towns like it have been springing up all over the world. There are now dozens of them, from Australia and Finland to India and South Korea.

In the forthcoming Book Towns, journalist Alex Johnson catalogues these most charming of tourist destinations. He spoke to Atlas Obscura about the pleasures of out-of-the-way places defined by their books.
More at Atlas Obscura

Monday, 12 March 2018

Terreria bookcase

Terreria is part modular furniture and part Italian farmhouse window looking out over the countryside. The single elements can be assembled to produce an infinite number of configurations and exploit the many potentials of ceramic. Terracotta components are available in four different geometric configurations. Blocks are 30.5cm deep, 40cm high and vary in width between 17 and 29 cm.
Archea Associati at Moroso

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Libro verticale bookcase

The apparent rigidity of a modular structure created by the intersection of tubular elements reveals itself as part of a 20 creative project, starting from the logo. The 4 shelves incorporated in the supporting module, with a slight tilt to never drop books, magazines and objects, can be lacquered even in colors different from the structural frame.
Ernesto Maria Giuffré for Meme Design

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

A Book of Book Lists starts serialisation in The Independent

Serialisation of my A Book Of Book Lists starts today in The Independent (currently on front so easy to find) and continues for a while every Wednesday.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

A Library Miscellany: Book storage

Today is the last stop of Claire Cock-Starkey's blog tour for her latest book, the excellent A Library Miscellany which will certainly appeal to readers of Bookshelf. You can read more about Claire and her books (the others are also all well worth a read) at and on the Twitter where she is @nonfictioness - she will also be speaking about A Library Miscellany (and her previous work, The Book Lovers' Miscellany) at the Oxford Literary Festival on March 20 at 12pm.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Converted attic bookshelves

Worth reading the thread for other examples of attic bookshelves and library ladders

Thursday, 1 February 2018

A Book of Book Lists published today in the USA

My latest book - a kind of follow-up to Bookshelf and Improbable Libraries - A Book of Book Lists is officially published in the USA today. More details at Amazon.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Spread bookshelf

Made of ultra-fine metal. 2.5mm thick. Powder-coated in a choice of 15 colours.