Thursday 13 December 2018

Maurice Baring's travel library

A fascinating travelling library once owned by Maurice Baring, an Old Etonian who was a leading man of letters in the first half of the 20th century...

In early January 2019, Bonhams Knightsbridge will host a special public exhibition: Voyages: a journey in Books from Eton College Library. The loan exhibition, which is supported by Martin Randall Travel, leading experts in cultural tours, runs from Monday 7 – Friday 18 January, Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm; Sunday 13th, 11am to 3pm. Bonhams, Montpelier Street, London SW7 1HH. FREE ENTRY.

Bonhams via  Fine Books Magazine

Friday 16 November 2018

Ex Novo bookcase

The EX-NOVO project was developed in collaboration with Akrat Recycling, a social cooperative whose primary task is to create a working reality linked to re-use. The Novo bookcase, made up of trapezoidal modules, which work on the single inclination of one side, is an answer to the reason why most of the furniture is thrown away, the lack of adaptability and flexibility with respect to the spaces. Each module has different sizes, but the same proportions and the same inclination of the longer side. This derives from the use of furniture surfaces of different sizes and materials from which more or less modules can be made, creating a sort of patchwork of different woods and colors, an aesthetic trait that makes this object always unique, which changes according to of the different combinations.
Jacopo Coen

Monday 12 November 2018

Book Boards

Groups of vertically stored cutting or serving boards crafted from reclaimed woods. The board’s proportions are informed by the many standard book and paper formats giving them an archetypal and satisfying weight and feel. A small group forms an interesting and useful feature in the kitchen, individuals comfortably add to your collection of other boards or they can even join your cook books on their shelf.
Sebastian Bergne

Sunday 4 November 2018

The Real McCoy

Today is almost the halfway point of Claire Cock-Starkey's blog tour for her latest book, the excellent The Real McCoy which will certainly appeal to readers of Bookshelf - it's 150 of the most interesting eponyms in English (those words named after individuals). As Claire says: "The Real McCoy is the perfect addition to any wordsmith’s 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.

Friday 26 October 2018

Pumpkin library bookshelves

The pumpkin, carved by local children and decorated by library staff, features several Lego people sitting in the comfort of their own mini-library under a tangled string of lights. For Halloween, the Lego people will even be adorned in costumes.
Boston Globe and Truro Library

Monday 22 October 2018

The Writers Game

I've been working on this concept on and off for the last three years (readers with good memories will remember that I tried to crowdfund it with Unbound) and now The Writers Game is 'published' today by Laurence King. It's essentially literary top trumps, good wholesome fun for all the family in a rather snazzy box. Here's what LK say about it:
Who had the most commercial success in their lifetime, Ernest Hemingway or Agatha Christie? Whose work has the most adaptations, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Franz Kafka? Who courted the most scandal, Colette or James Joyce? Pit 32 of the world’s greatest modern writers against each other with these beautifully illustrated cards. An ideal gift for the book lover in your life.

Thursday 11 October 2018

Shelf Life

As some of you know, away from the world of bookshelves, I also write books (frequently on bookish subjects). The latest is out today, Shelf Life, published by The British Library. Here is some bumph about it:
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
Available from all good bookshops (please buy local if at all possible) as well as the usual suspects online.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Books on Prescription for World Mental Health Day

Books on Prescription helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using self-help reading. The books are chosen by health experts and people living with the conditions covered. People can be recommended a title by a health professional, or they can visit their local library and take a book out for free. The scheme is available in 98% of English library authorities.
More at Reading Well here and here

Monday 1 October 2018

Sedbergh Book Shelter

Bibliophiles in the community, which claims to have the most books for sale per head of population anywhere in England, have created what is believed to be Cumbria’s first ‘Book Shelter’. The ‘novel’ facility makes use of a redundant bus shelter in the town’s Main Street where locals and visitors have access to four shelves of books. The Book Shelter can be used as a mini library where books can be borrowed and returned or as a book exchange.
The Westmoreland Gazette
 Incidentally, I shall be doing a book signing at the Sedbergh Book Festival this weekend.

Thursday 20 September 2018

Cloud shelf

The Cloud Shelf is Little Grey Cells' debut product. Created by Lauren for her own little boy, Tom, to complete a rainbow painted in his room. It has a classic rounded shape and is a motif evocative of those fuzzy childhood days we remember.
Little Grey Cells

Monday 17 September 2018

Robin Ince's 1000 Book Purge

Book Shambles co-host Robin Ince is a well known bibliophile. The problem with this is it means his house is in danger of collapsing under the weight of books. So he set about trying to part with 1000 books he's never going to get round to reading. So one day, he and producer Trent tried to load 1000 books onto the back deck. It was painful.
Book Shambles

Monday 10 September 2018

Bookshelf Kirk

MDF, welded steel construction, spatula, polyurethane lacquer protected with Anti-Scratch cover Height: 185 cm Length: 130 cm Depth: 40 cm

Wednesday 29 August 2018

How 'The Bookshop' was stocked

Tracking down a first-edition copy of Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 classic “Lolita” isn’t too difficult. But for her latest film, “The Bookshop,” set in 1959, director Isabel Coixet needed 250 of them. "It took us about a year to get all those books,” the filmmaker tells The Post, adding that she and production designer Llorenç Miquel settled on a mixture of actual vintage tomes and convincing reproductions of the real thing. “It was really important for me to have details that really belonged to the moment of the film — from the food, to the landscapes, to, of course, the books."
More at the  New York Post

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Minimal bookshelf

A minimal bookshelf with gaps at both ends. Slot a book in it and it acts as a bookend.
Chan Hwee Chong

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Mosquito table bookshelf

Screw and glue - less furniture. The design came from the pursuit of stability and balance without the need of any physical or chemical unions.
Bruno Suraski

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Expired library books photo series

Photographer Kerry Mansfield shows old, well-worn library books with titles ranging from Charlotte’s Web and Madeline in London to the Babar series... For photographer Kerry Mansfield, library books are full of stories and are part of a disappearing shared experience that deserves to be studied and chronicled. Her photo series Expired captures former library books, showcasing the unique traits they’ve gained during their time in circulation. Mansfield photographed over 180 books to create the 175 photographs in the series. (She plans to shoot 75 more.) Seventy-three of the images have been collected into a book, each copy with its own library check-out card and envelope in the front.
Architectural Digest

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Library bus

Peter Callesen has recently been working on the decoration of a public library bus, which is a commission work for the Danish Art Council in collaboration with the Borough of Guldborgsund, at Falster in the southern part of Denmark. First Peter Callesen has photographed around 500 different books from the local library, He then asked the local residents of the area to come up with their own titles for books, which he afterwards exchanged with the old titles. This has resulted in around 500 different authors and made-up titles, which now embellish the exterior of the bus in a mosaic pattern of books in different bright colors. Some examples of the book titles:

Daniel Holst Kjeldesen : The Frog With No Hand
Laust Kjæp Dengsøe : Jelly Wars
Kine Torstensen : I Wish I Were A Professional Cinderella
Ramses II : My Life In A Coffin
Eric von Zoo : Singing with Animals
Tom Jerne: As Far As I Remember
Inger Malling: Don't Miss Out On Anything
Dirk Sværte: I always give up

Peter Callesen

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Bookshelves in the IKEA Reading Rooms

As the boundaries between our work and home lives become more blurred, it’s become harder to switch off. Our homes aren’t the haven they once were. Yet reading for just six minutes a day can be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two-thirds. That’s why we’ve created a series of reading spaces dedicated to pure relaxation at IKEA Wembley. Curl up with the finest fiction from The Man Booker Prize 2018 longlist. Book a slot from Tuesday 31st July – Sunday 5th August and get some well-earned time out.

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