Tuesday 14 December 2021

The BookTrust Christmas appeal

The BookTrust Christmas appeal raises money to send surprise festive book parcels to children who are vulnerable or in care.

This year, it’s even more vital to support children who may not be looking forward to Christmas. And so we plan to give out more parcels than ever before and to reach 16,000 children – that’s 1,750 more than last year. Half will be sent to children in care who may be spending their first Christmas away from their families, and the other half will be given out through community foodbanks to children in families facing challenging circumstances. Donate £10 to send one book parcel to one child. Any additional funds raised by the appeal will support our work with children through the year.

More details at the BookTrust website

Thursday 25 November 2021

Urban bookcase

In recent years recycling became very popular. When it comes to books, there are several diy bookshelves, booths and cases for sharing old books all around the world. My proposal works for an exterior condition but it keeps visual delicacy of interior furniture. In contrary to classic shelves, this case allows users to see the books by covers - in case of the retro ones - usually well designed!

Kateřina Lichnovská

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Ptolomeo Shelf

Ptolomeo Shelf is a surprising complement, a slightly bigger shelf that fits seamlessly between the shelves of the Ptolomeo bookcase and makes it even more serviceable. A small, precious desk when you need to jot down an inspiring idea, but also an original bedside table whenever you want to reach out for a book and do a little bedtime reading to help you relax before sleep.

Opinion Ciatti Studio


Tuesday 23 November 2021

La città è mobile! bookcase

La città è mobile! is a collection of furniture which interprets the archetypal forms of classical architecture and the wooden building blocks children play with... the thirteen pieces that form a comprehensive range of seats, steps, tables, consoles and bookshelves are the translation at the scale of furniture of the classical typologies of the arcade, the temple, the aquaduct... Polyurethane resin, mdf, plywood 

Matteo Pacella, in collaboration with Philippine Hamen


Monday 22 November 2021

A couple’s decision to combine bookshelves supplies a series of revelations

"One of the funniest and most interesting questions you can ask a group of couples at a party is whether or not they have combined their bookshelves. I discovered this once I began asking it, looking for advice from others who might have done this. Most often, thus far, in my highly selective, completely unscientific research, the answer is no. Reasons get thrown around, and one is common. “I told her,” a friend said, who had just completed this process, “‘That stack of doubles by the entrance, that you will not get rid of, that is your doubt about our long-term future.’” He laughed as he said this."

Alexander Chee, The Morning News

Friday 5 November 2021


The book-man and the physician: Evolution from sketch to engraving in a medium quality plate by Nicolas I de Larmessin by Pascale Cugy.

Nouvelles de l'estampe

Monday 18 October 2021

Library table

Fine George IV brass-inlaid rosewood and parcel-gilt library table.The top inlaid with brass banding above the open niches fitted with leather bound books, raised on a turned pedestal on a quadripartite plinth ending on giltwood paw feet. 

For auction at Stair Galleries from the collection of Gayfryd Steinberg

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Quobus bookcase

Quobus is a modular display unit of enamelled steel cubes. Quobus units are either monochromatic, bi-coloured or multicoloured, made of a combination of three different sized cubes. Each cube is enamelled in one of five colours (off white, charcoal, pastel green, pastel violet and pastel blue) and pinned together with brass screws to form a larger unit, which are sold in a variety of configurations and sizes.

The modular display unit offers a storage solution for books, and creates distinct environments for display objects within each cube. Made from steel and enamelled in Belgium, each cube is extremely robust. Marc aimed to counteract sagging, ineffective bookshelves at the same time as creating something sculptural: “the overriding inspiration and need was to create an object to tick all these boxes: it is hard to find things that hold books and objects that also have an identity and look good.”

Marc Newson

Thursday 23 September 2021

Bookshelves at Waseda International House of Literature (The Haruki Murakami Library)


An arch of louvers continues from the entrance to the staircase bookshelves... First, a scaffold was erected and the bookshelves were installed in the atrium. Next, the scaffolding was removed and the steel frames were installed to form the bottoms of the stairs. After that, the scaffolding was set in place again and the arch was installed above the atrium. Finally, the thin stair treads were placed on the steel frames. 

The Waseda International House of Literature 


Tuesday 21 September 2021

Cartesio bookcase


The Parigi armchair, the Cartesio bookcase, the Consiglio table, and the Museo chair are emblematic works that fully express Aldo Rossi’s idea of furnishings as architecture.


Thursday 16 September 2021

How people organise their bookcases

The average Briton owns more than 50 books, but do they organise them alphabetically, by colour, genre, or size - or simply let chaos reign? Our research shows that many simply prefer to let chaos reign, and have no system at all. Men are slightly more likely to prefer an anarchic bookshelf (45%) than women (41%). Just 4% of Britons own no books whatsoever, with men (6%) twice as likely as women (3%). On the other side of the spectrum, 5% of both genders claim to own more than 1,000 books. Those in social grade C2DE are less likely than those in ABC1 to organise their books alphabetically, by colour, by genre or by size - but they are more likely to have no system at all (49%, compared to 39% of ABC1).


Monday 13 September 2021

Books do Furnish a Room

The latest issue of Fine Books magazine has a piece by me on the anniversary of the publication of Books do Furnish a Room by Anthony Powell in his A Dance to the Music of Time sequence. Recent posts by me for the magazine's website include A Typewriter Revolution in Scotland, Aphra Behn Statue Planned for Canterbury, Tenth-Century Exeter Book Digitized, and Mrs. Gaskell’s Bedroom Gets a Makeover

Thursday 9 September 2021

Art Day By Day published today

A non-bookshelf post today since it's the official publication day of my latest book, Art Day By Day: 366 Brushes With History - look out for quizes and other stuff on the publisher Thames & Hudson's instagram page. It's history of art meets almanac, providing a unique daily snapshot of the most exciting, unusual, and noteworthy art events from around the world and throughout history through direct testimonies, eyewitness accounts, and contemporary chroniclers.

Drawing on articles, diaries, interviews, letters, speeches, transcripts, and more, Art Day by Day offers an important event that happened on that day in the history of art. Here are the stories of famous paintings, ancient sculptures, comic strips, photographs, murals, manifestos, and marriages, from terracotta soldiers to a self-shredding Banksy. Not every entry is momentous, but each one is significant. Yes, there are thefts, murders, artistic mishaps, and eureka moments, but there are also episodes such as President Theodore Roosevelt’s doodles, Michelangelo writing to his nephew about his kidney stones, and Monet getting the green light for his water garden. Every day has a story to tell.

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Thursday 2 September 2021

Fold Shelf

A foldable bookshelf, a drawer and a cabinet. The project is made as a Swedish cabinetmakers journeyman’s piece, which has to meet several requirements such as a drawer, hinges, veneered surfaces etc. This set the base for the work. All three pieces follow a consistent line, framing the books and objects on the shelves, in the cabinet, and in the drawer. The collection is created for modern living and adapted to continuous moving. A project in collaboration with designer Hanna Höglund.

Rasmus Palgren


Wednesday 28 July 2021

Huntley & Palmers biscuit tins

Top tin titles include 'History of Reading' 'Modern Reading' 'Biscuits' and  'Cakes'. Bottom tin titles are by Sir Walter Scott.

Reading Museum

Monday 26 July 2021

Library staircase

Unique steel staircase with integral library, design proposal for a private client, London, UK.

Design & Weld

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Monday 28 June 2021

Alternate tread stair bookcase

"Two custom designed loft beds carefully integrated into the bedrooms of an apartment in a converted industrial building.  The alternate tread stair was designed to be a perfect union of functionality, structure and form.  With regard to functionality, the stair is comfortable, safe to climb, and spatially efficient."

nC2 Architecture

Thursday 24 June 2021

Grille bookcase

I got inspiration from the ancient Chinese grille and designed this bookcase by the form of a grid. The motivation for our design is that this is a free-form bookcase. Too neat a grid is not free. So, we rotate one part of the small box by 45 degrees. This not only fits our design motivation, but also allows users to combine patterns according to their own preferences. Length 124cm x Width 32 cm x Height 186cm

Wei Huang/Bruce Tao


Thursday 3 June 2021

Royalties to be awarded for secondhand book sales

A new collaboration between UK booksellers and authors’ societies will mean that for the first time, writers will receive royalties on secondhand/used book sales. World of Books, the UK’s largest seller of used books, estimates the market for used books in the UK to be growing at 12% per year and will be worth £563 million within four years.

The scheme is called AuthorSHARE and was thought up by William Pryor, chairman of Bristol-based Bookbarn International which sells new, used, and rare books. “As a writer as well as founder of Bookbarn, I was puzzled that authors, the very people who create the raw material of our business, were not benefiting,” he said.

More details at Fine Books magazine

Tuesday 4 May 2021

Revolving Bookcase 'Ariel'

This luxurious revolving bookcase in black walnut is softly nostalgic with a smooth modern revolving mechanism with apertures sized for modern paperbacks. Two sides of the cabinet have shelves extending along its full length to display the book spines whilst the two other sides have apertures to display the book covers. The cabinet rotates on a turntable mechanism which is attached to a solid walnut base. Ariel, a biography of Percy Shelley by Andre Maurois was one of ten titles chosen for the launch of Penguin paperbacks in 1935. The name Ariel apparently comes from the boat which Shelley designed and which was sank off the coast of Italy, leading to his death. Dimensions: 45cm x 45cm x 65c.

Wednesday 28 April 2021

Chopped tree bookshelf

Small bookshelf interpreting the moment when the tree trunk is cut and falls to the ground, transforms a structure that initially looks stiff and essential, in a flexible, mobile and lively piece of furniture composed of four elements that can be stacked and fixed to each others, or used individually.

Lenka Czereova


Wednesday 10 March 2021

Charles I's travelling library

Like a 17th century version of a Kindle. Two red leather cases, designed in the 1970s by Sangorski and Sutcliffe to look like two large books, open up to reveal 59 small volumes covering just about everything that a wealthy educated gentleman would want to read on his travels. Charles I's travelling library was acquired through a bequest. The collection of tiny books have gold-tooled bindings and some are believed to have been signed by the Prince himself. Titles include classical texts by the poet Ovid and the philosopher Cicero as well as bibles and religious books such as De Imitatione Christi by Thomas A Kempis. 

British Library


Monday 1 March 2021

Shelf Isolation

Shelf Isolation is one of Phil Shaw's distinctive bookshelf works, in which he arranges a series of genuine book-titles in an artfully-constructed digital bookcase, so that when you read them in order, from left to right, they spell out an unexpected narrative and a much needed message of hope.

Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery

Friday 19 February 2021

Travelling library - Diamond British Poets

[TRAVELLING LIBRARY]. Diamond British Poets. -Diamond Classics. London: Jones & Co., 1823-1831.
50 volumes, 16o (88 x 52 mm). Engraved title pages. Engraved frontispiece portraits of the authors. Volumes bound in various shades of straight-grained patterned silk, blue morocco lettering pieces (some minor rubbing to a few volumes, a few spines lightly faded); original morocco-covered wood folding case with pediment shape at top when opened and with four internal compartments and two glass-fronted doors (some chipping to morocco, wood panels on back of case slightly loose).


Thursday 18 February 2021

Lucy Throckmorton's Travelling Library


Lady Throckmorton's travelling library. 6 volumes in contemporary case (case is book-shaped). 1637-42. 

National Trust

Saturday 30 January 2021

Rory Gallagher's Fender Stratocaster guitar and bookshelf poster

Rory Gallagher's Fender Stratocaster in front of his favourite crime novels including those by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

Rory Gallagher backstreet merch

Thursday 28 January 2021

Virtual meetings spur sales in books for backgrounds

A company that supplies books for TV and film sets says it has seen a rise in sales for home offices during lockdown. More at BBC

Image: Writing room at Sissinghurst, Kent, one of the free downloadable background images for Zoom calls and virtual meetings provided by the National Trust

Thursday 14 January 2021

Geoff the Giraffe bookcase

This fantastic animal-inspired bookcase is sure to transform your child’s room into their own personal safari park! Also available: Leon the Lion, Zoe the Zebra, and Una the Unicorn.

Red Candy

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Flow bookcase

The Flow bookcase was born as a stylistic exercise with the desire to create an object with an "extreme shape", that is a product whose appearance seems to compromise its stability. The sketch of a sinuous serpentine line therefore takes on three-dimensionality, remains light but gradually adds elements that allow its realisation and good functionality.