Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Bookshelves to Die For (Pt. 1)

Walking around Capitol Hill recently, doing a little window shopping at some of the quaint shops (some older, some newer), I found myself pausing more in front of the few small bookstores sprinkled within a five-block radius. There’s just something about tomes lined up or stacked or grouped together in any attractive fashion; it stirs a warm happiness inside.

The bookstore scene was fading but is experiencing a resurgence of sorts (Solid State Books on H Street is an example). With that in mind, I perused the web in search of unique bookshelves reaching beyond the vertical wooden rectangle with horizontal shelves of equal length. Viewing such creativity with some of the pieces, it was clear many of the creators were booklovers. I found so many bookshelves with a flair for way beyond the ordinary. But here are a few from Architecture Art Designs (architectureartdesigns.com) that stood out to me:

Now, what could be more appropriate? I think it would be fun to read all the books and not put them back, just to fill the letters up again with new reads or rereads. Something about how the curves of the letters ‘R’ and ‘D’ hold the books, sparks the ‘sciencey’ part of my brain with a tiny marvel over the law of physics at work. I’d start my reading journey in the middle, with the books filling the ‘A’ and then end it with those filling the ‘R’ (because of its combination of curves and angles holding the books).

The randomness of this design draws my attention and appeals to my wild-side. I would have fun with the cubbies, using them for arbitrary book sorting such as similar cover colors or common title words. I could go with nothing but works in the humor genre to fill the wacky arrangement of shelving. Or perhaps, because of the quirky and ‘wild’ design, I’d fill the shelves with unusual works, controversial works upsetting the status quo throughout the ages.


This dark, quiet space screams, ‘Grab a tome and escape.’ The setting evokes a bit of the creepy, so maybe nothing but works in the horror genre should line the shelves. I’d change the seating to something more comfy-cozy and turn the chair to face the volumes, but otherwise, a cup of tea in this space, and I’m set. For hours. Do Not Disturb understood.


Books from paper, paper from trees: it all makes sense with this design. This bookshelf looks like a tree right out of one of Tim Burton’s movies. I think this design necessitates numerous similar bookshelves along the walls within one room, to create a ‘forest’ of volumes so to speak. If only one tree, I’d organize by sorting the books on the branches by genre. If my library was the forest version, each tree would feature a single genre.

For booklovers, this shelf speaks a truth: it all ‘circles’ back to a love of the written word. Circles are said to have no beginning and no end. For booklovers, there is no end to the desire to turn the page, lose oneself in the world of fiction or absorb worlds of information from non-fiction, to get to ‘The End’ and start over again by reaching for a new read. In a wide opened space, a well-placed foot and a bit of balance would make this a 'traveling' bookshelf, giving 'reading-on-the-go' a whole new meaning.

That's my take this go-round. As mentioned, I came across several unique bookshelves worthy of note. My perspectives on those will appear in a future blog. Stay tuned.

Have shelves with spaces for new books? The Dr. Naomi Alexander novels, set in metropolitan DC, offer suspense fiction with recurring characters. Learn more at sfpowellbooks.com.