Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Spice up the life of your home with boundless arrangements of bookends

If your family is like mine, books are omnipresent in your home. I have books spilling out of shelves, boxes, the floor, garage, chairs, practically choking us with their sheer numbers. Arranging them into cohesive groupings is an art in itself and in this article I will offer a number of ideas to cohere them together aesthetically, spicing up your home while showcasing how brilliant and well-read you are
Let’s start with the premise that practically anything can be a bookend. Of course, you’re going to need a few bookcases to get started, but from there let’s get creative! Here I have a bookshelf in my library with a number of musically-oriented books including the definitive volume on Beethoven’s life, symphony orchestras, and Milton Cross’ vital Great Composer volumes. What better place to throw in my incredible Bose speakers? The Bose is hooked up to a turntable below and has a built-in CD player. It’s like a digital, musical book in and of itself!
Unlike the Bose’s musical shelf, here I have a classic selection of Gibbon’s seminal Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in all six volumes. It’s a weighty set, with gold leafed pages bound by the Franklin Library. It’s a quite valuable set in it’s own right and deserves to be proudly displayed, as well as discussed. Here I have presented it with marble bookends, themselves books, a material appropriate to Rome’s sculpture and famous columns. Note the emphasis to the volumes provided by the gradation of height provided by the bookends.
Similarly, this collection of Greek Plato’s philosophy and Roman citizen Plutarch’s history deserve classic presentation. These Greek vases match the tones of each collection. Note the royal purple of Plato’s volumes and the horizontal arrangement of Plutarch. Don’t be afraid to turn books on their sides. Sometimes an alternate orientation draws more attention than you would imagine. Both volumes are part of the Great Book series and possess, like the Franklin Library, gold-leaf pages.
For a change of pace, let’s take a look at my collection of humor books. Here I have the indomitable wit of P.J. O’Rourke and Scott Adam’s biting parody of office life. I’ve grouped them with my proudly recently acquired Get Smart DVD series with Agent 86 facing out, catching the eye of the passerby. Now every time I stroll past the humor bookshelf I can’t help but crack a smile at 86’s goofy visage. I can practically hear him, “Pardon me while I answer my shoe phone.”
I also have a spooky collection of ghost town books. They all concern old west towns that have long since ceased to be populated, but possess fascinating history’s in their own right. The donkey was procured near the mining town of Anaconda, Montana. It has special significance to our family and always draws attention, despite its miniature stature. Here I have layed 1/3 of the collection horizontal to provide a platform for the statue. This structure can be quite useful when you have a lot of books to display but also wish to showcase a small keepsake.

I hope readers will appreciate these few interesting ideas for displaying your books. I encourage you to experiment with a variety of books and bookends, and consider the impact the arrangement will have on your family and guests. Most fundamentally, book arrangements should not be a barrier, but rather invitation to pick up a book and read it. Enjoy!

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