Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

May 1, 2021

Do you need to display your books in a way to look more sophisticated?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:32 PM

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love books and own a lot of them, both digital and physical. I prefer physical books as they are more tactile and because I grew up reading physical books but I love my kindle just for the fact that I can add 20 books to it and still have to carry only a slim device. The first time I traveled to the US my carry on luggage consisted of 6-7 novels a jacket and my documents/other important papers etc and I finished all the books before I landed. I still carry a lot of books when I travel. So, a good book shelf is something I am really interested in. I tried some of the fancy book shelves but I have too many books for them to work for me. At my parents place we have a whole room with shelves up to the ceiling just for books and at my place in Bangalore I have a whole wall of shelves going up to the roof with a provision to extend the shelves if required. I have slowed down a bit on the book purchases in the past 6 months because I am supposed to be studying 🙂 but I plan to get back to it with a vengeance once that is done.

There is an article on Lifehacker on How to Display Your Books Like a More Sophisticated Adult. I looked at it because I thought I could learn some interesting/new shelving technique, but that is not the case (pun not intended) here. It is yet another effort for people to show off / pretend that they read books and try to impress others with their collection & ‘wisdom’. Basically this whole thing is to look down on others, pretend to have sophistication and judge others. As the article says

Nice-looking bookcases look professional. Elegant, even. They show off a sense of sophistication that others will notice.

Take the Twitter account Bookcase Credibility, for example, as a great place for learning (and judging) bookcase arrangement.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some of the suggestions from the post:

Consider arranging your books by color : I really don’t see the point in this. I don’t think anyone who likes reading would want to shelve their books by color, it just makes it harder to find other books by the same author, or of the same topic. Making it look colorful is not the objective for me, it is to organize it in a way where I can find books quickly and easily. Now we might disagree on how to order the books (personally I like by author) but I can see the sense of putting them by genre or categories as well. Color is just such a random way of putting the books.

Display your books in wall boxes : This is pure show-off for books. If I tried it I would only have boxes all over the wall and the extra space used by the wood would be unusable to store books. Which is the point of the shelves.

Use a suspension book rack to make a statement Another just for show book shelf. If I tried this for my books the weight would be too much for the anchor. Plus there is a lot of space wasted that can be used to store books.

How does this make any sense? Books are not laundry to be hung around

Make coffee tables and nightstands with larger books : I thought about this, I don’t want to put my books as a night stand I have spilled enough fluids on the stand and stored random crap on them that it would absolutely spoil the books. Plus if I want to read a book at the bottom there is no way to take it out without having to dismantle the entire thing and then I can’t put it back together till I finish the book and can put it back. Which means that I would have a pile of books on my floor, plus no nightstand. How is this a recommendation for someone who actually reads the books they purchase? Within a year the books will have stains and marks all over them from spills etc.

Someone please explain to me how I would take out the Unix Installation book or Art at Auction to read without having to dismantle everything?

Now, since I have been talking about bookshelves, here are mine:

My collection in Delhi

My collection in Bangalore

The Delhi pic is a few years old, but the Bangalore one is current (I took it while writing this post). Yes, I am read most of the books in both places. The only ones I haven’t read are the Law books and the few Biographies that Jani and mom have bought. My dream house would have a few rooms just for books. so that is a goal that I am working towards… 🙂

So, to conclude don’t bother with showing off your books in some fancy way. If you are passionate about something it will come through without you having to showcase it. Also, people can make out if the books are there just for show so keep that in mind as well.

Well this is all for now. Will write more later.

– Suramya

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