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Rosemary Hart

Colourhappy, I think there's such a thing as negative fascination and it does lead to sounding off about it...

   
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Rosemary Hart

I firmly agree with the majority. Two more points. First, if you have to index the books to find what you want, how much time do you have to waste? I'm too busy enjoying life! Secondly, browsing my bookshelves means making delightful discoveries - books I've found in car boot sales and temporarily forgotten among all the others. Then I actively enjoy rediscovering them! How can you do that if you can't see what they are?

As I've said elsewhere, my bookcases sing out to me that this is Home, a Home in which I could never be bored! Why should I want to interfere with a look like that?

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kccoff

Probably depends on whether you have books because you're a reader or because you use them as a decorating element. Readers want to be able to find books quickly: this means "spines out." Decorators presumably have reasons they believe "spines in" adds to the decor.

Beyond that? Pages-out looks careless ("I shoved them on a shelf and can't be bothered to neaten them up"), or stupid ("Hey, I don't actually read them!). If there's a point, I can't see it.

I just went through my hardcover books (admittedly, I have a lot of books) and removed all the paper jackets. Oh, I've kept the jackets - for now - but I decided that these aren't books I'm going to try to sell at some point. I have no collector's items or first editions. If my heirs think they can make money selling some of my books, more power to them; they can re-join books and jackets.

Meanwhile, I have one classy-looking bookcase. If you're after impact, forget that books-by-color nonsense. (Who has that many books of nearly the same size?) If you have hardcover books with plain cloth or (best of all) some kind of leather covers, take any jackets off and display the books together. Even a few books grouped between nice bookends will look great amongst objets d'art.

And there's this line from the article "The case for pages: it harks back to leather-bound tomes" - in what world? Take a look at the library in any historic house. Leather-bound tomes abound. You won't find any shelved with spines-in.

As trends go, this one fits right in with mullet haircuts and moonboots.

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