Comments (38)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
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.

4 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
B PL

Horror. As someone who worked as an archival bookbinder in my younger years, it disturbs me that this is even a question. I work in fashion now and have done for twenty years, so I can see a “look” but a stylist move without thought is just silly. Spines are there to protect the book and binding from damage, and to navigate a collection...madly. It’s just a bit wilfully stupid to do otherwise. If you like the look of leather bindings, by all means, collect them.

3 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rayna Tullett

If you don't want to see the spines and colourful covers of your books, put them in cardboard boxes and hide them in a cupboard. It's not like you're a reader anyway.

2 Likes    

Related Stories

Most Popular Houzz Tour: A Beautifully Renovated Cottage in the Lake District
Thoughtful and meticulous design has transformed an old cottage without losing any of its warm, cosy atmosphere
Full Story
Styling Ever Thought of Doing This With Your Rugs?
Combining a selection of rugs can give a room an extra dimension. Take a look at these ideas
Full Story
Housekeeping & Cleaning 7 Spring Cleaning Tricks to Steal from Tidy People
Clearing out is good for the soul, so why delay? It’s time to get your place sorted with these easy cleaning jobs
Full Story
Housekeeping & Cleaning 9 Reasons You Don’t Need a Clear-out
Does your home raise minimalists’ blood pressure? So celebrate!
Full Story
Most Popular Should I Get Rid of My Coffee Table?
Like the idea of ditching a trad coffee table? These smart and comfortable living rooms will show you the possibilities
Full Story
Garden Tours Garden Tour: A Small London Plot is a Calm and Peaceful Haven
Designed to be ‘a garden within a garden’, this tranquil space acts as the perfect counterpoint to city life
Full Story
Before and After Houzz Tour: A Creative Broken-plan Layout Transforms a Small Flat
Before and after photos show how an ingenious layout brings all the functions of a much larger home to this tiny space
Full Story
Australia and NZ Houzz Tour: A 1920s Home Where Clean Lines Meet Raw Textures
A crisp white background is softened with subtle tones and plenty of natural textures in this century-old house
Full Story
Decorating How to Make Your Home Feel Finished
From tackling that snag list to adding a few standout pieces, these tips will help you round off your unfinished rooms
Full Story