Roberta's Brief Bio

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The art of the book...as art

I sometimes move my books around the apartment, do you guys do that? I know there's nothing new about displaying books, or even magazines for that matter (the cover art in some magazines is brilliant.)  

But even though it's a bit of a bummer, the reality is that less and less people are buying them.  Magazines are dropping like flies (I'm still mourning Domino) and the wireless reader has taken over.  I for one love my reader. I'll admit I think readers are amazing and one of the most ingenious inventions of this century.  And I'm not alone, but I doubt any of you are putting it on a shelf to display it or placing it on a coffee table as a work of art.  

Ok, I admit I've said things like; "my reader is a beautiful thing" or "it's gorgeous" while caressing it and doing my best Vanna White impression. But I meant that only in the esoteric sense.  Btw, I feel the same about my mac book pro! (ahem...ooopsie.)

 So, even though I don't have a lot of room for books in our NYC apartment, the ones I do have I'm going to put on display as much as possible.  Sometimes I need to remind myself just how great the real thing is. 
Images: By me
These would look good anywhere but today they live on this trunk.
This is such a simple way to display books--easy to reach and looks amazing.  Form and function is pretty sweet.
The bench is not for sitting, it's for displaying books!

As in most of the photos, all the color in this room comes from the books and art, not from the furniture or the drapery... & it looks so chic.

One of Ralph Lauren's homes....


I had some cookbooks in my kitchen but they were too close to the cooktop, and with the smoke and the grease and....well, ya know, not so good for smaller kitchens!

Kind of cool when there's layering, like this framed artwork in front of the books.

I even love how they're stacked underneath this console.  You'd expect the bindings to be exposed, but this is interesting too in a sort of haphazard way.  I like how it mimics the horizontal installation of the tiles. Kind of fun looking...

This look doesn't work for everybody.  Surrounding a tv could be visually "too loud" for some people so make sure you're into this before you start stacking.  


No matter what style room you have, books fit in perfectly.

Here are some of my favorite bookstores in NYC.  Let me start with Housing Works on 126 Crosby street in Soho because I think it's the most beautiful.  With its high ceilings, Corinthian columns, and winding staircase, this is a must-see if you visit NYC.   Not only because they have great books and the architecture is interesting, but they also host storytelling from the Moth.  I write a lot of autobiographical short stories and when I'm taking a night off from stand up,  I occasionally go to the Moth to do storytelling (there are typically 10 storytellers in a night.)  This store has a wonderful performance space.  If you want to watch the show, then get on line early so you get a seat because it's usually packed and standing-room-only.  I think it's the most fun you'll have for a $7.00 admission price. If you go, let me know what you think!
And for more great bookstores, there's also Barnes and Noble at 105 Fifth Ave @17th street and Argosy Books on 116 e. 59th st. And...the Strand at 726 Broadway is pretty spectacular too. 


Do you want to color coordinate your books but don't have enough bindings in one color?? You can go to Books by the foot and get any color bindings you want...by the foot!  (By the subject and by the style are also available starting at $7.00 a ft.) Check out this restaurant that used only blue books--smashing!

 
And there's always the NY public library on Fifth avenue if you don't want to buy, but just miss turning the page... for real instead of clicking.
NYPL


1 comment:

The Buzz said...

Love all the different display ideas for books - I'm dreaming of floor to ceiling shelves in our library so that I can take the books off the floor and a create color-coordinated scheme (just like the kitchen you show above!)

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