Living with Books

Living with Books

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by Alan Powers
     
 

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Everyone has books—but most people simply put them on a shelf, neglecting more creative ways to make their treasures an integral part of the interior design. Alan Powers’ witty, elegant guide to showcasing your precious volumes will change all that. Going room to room, from kitchens to hallways, he reveals inspirational ways that books can create character

Overview

Everyone has books—but most people simply put them on a shelf, neglecting more creative ways to make their treasures an integral part of the interior design. Alan Powers’ witty, elegant guide to showcasing your precious volumes will change all that. Going room to room, from kitchens to hallways, he reveals inspirational ways that books can create character in the home. Stunningly photographed images from around the world display large-scale libraries, as well as such ingenious space-saving devices as enclosed book lofts; shelves cleverly tucked into stairways; and narrow wall-mounted boarding that fits snugly behind a chair. There’s advice on caring for the volumes, technical hints on planning and building bookshelves, and practical, detailed projects. Special double-page features cover such topics as designer solutions and constructing furniture out of books.

Editorial Reviews

R Rhodes
If you've ever wondered what the barnesandnoble.com office is like, I will clue you in. When you step into the editorial area, books are everywhere. Each editor is given three bookcases with three shelves in each case — and mind you, they are not made from the most sturdy wood. And on these shelves live the likes of the new Tom Clancy, the latest from Martha Stewart, and a galley proof of Frances Mayes's book. Throughout the day you may hear a loud chuckle from fiction editor Greg Marrs when he finds something funny (this puts a smile on most people's faces because he is quite discriminating when it comes to books). You might hear a moan from Jamie Weisman, the teen editor, when she stumbles upon a book that she thinks underestimates the intellect of her readers. These are just some of the sounds that come with the territory of reviewing books all day. But mostly, what you hear are the sounds of pages turning and people's keyboards clattering as they write about the skinny reads, the fat volumes, the pop-up pages, and the pretty picture books. I am surrounded by books, which is why Alan Powers's Living With Books — something I know about all too well — appeals to me and will appeal to any book lover.

The gorgeous photographs were one of the first things that struck me about Living With Books when I initially leafed through it. The books were arranged neatly on stylish shelves in art deco rooms, piled so high that a ladder is needed to reach the ones on the tippy-top shelves, or crammed into the small corner space between a shelf and a slanted ceiling. And then I got depressed as I looked around my office cubicle. Books piled high with no rhyme or reason around me. Spines facing all directions, and books placed on their sides or standing up. Then I thought about the bookshelves in my apartment, already filled with my favorite books — the new Judy Blume, the Ya-Ya Sister books, Ordinary People , James B. Stewart's books. I have nightmares thinking about where I will store the books I buy in the future, and I am only 23 years old. One day will I have to find storage for my books and send them away to some temperature-controlled warehouse in New Jersey the way Columbia University, the New York City Public Library, and Princeton University recently did?

Please forgive my slight Sarah Bernhard-like digression, but if you've got shelves of your favorite books, and you wonder where you're going to house the bestsellers of the millennium, help is on the way in the form of Living With Books (ironically enough, another book for your collection). Suggestions abound in this book: built-in-shelves behind the bed for a different look, a case placed in front of a window — if you have one that can be spared — and a storage unit in the bathroom for extra storage. After reading about the way architects from past centuries built bookshelves into the walls, after getting ideas about how to store my books but not turn my home into a library or make it look messy, and after seeing the way Living With Books offers suggestions for ways to creatively place little kids' books, I thought, "Yeah, I can find a place for my books after all." With my limited funds (hey, this is the book industry, not investment banking), I turned to the back of Living With Books and saw some of the cool projects for book storage. The one that appealed to me was the stacking box. How hard can it be to join plywood together with screws and get going with the power drill? So I might need some help putting my hand-built bookshelf together, but I am inspired. I am going to build a home for my books so that they are part of my decor, rather than in the way of my decor. I'm pumped. If only I could find room for all of the books on my desk at work...

Soozan Baxter

Library Journal
Powers, librarian of the Prince of Wales' Institute of Architecture, has collected a wealth of photographs depicting myriad ways to store books. He shows them in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and home office; in hallways and stairs; and, of course, in the library. He provides some information on the care of books, but professional and student designers will find this book especially helpful for showing how other designers have approached the design of shelving and storage of books. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402742125
Publisher:
Sterling
Publication date:
08/28/2006
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
1,247,517
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.60(d)

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Living with Books 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Of course I'd be drawn by a book about well, books, book shelves, etc. And the pictures for the different bookshelves in different settings was really good. Some make for an interesting project doesn't it? I especially like the bookstore ones. Really good read for any book lover.