Old tech inspired by new tech

August 20, 2007


Whenever I have the discussion with people about the future of literature I run into a brick wall: “But I Love Books.”

Well, so do I: here’s proof, if it was needed – the fruit of my Saturday. After months of having them stacked untidily around me, they’re back where they belong, out, accessible – and gorgeous.

I did try thinning the collection, going through the lot in the hope there would be some in their I could bear to part with. I ended up chucking three old guidebooks and a couple of unread proofs. I am incapable.


  1. How did you get them to colour coordinate like that? It looks so great, but is there more to it than colour coordination – I can´t see clearly. Publishers series´ perhaps? I can only ever find anything when filed by author.

    It looks great though. I never throw anything away if I can help it.

    Comment by eivissenka — August 20, 2007 @ 6:05 pm

  2. Er, I moved them around?

    It’s just the colour – which gives a nice random feel to it. Obviously publishers with a strong design identity – e.g. Penguin – end up grouped together in various places – orange fiction, blue/green 20th century classics, black classics, silver modern classics bottom right etc.

    Comment by James Bridle — August 20, 2007 @ 7:45 pm

  3. I work in digital publishing, much like yourself. If I had a penny for the number of times I have explained that I too love books….sigh.

    Very much like the arrangement. I can pick out many an old favourite, but is that seriously a Riverside Chaucer in the blue section? It brings back memories, painful memories.

    Comment by Michael Bhaskar — August 21, 2007 @ 2:00 pm

  4. It certainly is. I never studied Chaucer at school, so took a Middle English course with some outside-department credits at University. It was good – in that I learnt about Chaucer – but yeah, I’m not much of a fan of that tome. Same goes for the Malory in the red section…

    Comment by James Bridle — August 21, 2007 @ 3:30 pm

  5. Well, you inspired me.
    I did ten shelves this morning. The books look so good, and you are quite right about the random feel being nice – in fact it´s created a sort of cutups effect – with some curiously appropriate choices landing side by side.
    I can´t believe I had so many pink spined books though. As the house is ful of books it´s a bit like redecorating. I think I like it. I´ve done one case of all black and whites as if they were piano keys – three blacks, white, two blacks etc…
    DVDs next!

    Comment by eivissenka — August 21, 2007 @ 5:13 pm

  6. I thought I saw an OUP Malory there. Now that is Middle English I do like. “And he smyte hym withe his swerde!”.


    Comment by Michael Bhaskar — August 22, 2007 @ 11:43 am

  7. Wow, great job on the book organisation, a serious improvement from the previous book stacks! Categorised by colour in a rainbow ordering, I see… but then within each colour, alphabetically, chronologically…?

    Comment by Chris Joseph — August 22, 2007 @ 1:52 pm

  8. Chris – no, just colour. I’d like to get the colour really strict, but happy to let the happen organically over time!

    Comment by James Bridle — August 22, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

  9. Nice to see Charlie Mortdecai on the bottom row.

    Comment by George — August 28, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

  10. He does peer out rather well, doesn’t he?

    Comment by James Bridle — August 28, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

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