Friday, January 29, 2010

Beautiful Books

As the air has a distinct chill, indicating the weather folks may be right about an incoming winter storm, I am finding myself in full nesting mode . . . hot cocoa, wrapped in a fuzzy throw and thinking about catching up on some good reading by the fire.  (Or rather the hope of one if I can convince dear hubby it won’t be a waste of heat as it floats up the chimney.)  In the interim, some great old movies are being replayed and I am always a fan of the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks pairings – including this one:

200px-You've_Got_Mail For those who haven’t seen this movie, Tom Hanks plays the role of Joe Fox, the villain and owner of a major bookstore chain, who becomes a direct competitor of Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen Kelly, as she struggles to keep her mother’s bookstore, The Shop Around the Corner, afloat.  The irony struck me, in thinking about this film, released in 1998, the Joe Fox’s of the world are now sharing that same struggle.  The advent of audio books,, Kindle, and now the much talked about Apple ipad tablet, has the whole industry of bookselling rethinking their strategies.


Personally, while I do enjoy my technology, I so enjoy the tactile experience of holding onto a beautifully bound book, flipping the page in anticipation of what is yet to come for the characters, or to see how the plot thickens.  As a designer, I view books as a wonderful way to add texture, history and warmth to a room.  After all, what’s a bookcase if it’s only filled with tchotchkes ?

398px-Chethams_library_interior Chetham's Library, Manchester, England

designer-mix parchlifestyleLeather bound antique books or parchment wrapped volumes are almost sculptural.

library-3 Doesn’t this make the world feel as if it’s in perfect order?  (A period bookcase in County Cork, Ireland.)


I could live in this fabulous combination of library and dining spaces created by Paschen Bibliotheken


Can you believe someone still does hand binding?  The embossed turtle design is a testament to taking ones time for beautiful craftsmanship.  From Hardbound Leather Books by Marcia Engletjes 

OPB-bild-1-b_ger I could work here . . . . .


. . . . oh, and definitely here!

(Photo credits, above:  Paschen Bibliotheken)

It seems a bit odd, to think of hearing, “I’m going to curl up with my Kindle or tablet.”  It loses something in translation, for me.  There’s no turning the corner on a page, using a beautiful bookmark, or having a soft landing on my forehead, if I happen to fall asleep while reading.

Cheerful Reading to You! – Wanda

Oh . . .  and if bookcases befuddle you, give me a call!


Dumbwit Tellher said...

Great post Wanda, I should watch less & read more. Oddly enough I had watched 'You've Got Mail' just the other night until 3 a.m. when I couldn't sleep. I could watch it over & over & over..

Great weekend to you ~ deb

Wanda S. Horton - Interior Designer said...

Thank you, Deb. Some of my best posts come to me when two worlds overlap. In this case, provided by technology and the concept of saving a bit of history. (And, like you, I could watch this movie, again and again!) Have a wonderful weekend, too!