Of all the frustrating things I’ve seen on the internet lately (and there have been many), the worst offender has been backwards books.

Apparently it’s a thing now to turn your books so that the spines are hidden.

Designers call it “giving the room a neutral look”.

I call it “an offence against humanity”.

The whole point of a bookcase is to see your books. To be able to pick out an old friend to curl up with on a cold and rainy afternoon, to run a fond eye over the covers and cherish all those stories and memories.

I sincerely feel that I could never be friends with someone whose living room looks like this:


My ideal book buddy is someone who, like myself, cares enough about their books to showcase them appropriately.

So what does my bookcase look like?

It’s about 80% books and 20% associated clutter (photos, pens, discarded letters, old journals, that weird ornament my mother-in-law gave me one Christmas).

When I was little, my bookcase at home was organised alphabetically but adult life did away with that habit.

Now there’s no real order to it, there doesn’t need to be, because I’ve poured over it enough to know roughly where everything is.

You can take the measure of a person from a look at their bookcase.

Some like ’em clean and simple:


Others prefer a bit of chaos:


Some group their books by colour:


Others by author name, or genre:


Whatever you’re into, the most important ingredient is love.

And people who love books would never turn them to the wall.




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1 Comment

  1. My students sometimes shelve their independent reading books backwards, and it drives me crazy (mostly because it creates unnecessary confusion when we come back to independent reading and they can’t immediately identify whose book is whose). I had no idea it was an interior design trend! I agree that it would make the room look sort of soulless, though.


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