Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I used to know someone who offered an up-market interior design service. She would literally buy books by the yard at auctions - grabbing whatever rubbish was going, as long as it was old and leather-bound, because it looked like a library to her City clients.

She had a few yards in her own house. The historical fact of holding a two hundred year old title was interesting, the content often less so.

I have way, way too many paper books in the house. I have way, way too many books on hard disk too, but they don't take up nearly as much space, which makes them easier to live with.

I also have a 30" monitor, and it's easier to read books on a big display than it is to read them in print.

Publishing has already become MBA-ised over the last couple of decades, so exotic or creative work is getting much less shelf space than it used to.

However, there are sites that promote - and pay for - new writing online, and I suspect we'll be seeing more of those in the future, perhaps linked to blogs and forums. So the idea of a 'book' is going to fade, and be replaced by more amorphous writing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 05:49:09 PM EST
I actually know someone who used that little decorating trick.  Well, she wasn't/isn't a reader of any sort and she felt old books gave her room the look she wanted, and I suppose there is a kind of sincerity in that.  I had to bite my tongue--hard--when she told me straight out what she was doing.  Interestingly, one of the books she parked on the shelf actually had meaning to her because it had belonged to her grandmother, a charming tome on true womanhood.
by jjellin on Sun Sep 6th, 2009 at 08:59:34 PM EST
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