Behold: The Vanity Bookshelf

We’ve all seen those boxes manufactured to resemble books. Many of us booklovers even own a few of these fake books, even if we’ve never gotten around to storing things in them (hidden storage being the ostensible purpose of these book look-alikes).

Many of us have marveled over photos of wallpaper, shower curtains, and bedspreads with images of bookshelves full of books.

And most of us have read about movie propmasters buying “books by the yard” to populate interior scenes of the movies they’re helping to create.

What you might not have known about, however, is that more and more interior designers are being asked by some of their clients to use book collections as props in their houses. Books they’ve never read and never intend to. Or they’re having installed in their houses wall-sized expanses of merely the spines of books rather than actual books.

That bookcase of beautiful vintage books you’re noticing at someone’s fancy house may actually be a facade hiding a Murphy bed!

An article (with numerous photos) published in today’s New York Times calls this decor trend the “fake book” phenomenon.

Read it and weep (or laugh, or admire, or reflect on the persistence of human vanity, or whatever).

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YouTubes for Booklovers!

My brother Michael has long believed there’s a YouTube video for every conceivable unfamiliar task you might want to accomplish, and so far his advice to seek out a YouTube for any of the do-it-yourself projects I’ve reluctantly undertaken has proven useful.

What I didn’t realize until today was that the YouTube universe is also a source of delight (as well as for instruction) for booklovers! I discovered this while catching up on the some recent blogposts of one of my favorite fellow biblioblogers, Thomas Otto at Hogglestock.

During the COVID pandemic lockdown, Thomas Otto and his partner John (who live in Washington, DC) spent some of their screen-gazing time trawling through YouTube videos featuring tours of people’s home libraries. As Thomas warns, library tour videos, like those about almost every subject, constitute a very deep Interenet rabbit hole, so you may find exploring this area of the Internet (a) unexpectedly time-consuming (although these videos tend to be rather short) and (b) unexpectedly addictive. The sheer variety of collection priorities, narrators’ voices, and the different looks of these home libraries is what makes these videos addictive.

I look forward to using the sidebars of “related videos” from some of these tours to do my own version of this time-consuming, addictive – and delightful – peek into other people’s libraries. If you decide to merely partake of a single sample of these often querky excursions, you might start with this one that Thomas embedded in one of his library tour YouTube posts:

A Clever – and Practical – Use for No-Longer-Needed Cookbooks?

Of the writing of cookbooks there is no end; ditto the collecting of cookbooks – and the resulting inevitable culling of cookbooks you no longer have space for.

This appealing idea for the bookish person’s home kitchen doesn’t require the do-it-yourselfer to use only cookbooks. As shown in this photo, you could use any books that – for whatever reason and about any subject – you no longer need.

This idea might be especially appealing to those of us book-loving amateur cooks who are wondering whether or not, in an age where recipes can be found online and printed out as needed, it may be time to radically reduce the number of cookbooks in our homes.

Instructions for making this upscaling project are here.

Found via Pinterest