As if to emphasise James Bridle‘s point that books-as-objects act as souvenirs of the reading time, a few days ago I came across the blog bookshelf porn. The premise of the blog is simple – it shows photographs of bookshelves, contributed by readers, and adds a new picture of two every day. But I never would have imagined the variety of book shelves that exist, or how beautiful they look when they are collected together in this way.
This isn’t all about aesthetics – this is a blog with a message. While there’s very little text on the site occasionally, in between the photographs, there is a quote such as this one from The New Yorker’s The Book Bench writing about Bookshelf porn:
“Featuring a book on your bookshelf is akin to displaying a trophy. You’ve accomplished something in reading a book; it feels like a victory. The opportunity to display your literary conquests in unique or unexpected ways is something I will greatly miss with e-readers.”
This message – that bookshelves have a beauty and purpose that is not found in e-readers – is carried across the site. And looking at the photos I couldn’t really argue with that, however, I am excited to see how e-readers might begin to address that challenge…