There’s something for everyone in this L.A. Times article on living with books.
Books by the foot:
No one really "decorates" with books–except perhaps those who don’t actually read them. In one episode of HGTV’s "you’re Home," viewers were advised to use them as "risers to elevate accessories." A Fallbrook-based business called Book Décor specializes in the sale of leather-bound books that "unlike drapes or carpeting appreciate in value and never wear out," selling them by the foot in quantities of up to 250. Lest any client be tempted to open and read one, they’re printed in Danish.
Being, literally, buried in books:
The story of Anthony Cima is the book lover’s nightmare: The 87-year-old stuffed 10,000 books into a one-room San Diego apartment, and when a 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit just off the coast of Oceanside in July 1986, he was buried beneath them and barely survived.
Solid, practical information:
Valuable volumes need protection from sunlight, whether curtains or polarized window film. Shelves made of softer woods may bow in the center if filled with hardcover volumes. Bookcases should have backs, especially if they’re going to be placed against outside walls, which can leak moisture and lead to mildew.
When you marry or cohabit, do you merge collections, disposing of the duplicates? Sometimes, but not always. The act is fraught. If individual books hold memories, whose get kept and whose discarded? And if the relationship ends, who gets custody? (Putting one copy on the shelf and another in a box in the attic is one way to work it out.)
Should books always be kept on shelves or is accumulating a bedside stack acceptable? No, but pray for an understanding partner, because it happens anyway. ("I know I tend to create obstacle courses, but I have to have new books where I can see them," says Amster.)
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