Synopses & Reviews
Bookcases are so much more than just a place to store one’s books. They've become experiments in engineering and explorations into modern art, covetable in their own right. Financial analysts at Bloomberg have even used the IKEA Billy bookcase as an index of economic growth.
In these pages you will find plenty of inspiration and diversity, from “Juxtaposed,” a shelf capitalizing on limited space to display seven books containing the world’s most influential religions, to Sakura Adachi’s “Trick,” a bookcase that constantly mutates into a table and two chairs. Shelves can even be re-imagined: the way laundry is dried in China informed Dutch designers Studio Ditte as they created their Kwan bookcase.
So while we appreciate the efficient book storage of e-readers, let us marvel at physical bookshelves that are shaped like trees, or hold books upside down, or can even walk. This beautifully crafted book will bring joy to book lovers everywhere.
"Even as e-readers increasingly replace printed books, the bookshelf is 'in rude health,' says Johnson, and being revived in surprising, creative, and innovative designs. A British journalist and bookshelf enthusiast/blogger, Johnson (Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution) convincingly demonstrates this in a charming and distinctive visual catalogue of the contemporary bookshelf in its multiform incarnations, from functional ladder-bookcases to a mobile bookcase bicycle and a bookshelf-printed dress. A brief, informative introduction traces his subject's cultural history, up through the appearance of virtual bookshelves, and as 'theatres' to display the book owner's identity. Vivid color photographs present cloud-shaped shelves, chairs with built-in shelves, and an ingenious circular storage wheel that allows the reader to travel with the books. Each photograph is accompanied by a brief descriptive text and the designer's Web site URL. Johnson's delight in the inventiveness of contemporary bookshelf design is infectious, and the care for and love of books imbued in these creations may enthuse even the most devoted e-book reader. Designers and book lovers will appreciate this unique collection. 305 color illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"[Alex] Johnson's book will remind our descendants of the whimsy and glory of making theater out of book storage." The Wall Street Journal
"Stacked cinder blocks and boards work just as well-or as optimistic in this e-book world--as the swirling, angled, wacky shelves in Alex Johnson's new book." The Los Angeles Times
"...a very cool compilation of creatively designed bookshelves..." The Chicago Tribune
"Johnson's delight in the inventiveness of contemporary bookshelf design is infectious, and the care for and love of books imbued in these creations may enthuse even the most devoted e-book reader." Publishers Weekly
"Especially and particularly recommended to anyone whose ideas of interior decoration and design include rooms of bookshelves brimming over with their life-time collections." The Midwest Book Review
Celebrating innovation and inspiration in one of the most basic of all home designs: the bookshelf.
About the Author
Alex Johnson is a freelance journalist and the author of Shedworking:The Alternative Workplace Revolution. In 2007, he started Bookshelf, a blog that highlights interesting bookcases. He lives in England.