While I’ve lived in a variety of apartments over the last seven years, they are united in that for all of them the predominating factor has been the careful placement of a bookshelf. Be they an eight-foot scrap wood behemoth constructed by a crazy ex-librarian, a smoothly polished IKEA GREVBÄCK unit or a series of modular plastic shelves, a bookshelf – in my estimation – is what makes an apartment an apartment. It’s a sign a place is lived in, a checklist of what its resident cares about and what they’ve occupied their minds with.
For those who share my appreciation – and for those who enjoyed my Librophiliac Love Letter link from last year – you can bask in the literate glory that is Bookshelf Porn. The site collects a collage of bookshelf images, running the gamut of shelves and collections. Some merely arrange stacks of books into interesting and colorful formations, some of them are piled so high it’s clear that the owner has been there for years and some of them bear an aesthetic that looks as if the building has been constructed around the shelves.
Anyone can take a picture of their bookshelf of course – or just stop by the local store with a digital camera – but the photos at Bookshelf Porn are ones that trigger the right appreciative switch on my head. Partly it’s the variety, the artistic use of light and shadow several of the photos take, but mostly it’s the overwhelming sense of completion that always comes to me when I’m wandering through a library and which these photos manage to capture for one eternal second.
Inserted into this post are just a few of the very fine images that have been submitted to Bookshelf Porn, which I hope you’ll use as an entry point to their site. Peruse through them and pick yourself out a new desktop background, sign up for their Twitter feed to know when a new shelf is featured, or let them inspire you to drop a good chunk of your next paycheck on building your own.
Les Chappell is currently weighing the merits of moving from his existing apartment simply because there is no room to place a second shelf. Suggestions for how to make the most use of existing space are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through Twitter at http://twitter.com/lesismore9o9.