These decorators recommend turning books in bookcase backward???? For neutral look!!

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Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

This is a weird thing to comment on but it seemed to me to be an insane way of decorating a house.  I thumbed through the Country Home magazine and saw this picture of a decorated room.  Notice the fact that they have turned ALL the books in the bookcase so that you can't see their spines, just the pages, and this gives the background in the room a nice neutral look!  So they explained.

Holy smokes!  What will decorators think of next?  Obviously the decorator was not one who reads and loves books.  It's almost like years ago when people bought the nice sets of classics just for the pretty sets to put in the bookshelves.  Do any of you like this look?

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Rainmaker
980,293
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Gregg, I must admit that your reasoning makes sense.  If you are selling it could be part of depersonalizing the house.  Kinda like taking down the family pictures and art work on the refrigerator.  Now that books may also become almost extinct shoppers may really have a tendency to inspect the books.  Thanks for a very good comment.

Feb 10, 2011 02:54 AM #130
Anonymous
John

Barbara, I just found this discussion after googling the subject.... We just came home from vacation, and our interior designers "surprised" us by doing this. All my prized books were turned backwards, and they also covered my encyclopedias with plain paper. All I can say is...... the designers / stagers who think that it is a good idea, must be the most idiotic uneducated people, who have no respect for books and appreciation for the past, and simply going for something that looks "good" to their unsophisticated eyes. Needless to say, the paper covers were ripped off and the books were returned to their proper orientation. And, yes, some of us still prefer to thumb through an old encyclopedia than clicking through wikipedia!

Jul 23, 2012 06:12 AM #131
Rainmaker
980,293
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

John, you found this blog and it was written in 2008!  I am glad you agree with me and like the looks of BOOKS!  Books are delightful and should be appreciated for being books.  I must admit that I laughed just thinking of your returning and becoming enraged and ripping off the paper covers and turning the books back the proper way!!  Thanks for the comment.

Jul 23, 2012 06:32 AM #132
Anonymous
Lois

How can one choose a book with the spine backwards?.  I think the decorators just weant to do something different to be different.  It doesn't make sense. to me.  It renders the books useless and the look is blah - no character.  If you're going to display the books like that, just remove the books altogether and put something else on the shelves like collectibles.

Dec 01, 2012 07:14 AM #133
Rainmaker
980,293
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Lois, you are right.  I just couldn't see it as making any sense.  The decorator obviously is not a book lover! Thanks for finding this blog and commenting.

Dec 01, 2012 07:27 AM #134
Anonymous
Judith

For the nth time I saw a decorator in a TV show create a large wall of bookshelves with every book spine turned away. I'm a literacy educator and this idea makes me crazy!! Any decorator who would do that has to be alliterate. I will be selling my home soon and I'll be darned if we will turn our book spines back. I have, however covered books. Even that is somehow not so great. Here it is 2013 and I just found your blog - great chance to vent!

Aug 15, 2013 07:46 AM #135
Rainmaker
980,293
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Judith, I agree with you!  No true reader or book lover would treat books this way. Thanks for joining me in my complaint!

Aug 15, 2013 10:13 AM #136
Rainmaker
1,408,625
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I love it!

My dad used to have a special room where all walls were covered with books and I spent most of my childhood there...

Dec 20, 2014 04:10 PM #137
Anonymous
Mindy O

I was surprised at how old this discussion is and yet designers/stagers still insist on turning the books backwards...almost every blog/discussion agree that it is just ridiculous...cohesive?....not in my "book"! To me it looks messy and uninteresting. If books are only a design element, the designer should take the time to use cover colors and arrangements that compliment the other decor in the room. If they are the owners books, a little thought in the arrangement should give the cohesive look desired. Like the "duck lips" selfie, the backward books should gooooo!

Jun 26, 2016 02:42 AM #138
Rainmaker
980,293
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Mindy O.  You are so right.  This is an old blog but has had many many people look at it.  When I wrote it books were more valuable.  Now the books are seemingly being thrown away.  Times are really changing.

 

Jun 26, 2016 06:47 AM #139
Anonymous
Chandra Marski

I hate the look. To me this goes hand in hand with the dumbing down of America.

Dec 06, 2016 08:12 AM #140
Rainmaker
980,293
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Chandra, I love books and sounds as if you do too.  But now a book that sells for $25 new won't bring $1 in the second hand market and I agree with you that it makes me sad.

Dec 07, 2016 04:45 AM #141
Anonymous
Judy

It looks weird. Maybe they are embarrassed about the titles. Looks off. Put em in right or not at all. I have over 300 books and all the spines show.

Mar 12, 2017 02:02 PM #142
Rainmaker
980,293
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Judy, I agree.  I have always loved books and can't imagine someone doing this just for the look.

Mar 12, 2017 02:07 PM #143
Anonymous
Don Fink

When I see books like this, it leaves me with the impression that the decorator is illiterate.

Feb 13, 2018 02:35 PM #144
Rainmaker
980,293
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Don, it makes me think that she/he was the beginning of an awful time now where no one cares about books!  It was written in 2008 when books were still loved!  Now we can hardly give them away!

Feb 13, 2018 04:26 PM #145
Anonymous
Dee

You can’t choose a book to read if you can’t see what it is. Decorators are also supposed to think of function. Seeing what the book is is more important than a neutral bookcase.

May 15, 2018 09:45 PM #146
Anonymous
Phoebe

I don't like it. It looks too plain. I prefer to seethe color of he spines.

May 17, 2018 06:55 PM #147
Anonymous
Char

I had to chime in on this conversation! Even though this topic was started years ago, it still makes me crazy! All my favorite design shows feature bookshelves with the books turned backwards! So ridiculous! Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper does it all the time! I thought it was just something she did, but no! I just watched an episode of Nate and Jeremiah By Design where they renovated a room in a homeless shelter and they actually built two huge bookcases and filled them with books for residents to borrow - all turned backwards!!! It makes no sense at all! It creates a job for the space owner as they have to turn them all around! #nobooksmarts

May 28, 2018 12:40 PM #148
Rainmaker
980,293
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Char, you are so right.  I thought this was an isolated thing that would go nowhere.  People who turn the books backward definitely don't like to read and have no curiosity.  Turning books backward in a homeless shelter or building bookcases just to do this is crazy!  There should be a law against this!!

May 28, 2018 01:32 PM #149
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Barbara S. Duncan

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