Once having a peek at the book titles on your friend’s shelves was a fascinating way of finding out more about them. But with sales of Kindle growing all the time, are the days of the book shelf numbered?
The Sunday Times reports on shelf etiquette – or how best to display your books on shelves. But seems to miss the main point in its otherwise interesting feature – with the rise in the Kindle will books in our homes become a thing of the past? Will bookshelves become one of those things that eventually you can’t buy because no-one needs them?
Interestingly, two thirds of the way through the copy it quotes one bookworm as saying: “I once went into a modern house abroad and I felt uneasy. I couldn’t work out why and then I suddenly realised – no books. The house was soulless. It was really awful.”
He goes on to say: “There is a place for Kindle but books are there as a visual reminder. That’s why we have bookshelves as opposed to book cupboards. And just having them there makes people feel better read.”
Now one company, Manor Bindery of Hampshire, has started supplying shelves of false books – which you can order as custom-made boxed sets without any words to line your book shelves – but representing the books you have read on your Kindle.
Kindle users can also send an automated tweet to their Twitter followers alerting them to what they are reading.
The Sunday Times article, however, believes many will struggle to abandon the physical book completely for a Kindle version. “Not only do I want the look and feel of a paper book,” says one interviewee, “when it comes to reading I want the notes I once made in the margins; I like the train tickets that fall out of a particular page and the various paper marking passages.”
And their article then comes back to its orginal theme – how to arrange your books on bookshelves in your home.
Apparently there are five main ways:
* Alphabetical by author
This way you know where any book is quickly.
* By genre
They suggest you might arrange your books by ‘fiction’, ‘biography,’ ‘reference’.
* By colour
If your books can be graded into colours, this can look very attractive.
* Literary snob style
You only display the Penguin classics and not the ‘trashy’ holiday novels (which you take to the charity shop.)
* Kindle with false book spines (as above.)
Or we say you can do away with dusty shelves altogether and just use your Kindle. We predict – a little like vinyl records gave way to the digital iTunes age (and are now collectors items only) – that books will eventually go the same way.
What do you think? Will books always be popular or eventually will we all read our books on Kindle-devices? Let us know your thoughts below…