Abigail Willis / Willis Bloom
The beauty of a good book
The other day I was dusting my bookshelf and it got me thinking. Books in yesteryear used to be the ultimate status symbol. A sign of wealth and intelligence, they were proudly displayed, admired and coveted.
In todays world where the printed word is accessible to most, books are commonplace, easy come, easy go, and for everyone.
As a result do you think we don’t give our books the status they deserve?
Books are beautiful to look at. I’m currently fantasising about a huge bookshelf wall in our family room. It will need to be custom made and perfect. It will be painted in a beautiful deep blue and as a result the whole room will need an overhaul to keep up…. I may need to buy more books to fill it up….
My dreaming got me off topic. Right. Books are of course amazing to read, to escape with, to fuel our imaginations, educate our minds and spirit us away. But they are also beautiful to see arranged in a row, in a pile, on a table. As a very visual person I’ve always found it impossible not to judge a book by it’s cover. (Admission: I would really struggle to buy a book on a recommendation if its jacket was ugly… there I said it, judge me).
But in this age of technology I have a fear that less and less books are making it into our homes as they are replaced by screens. Shame on us. I remember when I was first bought a tablet as a gift. As a protest I didn’t take it out of it’s box for a year. I couldn’t understand my need for this plain black thing when I could hold something beautiful in my hands. (I did eventually succumb when I saw the merits of taking just one little tablet on holiday vs. a pile of books. I’m a fast reader so the churn rate is high and the luggage is therefore heavy. I should also point out that now I have children reading on holiday is almost impossible until they are all in bed fast asleep.)
I’m consciously using books in my decorating ideas now (doesn’t need to be as grand as a bookshelf wall although I am still hopeful it will happen…). Recently our family bathroom underwent a mini make over, and I needed to elevate a rather lovely fern we had positioned in the corner of the room. It was a bit shorter than I had wanted but jolly all the same. I tried a few things to lift it from it’s lowly position. Stage entrance: Books! A beautifully selected little stack of books to raise it into position. Not only does it look good, it introduced an extra splash of colour and I also rediscovered some good reads I had forgotten about. Most excellent. As I look around my own home I see little staged piles of books. They are accenting colours, tempting people to read, adding height, depth and I’m proud to also say they have all been read.