April 13, 2012
Bookshelves more creative than yours
by Christopher King
If you’re anything like me (a frightening proposition for you, I’m afraid), you probably have a great number of books in your home, and you’ve probably taken great care to arrange them for maximum impact on houseguests and romantic prospects. You know what I mean—the big Russian novels are placed strategically at eye level opposite the sofa to demonstrate your intelligence, while the bullshit you’re actually reading is tucked away on a bottom shelf (or in my case, an out-of-the-way windowsill).
In case you need further inspiration for how a self-styled creative type such as yourself should apportion his or her books, look no further than It’s Nice That’s weekly Bookshelf feature, which asks writers, illustrators, designers, and other artsy people to share their shelves with the world.
In the latest edition, Achim Bourchardt-Hume, the chief curator of the Whitechapel Gallery in London, recommends—what do you know?—Crime and Punishment (but only for its aesthetic value!), in addition to J.G. Ballard‘s Miracles of Life and the Damien Hirst monograph I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now.
As for my own tastes, I have a hankering for the Scandinavian-ish minimalism of the shelves maintained by the British design agency A Practice for Everyday Life, but I think my personal favorite is the organized exuberance of bona fide Scandinavian illustrator Andreas Samuelsson’s collection. And close inspection of some other libraries reveals some pleasant surprises, including a copy of our very own Dogma on the desk of The White Review‘s Benjamin Eastham.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some rearranging to do.
Christopher King is the former Art Director of Melville House.