Decorative Books

You can buy based on color. You know, so people will think you can read and stuff.

I find this somewhere between sad and silly.

Strand, a gigantic bookstore in NYC, has offered this for a while.

I recall an old New Yorker cartoon. A customer is speaking to a clerk in a book store:

“I need 3 yards of green books.”

Not exactly a new idea - it’s referenced in The Great Gatsby. Gatsby has a library of uncut books, meaning they’ve never been read, they’re just on the shelves for show.

One way to get rid of books no one wants.

“Christ, what an asshole” seems especially apropos here.

ETA: it just occurred to me that one could read the above as referring to the OP - intent is to refer to the protagonist in the New Yorker cartoon in question.

In “Abie the Agent,” a classic comic strip dating back to 1914, the middle-class, upwardly-striving title character bought volume sets of classic literature for his home bookshelves.

To his credit, he would bring the same books home from the public library and actually read them. “Oy…why should I ruin my fine editions?”

Here’s a story about a guy, Thatcher Wine, who creates libraries where the (custom) dust jackets on the spines of the books make a mural. He charges something like $750 a linear foot, although I suppose you could do the same thing, if you’ve got the time and creativity. And this company will sell you books all in the same color, or with the same color dust covers, or whatever, again by the linear foot.

I’ve seen faux books on shelves with real spines and foam blocks behind, used in staging for real estate. Yeah, it happens. Now on Amazon? Ha!

I get so frustrated with my sister doing this. At least she goes to rummage and estate sales, but she’ll buy an armful of books, the older and mustier the better… just for decor.

At least there’s hope that she might someday read some of them. This is from the Questions section of the linked Amazon site:

Q: I understand that they are for decoration so that means that you can’t actually read them right? Are any of the names, real names from actual books?

**A: **Yes they are for decoration but yes you can read any of them. They are all real books in readable condition. Many purchase them for decor and end up reading them all!

My DIL buys the readers digest Condensed books, by color, and uses them for decor. They come in nice colors. I can sorta see it, as an artist. But really its kinda lame.

I used to see books in IKEA’s display of bookshelves for sale, where the books were clearly … I know there’s an industry term for this, but I’ve forgotten it … The books that didn’t sell well and got put into the Big Bin of Shame. :slight_smile: Obscure local Swedish history, unpopular novels, etc.


The library I volunteer at has had drama clubs, etc. contact us asking if we had any XYZ type of books that they could use for scenery. Usually, we do, and they can take as many as they want.

A local used book chain offers ‘Books By The Yard’, so you can “look smart” (their words, not mine) filling your shelf with those old Dan Brown and James Patterson hardbacks for $50/yd.

We have a local sheltered workshop for Adults with mental disabilities. They have store where they sell donated items. They get a lot of books donated. Usually gigantic sets of Encyclopedia Britannica. Thousands of novels and bibles, surprisingly.
Once a month they have a ‘bag-o’-books’ sale. $3. Buys a large bag. I suspect you could fill a library easily out of that store.

Exactly, thank you.

Linear yard, cubic yard, or back yard? :smiley:

Buying books by the yard was common in Victorian times. After all, if you’re building a new home then you need books to fill your new library. You don’t expect the owner to vet each and every one, do you?

Besides, you don’t want good books to disguise your secret door, do you?

Plus you need one on a hinge device so you can access the priest hole. That should be a diet book, no one likes those.

“The love of reading, delivered”