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Books Do Furnish a Room
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 16 September 2011
There's no denying that this a handsome book about some very beautiful houses with very nice book storage spaces owned by those to whom money is no object.

If, like me, you are looking for bright ideas on how to house a too large and ever growing book hoard in a 1920s semi then this is really not going to be of much help except in producing wistful sighs or outright jealousy depending on one's mood.

Even if Ernie saw fit to bestow a million I doubt if it would cover a fraction of the cost of some of these libraries. I also have the sneaking suspicion that some of them exist as interior design elements not as collections to be read, loved and gloated over. I mean, what would they do if they ever bought another book? Where would it go?

If anyone knows of a volume offering assistance on book storage in the real world I'd appreciate any suggestions. So 5* for a lovely book not for it's practical application to my problem.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2010
One can never have too many books about bookshelves, and, although humans are absent, this makes an agreeable companion to At Home With Books (which includes a photograph of Keith Richards in his den). How neat many people are, and, apart from Richard Howard, few seem to have taken the Philip Larkin line of looking at a section of wall in his house and thinking, "I can get some more shelves in there".

Also well worth reading is Henry Petroski's The Book on the Bookshelf which is, er, a history of the bookshelf. It is shorter than his huge history of The Pencil.

Connoisseurs of authors' biographical notes on the back flap will note that Leslie Geddes-Brown casually remarks that she has a house in London, one in the country and not forgetting the obligatory one in Tuscany.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 13 March 2010
This is a very appealing coffee table book. The cover grabs your attention and it's very hard not to pick it up. It's full of photographs of people's houses and the innovative way that books are displayed. (My favourite was a collection that goes up a very high wall, which the owner accesses via a swing on a pulley). If you love books, it's a delight to look through it. There are also some interesting comments on the role that books play in our lives.

However, I couldn't shake the feeling that the book was put together by someone who was interested in interior design but ultimately wasn't that interested in books. For example, there's a lovely picture of a shelving arrangement in a child's room - but there are only two books, barely visible, crammed among the toys. Another picture shows a bookshelf filled with white books that aren't even real books. It feels like the author thinks the most interesting thing about books is the colour and shape of their spines. In most cases, the copy also adds next to nothing. For example, in the section on low lying bookshelves, we learn that the advantage they give you is that you still have wall space above - a startling revelation! I would have liked to find out more about the people whose houses we were looking at, or their reasons for organising books in the ways that they did, but that's not covered.

I am unashamedly nosy about people's bookshelves. I am the kind of person who will always check out your books when I come to your house, intrigued to know where our reading tastes align or differ, always hopeful of new discoveries. So I was also disappointed that it was so difficult in many of the photographs to see what books people actually had - at least one photograph has even been reversed so all the book titles are back to front.

There are other, similar books which are better.
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on 1 April 2015
I am a big fan of Leslie Geddes-Brown and this handsome tome did not disappoint. It looks good, it's not too big and not too heavy, and the content is wonderful - good photos, intelligent but not too intrusive or patronizing text, and plenty of inspiration for those lucky enough to have run out of space for their books, and can afford, ahem, to buy a whole new place and decorate it just for the books. This is definitely an aspirational offering, rather than a practical instructions manual. There are some good bits of advice but overall, if you're looking for workable ideas, you might be disappointed - not much to be learned from, for example, books stored in a luxurious bathroom (!) together with stuffed birds (!!), or in a huge country mansion, or in a vast Italian palazzo. And I definitely didn't fancy one idea featured, of having to hang from a swing and abseil to access books on unfeasibly high shelves... but maybe that's just me.

If you want a bit of armchair escapism and are happy to just lose yourself in some beautiful photography, you'll like the many different, interesting interiors and the ways books can be used as ornaments in some highly original interior decoration schemes.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2010
Great book, full of innovative ideas. All our visitors to the house pick it up to look at.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 2 November 2009
I just love books and my dream is always to have a proper library. I always feel that books create a certain atmosphere - cosy to elegant, books give colour to a room, books show a bit about the personality of the owner.

This book is a dream for me as one dream about the different kind of libraries, one gets new ideas what one can do.
I just love these kind of books. A perfect coffe table book, inspiring, relaxing after a hectic day. I enjoyed it immensely.
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