The Backwards Bookshelf: Aesthetic or Abominable?

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for a good bookshelf. A living space without one is no living space at all. Often, when I’m sitting at home and zoning out, my eyes will drift over to the row of spines that line my wall as if I was staring at some sort of abstract painting. Each segment has encompassed a different portion of my life, and I enjoy looking back at them as if they were old family photos in a dusty album.

It is for this reason that I cannot fathom the latest interior design trend: backward bookshelves. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Take all of your books and spin them around so that the cream colored pages face out. Do a quick search on Pintrest or Instagram and you’ll find plenty of interior-design hypebeasts hiding their spines. The style is supposed to invoke a sort of minimalistic color scheme that gives the space a certain feng-shui. Fine. I get that. But why would someone go out of their way to hide what they’ve read?


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Image via bookriot

Whenever I visit a person’s house for the first time, I’m always intrigued by the books they leave scattered around. You can tell a lot about a person based on what they’ve read. If I were to visit a home with a backwards bookshelf, I could only assume that they are a private person. Maybe what they read is too personal. All of our lives are already plastered all over the internet, so why should we parade our reading as well? Perhaps that’s overcomplicating the trend. Maybe some people are only interested in books for aesthetic reasons.


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Image Via Did You Know?

We are living in the age of the kindle; an age where many people read from screens or listen to audio books. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this modern convenience, but I refuse to let physical copies of books die out. I find myself, like many others, staring at a screen 24/7, and the paper pages of a book have become a sort of bastion to me. No ads, no pixels, no distractions. It’s for this reason that we must celebrate our books. We must show our naked spines to the world as they line our shelves with pride.


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