This backwards book trend is seriously dividing bibliophiles

For any bookworm who’s harboured a dream of cultivating a home library, one of the most crucial points to consider is how to display your growing collection.

Some may envision a towering Beauty and the Beast-esque room requiring ladders to scale, others a more minimalist set of cases adorned with personal knickknacks and frames – but no matter your preference of wood or height, you’re highly likely to have envisioned to books you have on show with the spines facing outwards.

Until now.

The backwards book trend is as simple as it sounds – reversing your books so that the colours of the jackets don’t clash with your carefully crafted interior design palette.

The idea gained popularity on the feeds of Instagram and boards of Pinterest, with those who wanted their bookshelves to be a neutral base rather than a stand-out feature – but amongst some, this seemingly innocent motive has generated quite the backlash.

Critics of the backwards book trend believe it’s impractical at best, and ‘dumb’ at worst, with many disparaging at the style-over-substance approach. When lifestyle blogger Lauren Coleman’s backwards bookshelves were featured in an issue of Ideal Home at the end of last year, she faced a torrent of online mockery, dubbed a ‘blithering idiot’ by a Twitter user who spotted the shoot.

I added some green friends to one of my favorite spots in the house. 🌿🌾🍃

A post shared by Hannah Briggs (@thistle.harvest) on

Our take? Turning your books backwards is harmless, perhaps even (whisper it) chic way to store your tomes without relinquishing them to a cupboard or box under the bed. For a less prescriptive take, you can also mix and match, as in the image above, only turning books that don’t tie in with your look.

And if you still can’t stomach the thought of not being able to identify your books at first sight? Try the equally aesthetically pleasing rainbow book trend, where titles are lined up from red through indigo (or vice versa).

The priority here might still be a creating a photogenic display, but at least you’ll know what you’re reaching for when you take one out…