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.
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.
So I've seen this happening a bit on instagram recently and wondered how my shelves would look if I tried it. So here we go, a little #bookreversal experiment. . Hopefully you guys like it. I think it's quite cool. I expected it to all look the same but then you actually notice the different shades of white and yellow of the pages 😍 . #backwardsbooks #insideoutshelves #insideoutbooks
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.
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).
Hooray for a weekend well spent! This newly completed library is where my reading copies live (not to be confused with my collectible editions in the living room, which are absolutely NOT for reading purposes 😂). 📚 Fun fact: I had reserved a fair amount of money for a luxurious armchair, but I changed my mind at the last minute and bought this one from IKEA for half the price (it's very comfortable!) and plan to spend the rest on books. 🙌🏻
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…