Monday, September 04, 2006

DO: Library by color

Recently on Design Observer, Rob Giampierto posted an article about arranging books. After a brief introduction on the Dewey system, he points out that while this works very well for large collections home collections may need a different system. How does one go about arranging a personal library? Is it by topic, by size, or my personal favorite, wherever I manage to throw it back on the self? He argues to try color.

How does color have a relationship to content? By rearranging your shelf, you may notice certain types of books are always published with a certain color cover, perhaps in order to change your view of the content, or just to help sell it. Also, you may notice relationships with other books. How does the content of your personal collection shift when noticing one book setting next to a book it has never neared before?

Ultimately, he says, it will at least make the books a better backdrop to your life, having a rainbow appear on a wall.


Blogger M.D. said...

This is a really interesting concept. I once knew a woman who bought a 15 year old set of encyclopedias because the color looked good on the shelf. I doubt that she ever opened one.
I love books, and tend to collect way too many. Mine are all arranged by subject matter (such as art/technique/watercolor, or travel by country/continent, places I've been and where I hope to go, etc.).
I use my books and refer to them regularly. What if I had to find all the books on Mexican photographers, and they were scattered throughout the shelves? I can't imagine not having them together by subject matter!
On the other hand, maybe I'd discover relationships among the subjects I'd never thought of!

3:56 PM  
Blogger Professor Melis said...

Of course this one is after my own heart!

Buzz Spector, the book artist/designer/critic/installation artist I hope to bring to campus next spring made a "book construction" piece at the art institute of Chicago that involved moving all of his books out of his home in New York and putting them on a single shelf that ran all the way around the gallery in order of size, to the millimeter. I can't find an image of that exact piece, but a google search of his name will show you some similar works. Anyway, what's kind of funny is one book was stolen and Buzz still doesn't know which one, just what size it was!

3:14 PM  
Blogger M.D. said...

Love it... would he know if they were by subject matter???? (I had two "borrowed" and I know they were Jock Sturges and Muybridge from the nude section!)

1:24 PM  
Blogger mary said...

I am also intrigued by this. Like m.d, I usually arrange by subject matter, but I might try this, just to take a picture of what it would look like!

4:01 PM  
Blogger Jeff Pulaski said...

I arrange mine by subject too, but when I get done with them, I never get them back in the right place. I tend to stack them somewhere in my office and then move the stacks to the book shelf, again as stacks.

Not a very organized system.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Ruthy said...

I have never done this, but I'm pretty sure it works. I guess once I have collected more books I can do it!

2:53 PM  

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