Leslie Geddes-Brown, Books do furnish a room

Book stacks

Book stack - part of the TBR pile

There was no resisting this book – Books do furnish a room – when I saw it on a table in the National Library of Australia’s bookshop. It’s rare for me to buy a coffee-table book but … this is one gorgeous book. It is lavishly illustrated with images of books in pretty well every room or area of a house from bathroom to bedroom, from stairwell to kitchen. It’s enough to make a booklover drool.

But, what really sold it to me was that, amazingly, it even has an example that justifies my practice shown right: “Surprisingly” says Geddes-Brown, “it is found in a home belonging to a former editor of South African House & Garden … his excuse is that he had no bookshelves and just piled books against his bedroom wall”. Love it! He can visit my house any time.

In her introduction Geddes-Brown, former Deputy Editor of World of Interiors and Country Life magazines, writes:

So books do furnish a room – but not always very well. This book, with images from stylish houses, taken by world-famous photographers, intends to show how it can be done.

Hmm…I do find the text a little simplistic but, what the heck, after all it is really an adult’s picture book. And, it does contain the odd bit of practical advice – particularly for those who have not thought a lot about such things – such as about shelf size, location, and lighting. The book is divided into four sections – Living with books; Working with books; Designing for books; and Making the most of books – with each section having a short introduction followed by lots of well-captioned images to lust after.

And that’s about all I’m going to say, because this is a book to look at not talk about. I will just leave you with this:

… in their way, books are like pictures on the wall; they reveal whether you are a minimalist with all covers hidden under plain wrappers, a maximalist whose every room has a generously filled bookcase, or an anarchist whose preferred method of storage is an untidy heap.

Which one are you?

Leslie Geddes-Brown
Books do furnish a room
London: Merrell Publishers, 2009
ISBN: 9781858944913