Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house."

Whenever I am in someone else's house I helplessly find myself drawn to the books. I love to see what other people have read; it's great to see what you have in common with other people, and what you could have in common, or what they would want to share with you.

But books have other values as well. They are an inevitable part of your interior decoration. And if one thing that seems to be certain, it is that books generally look good wherever you put them.

If you ever have the chance you should pop down to the house belonging to one of bibliophilia's most creative book storers, the architect Sir John Soane. It is behind Holborn station, just a 5 minutes walk from Foyles on Charing Cross road. Sir John's library is so large that he thought it a good idea to make books seem to be the fabric of his house. You find bookshelves on the walls, in the walls, in door frames, in window ledges, behind doors and paintings. It is an extraordinary piece of architecture and proof that books do beautifully furnish.

How do you fit books into the fabric of your house?