Did you guys see the news that IKEA is updating the Billy bookcase
to make it less of a shelf for books and more a display case for objects? According to The Economist
, the new shelves will be deeper, designed for coffee table books, vases, sculptures, etc., because consumers are no longer buying actual physical books. Even I, a former Literature major who is obsessed with bookshelf organization
, have started enjoying the bloodless download of electronic texts in lieu of the in-person bookstore hunt for the perfect read. My latest download is Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story
, a great read set in a not-so-distant dystopian future where the smell of paper books is reviled by the new generation, as we see when our 'hero' is on a plane:
I noticed that some of the first-class people were staring me down for having an open book. "Duder, that thing smells like wet socks," said the young jock next to me...
I would dismiss this vision as laughable fiction, but Amazon now sells more e-books than physical paper books (again, according to the Economist
). Are we in the middle of an enormous paradigm shift, or is it just a new balance between digital and analog?
On Apartment Therapy, we all tend to have lots of opinions about bookshelves, both their form and their function. As e-books become more prevalent, with Netflix-like models for 'renting' texts (coming soon from Amazon, per the Wall Street Journal
), will you adapt your own bookshelves to reflect this change?
Image: Bethany Nauert / Warren & Mimi's Highly Personal Architectural Home