Queer Eye’s “Book TV” Breaks a Major Bookshelf Styling Rule

published Feb 6, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Living room where the Queer Eye team watches TV. TV stand looks like stacks of books
Credit: Ilana Panich-Linsman/Netflix

As I recently watched Season 8 of Queer Eye, a bold design choice caught my eye — and no, it wasn’t one of Bobby Berk’s mind-blowing home transformations. It was part of the Fab Five’s living room in their New Orleans home: a huge flatscreen television surrounded by a couple hundred books. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. 

Books have long doubled as decor, but the scale of these ones piled high makes it look so different than anything I’ve seen before. One of the most noticeable contrasts from how books are usually styled is that there’s no bookshelf. There are no wooden ledges separating these volumes; they’re stacked directly on top of each other. The books are also strategically placed with the spines facing inward (very anti-bookshelf wealth and not Berk’s preference), so all you see are the tan hues of the page edges. It basically looks like a giant wall of books with a TV placed smack dab in the middle. 

I’d say it’s a showstopper you can’t miss, but apparently this TV “stand” was also in season 7 of the show and I totally didn’t notice (whoops!). Full disclosure: My initial reaction when I saw the tower of books was not positive, but it has grown on me.

This design has some obvious drawbacks: You can’t see what books you have available to read, and if you want to cozy up with one of the titles, they’re not exactly accessible. But its styling in homage to New Orleans — gold horns and a Roman bust sporting a colorful Mardi Gras mask — highlights how the design provides a neutral palette for your decor. Plus, it’s an out-of-the-box solution for displaying a book collection that’s outgrown your storage spaces.

Once I got over the initial shock of the distinctive design, I came to appreciate its uniqueness as the camera panned to the Fab Five watching their hero of the week apply the cast’s advice to their life. Or maybe I just smile so damn much while watching this show that it would take a lot for me to truly dislike something as minor as a TV stand.