Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Black Shelf



Another colour-themed bookshelf for your bibliophilic voyeuristic eyes! Like the orange shelf, this black one is purely for the photo-op, but it is so striking that I am persuaded to create one in the future as a permanent addition to my personal library.

Perhaps telling of the genre, most of the black books above belong to the fantastical or are about the dark, twisted world of fairy tale. There is also a Gothic classic, a collaboration by two favourite writers, and a novel by an Australian musician...

I definitely like the effect of this shelf and it would complement my white shelf wonderfully. I also have my boyfriend's leather-bound editions of Absolute Sandman by Neil Gaiman (signed, no less) and the remainder of my black-spined Neil Gaiman books that I could add to these, providing I made it the bottom shelf of the bookcases.

So far, which has been your favourite colour of shelf photographed?


30 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is such a cool concept. I think I might do a rainbow reorganization for my Sunday Salon post. Hmmm, so many other things to do, none of them as fun. I think this idea will win out over cleaning the back room...

Pam said...

That comment was mine. Woops!

verity said...

That looks quite forbidding; I wouldn't like a whole shelf full of black. I like orange best so far, because there is such a good mix of publishers and titles, and orange is much more cheery! I wish I had more pink and purple books to do a shelf of books in my favourite colours.

Paperback Reader said...

Pam, it really is fun! It also doesn't take as long as you would think, although if you are going to do all of your books... Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday to me!

Verity, I like it's imposing appearance; I think it's striking. The orange was lovely and cheerful, agreed.
I've considered a pink and purple shelf too! Although I'm not sure if I have enough books of that colour. I'll probably attempt another photo-op in a couple of weeks.

Nymeth said...

Oooh...this just might be my favourite so far :D Also, very jealous of your boyfriend's signed Absolute Sandman!

Paperback Reader said...

Ana, I suspected you would like this shelf. We're quite proud of the signed Absolute Sandman! I bought them for him but he dragged their weight along to be signed.

JoAnn said...

Oh, the black is so striking! Most of my black spines are Penguin Classics.

Paperback Reader said...

I have a few more black Penguin Classics that the one on the shelf, but not many. In fact, when I wrote the Silver Shelf post about Penguins and mentioned the white, mint, and orange penguins, I entirely forgot there ever were black ones. I also have a boxset of Penguin Loves that all have black spines.

Carl V. said...

Black and orange are two of my favorite colors, so it would be a toss up between the two, although black is probably my favorite. I like seeing all the black books together, especially because the title colors and any little decorative flourishes on the spines really pop out from that black background. And of course seeing Neil Gaiman on the shelf makes it even more attractive! While I envy the fact that your boyfriend has his Absolutes signed, I cannot imagine the back ache that must have accompanied lugging those volumes around to get signed!

Tony said...

OK, I'm bucking the trend; I didn't really like the black collection. I found the orange and silver ones much more aesthetically pleasing (to say nothing of the white collection...)

Paperback Reader said...

Carl, the titles and decoration really do pop out, making it a very vivid photograph. I was going to include all of my black Neil Gaiman books but I already have a Neil Gaiman shelf and thought it defeated the purpose of the photo-op!
My boyfriend doesn't yet have all of the Absolute Sandmans and had to leave one at home when he went to the signing but I still have tremendous admiration for him carrying two with him along with his laptop bag for work! I wimped out and didn't take my hardback of Fragile Things (white), which I regret.

Tony, yay for bucking the trend! I'm curious what appeals to others and what they find aesthetically pleasing so thank you.

Darlene said...

As soon as your post popped up my reaction was "ooohhhh", the black is quite dramatic isn't it. Brief interlude there whilst I ran upstairs to count my black spines and there are only five between two bookshelves. Interesting way to examine our collection Claire.

Paperback Reader said...

Darlene, I agree that it makes quite an impact. This series has made me consider publishing choices more, how cover colour is decided, and whether it has any bearing on my buying of books (I think I will be even more conscious now of which colour of spine I buy). Interesting black seems to be more popular than white but that may be down to easy discolouration of the latter.

savidgereads said...

I think for me at the moment its a toss up between the silver and the orange... a very very close contest!

Paperback Reader said...

Hee. I love my white shelf personally but grow more and more attached to them all as I read people's likes and reasoning.

Carl V. said...

The only time I've seen Neil Gaiman was in Chicago when he was touring for Anansi Boys. I got that signed, a hardback copy of Smoke and Mirrors, and a large sized version of the illustrated Stardust that a friend had Charles Vess sign for me at World Fantasy Con years before that. I too have a Neil Gaiman shelf, in my office at work, that has most of my books plus some Sandman figurines and a Neil Rat from Lisa Snellings. My Absolutes and my Subterranean Press versions of The Graveyard Book and Coraline are at home.

Carl V. said...

To be honest really my top 2 shelves at work are Gaiman shelves because I have audio books on the second shelf plus Mirrormask books.

Paperback Reader said...

That's quite the collection spread over two locations, Carl!

I had The Graveyard Book signed at an event for that on Hallowe'en and also attended a Coraline screening where him & Henry Selick spoke. I would love to have American Gods signed as it's my favourite but my friend had my copy at the time of the signing.

Book Psmith said...

Something about the writing on the background of black just makes this shelf pop! My favorite so far has been the silver.

Paperback Reader said...

The uniformity of the silver does make it impressive, Book Psmith.

claire said...

I don't have many black-spined books now but I used to (sold all my Stephen Kings, more than 20). My favourite of your shelves so far is the silver, next is orange. MOre, please!

Paperback Reader said...

Claire, more are coming over the next couple of weeks :).
It's odd how few black spines there are in other people's collections.

Danielle said...

I love your color-themed bookshelf. I think orange is my favorite (so nice and bright). I have seen photos of entire bookcases arranged like this, which is very cool, but I think in the end it might bother me to not have books by one author sitting together. Of course as it is I don't have enough shelf space anyway...

Tony said...

If I looked at my shelves, one colour which would stand out is blue as I seem to have a lot of the Wordsworth Editions classic novels (mainly becuase they're dirt cheap ;)

verity said...

I looked for black spines last night, and surprisingly I had quite a number. I didn't think I would as I don't own many fantasy style books. Am tempted to play with my books next week (if I get any time at all!). I could manage a blue or green shelf I think, if only I had a spare shelf to put them on...

Paperback Reader said...

Danielle, I don't think I could have full bookcases arranged in this way for the reason you mention: I would be loath to separate authors and I have too many "sets" of authors that look good together.

Tony, they're not actually an imprint that I own and -off the top of my head- and can only think of a small handful of blue books that I have. A blue shelf would look stunning.

Verity, black dials are, of course, black too! I don't have any though. I would like a blue shelf but I don't think I have enough... I have a bottle-green shelf (obviously, although could easily imagine or or two more) but I would like a lighter green one, but again I don't think I have that many green books that aren't Viragoes. I love considering my books in terms of colour.

verity said...

Maybe I shall do a blue shelf for you...

The trouble with many of my books is that the spines are very faded; the ones I had before I left home were kept in a bookcase that got the sun every day, and the ones on my current TBRBC (or which resided there before it became the TBRBC) have also been quite damaged :(

Paperback Reader said...

Oh please make a blue shelf for me, Verity! That would be great. Although looking over my shoulder, it would appear that I have more blue books than I first thought... I may be setting up a couple of more shelves this weekend for a photo-op.
I'm lucky that I don't have many sun-damaged books but that's what happens when you have so many books that most of their lives have been spent in boxes!

Carl V. said...

I lucked out with American Gods. I walked into the store on release day and they had just set up the display which included one autographed copy, which is of course the one I snagged. Of course it is always more fun to have your stuff signed in person, but I was still pretty psyched about it.

Paperback Reader said...

Carl, as well you should be! I also love picking up randomly signed copies of books in bookstores, especially by authors you probably won't meet in person but to find the only autographed on release day of a favourite author's book is a gold dust experience!