Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Beige Shelf



The beige shelf is just for fun; I noticed that I possessed a number of beige and cream books in my collection and I thought it would be interesting to see how effective they were en masse.

Penguin seem particularly inclined to use this shade for their books, single editions as well as the inexpensive classics and the Shakespeare series. Virago apparently like to employ a range of rainbow colours in for their covers, which explains why I have a couple of Viragoes on each rainbow shelf so far (well, that and the fact that I love Virago titles). On this shelf there is also the obligatory Angela Carter novels (this time edited by her); a seminal piece of feminist fiction, Fear of Flying by Erica Jong; some more drama (Irish as opposed to Shakespearean); a beloved Children's literature classic; and a good selection of modern literary fiction including works by two of my favourite writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie. I also have to make special mention of one of my best reads this year: The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice; I read a library copy but managed to pick up a pristine copy for a very good price in a remainders shop a couple of months ago.

Does this shelf pop for you, do you find it striking or altogether too beige?


23 comments:

Madeleine said...

i like this idea of book cover colors. Kind of thing I wish I had thought of.

Have a great week-end

Darlene said...

That's a very fresh and clean look that would brighten up even the darkest corner. I like it!

leaningtowardthesun said...

I agree fresh, clean and altogether relaxing. Definitely not as poppy as the red or yellow but still gorgeous. I love Marquez and will have to check out Angela Carter. Seminal feminist work and fairy tales are 2 things I like.

Paperback Reader said...

Madeleine, it's a series of posts I enjoy writing but running out of colours!

Enjoy your weekend.

Darlene, it is a very fresh and clean look and probably why the colour is so popular for book covers.

Danielle, it's definitely not as striking or as vivid as some of the other colours but there is a uniform cleanness to it.
I recommend Angela Carter over any other writer.

Jenny said...

I agree with the "fresh and clean" assessment. I really like those editions of Salman Rushdie - I want to get those editions, but I haven't done it because they don't match the books of his I do have, The Ground Beneath Her Feet & The Moor's Last Sigh. Must get over this desire to have my editions match...

Steph said...

I think that colour-wise, the beige shelf works the least well for me just because even though the background palette is neutral the various colors in the titles and text all jump out and jumble! But as for the books themselves, I'm finding myself coveting so many of them!

Vivienne said...

So are all your shelves colour coordinated?

I like to see what books are on other people's shelves. I hope to read The Icarus Girl in the next couple of weeks.

Paperback Reader said...

Jenny, those two editions don't match The Enchantress of Florence or Haroun & A Sea of Stories. I too struggle with the desire for matching editions but I have to accept that it is never going to happen with Rushdie's novels :( so I console myself with having the editions I like where I can.

Steph, there is an odd mix of font colours on that shelf which do jar (especially the torquoise for me). It's a nice collection of books though with some of my favourites there.

Vivienne, I love seeing what other people have on their shelves too. I hope you enjoy The Icarus Girl; it's an unusual story.

Some of my bookshelves are colour-coordinated but not all ... yet. One day I would love rainbow arranged bookcases but just now I am just writing a post series about what they do or could look like.

Kathleen said...

What a lovely idea...to group books with like color covers together. You've made a work of art here. I'm going to try it at home and see what kind of color groups I can come up with on my shelves. I like the monochromatic look!

verity said...

I was thinking only the other day that I could easily manage a beige shelf of books, in fact by virtue of alphabet I do have 3 beige books adjacent to each other. I don't own any of the ones that you do though. Will be sorry when you run out of colours...

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Kathleen, thanks for commenting. It is a really interesting experiment and I hope that you enjoy it!

Verity, I think you own the same edition of The Dud Avocado photographed, which is more brown that beige. I'll be sorry when I run out of colours too; it makes a great weekend post.

mee said...

I'm really enjoying your color book shelves! It made me think this morning when I saw my own shelves, whether I could do the same with my books. I noticed that I have quite a few beige books, then I read your post. Perfect timing :)

Karen said...

This shelf definitely "pops" for me! I agree with Darlene - beautiful and fresh. I loved The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets too and I read mine as a library copy so I might have to try and find my own...

Paperback Reader said...

mee, perfect timing, indeed! It's fun to try out the monochrome look and view how the books look like that.

Karen, glad you like it! The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets was definitely one that I needed to own; I can easily see me picking it up as a comfort read when ill or sad.

anothercookiecrumbles said...

It's not as striking as some of the others, but it does look nice - the colours and fonts on the titles makes it quite striking.

I loved Midnight's Children, but am wondering if that's my quota of Rushdie done for the next couple of years. Haven't ventured near Satanic Verses yet.

I really like the look of the Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales, and any shelf with a Marquez (let alone three) is a good shelf!

claire said...

I actually really like your beige shelf. It's very pretty and clean. The different-coloured titles only add interest. If not for them, the lot would be a boring beige, not a lively beige.

It reminds me of an art class I took in college. We were asked to paint white objects. All of my classmates painted just white and just painted/drew in grey/black outlines. I was the only one to dab (many!) different colours into my painting. The result, the objects still looked like they were white but not sterile. I got the highest critique score! And much praise from the instructor. :)

farmlanebooks said...

I think beige books appeal to me as I have a lot! Perhaps I'll order all mine in a rainbow one day!

Paperback Reader said...

anothecookie, I think it is subtly pretty.

I haven't ventured near The Satanic Verses either but do intend to read more Rushdie soon and to complete my collection when I can.

Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales is edited by her and not her own; it's a beautiful book. There have been a number of Marquez novels on each shelf I have posted more or less; the editions I have of his works are so colourful.

Jackie, that would be quite the rainbow! I do seem to have quite a few more beige and cream books dotted around and wonder if it's an easier colour to manufacture.

Paperback Reader said...

Claire, I think it's pretty too.

That sounds like a fun art class! I think that colour -and especially what you can do with colour in fonts and script- is underestimated.

savidgereads said...

Normally I think of beige and magnolia as being bland but that array of beiges actually looks quite lovely!

Paperback Reader said...

It is a pretty shelf, Simon, with some great books on it.

joanna said...

A bit beige for my taste. :-) By the way, I loved Eva Rice's book too, thought it was beautiful!

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Joanna, that was my fear! Ha. The Eva Rice book was wonderful and I loved it.