Behind the boom of new technology and the digital e-book revolution, there is a lingering panicky mantra among longtime book lovers that goes, But what about my pretty hardcovers?? And although I’m excited about the possibilities that the future holds, I’m right there with them – it makes me instinctively sick to think of a world where ITunes replaces bookstores and children grow up staring at screens. Those who agree will argue that there is something wonderfully tactile about the physical book: the cover design, flipping the pages, and oh, that smell… some things are just irreplacable.
But now that more and more readers are in favor of Kindles and IPads over stuffed bookshelves, what’s to become of the precious physical books? Well, these designers have found some pretty creative ways to celebrate the spirit of the book as an object – by finding a different use for it.
1. The Shelf
What better way to display books than on a shelf of MORE books? Like the designers of this inventive shelf, I totally feel the pangs of abandonment when I see books thrown out instead of “repurposed” in some way. Plus, this feeds right into my instinct to hoard books… long after I’ve read or have space for them.
2. The Laptop Case
Technology and traditional materials finally go hand-in-hand with these leather laptop cases, appropriately named the BookBook. For only $80-100, you can swath your MacBook Pro in a hand-crafted faux hardback book. So not only do you seem really intelligent to that cutie in the coffee shop, but no one has to know that you’re researching your paper on Google instead of at the library. Go you.
3. The Camera
Pinhole cameras were always a fun experimental diversion in high school photo class, but these made of books, by Erin Paysse at Engrained Works, take the process to a whole new level beyond the average coffee can. The pinholes even take and advance a roll of 35 mm film, just like a real camera… but so much classier! I just can’t get over how gorgeous these are.
4. The Flower Pot
Ah, the age-old trick of digging out the inside of a book, the perfect disguise to hide away small treasures and secrets. This time, though, the “secret treasure”, in the form of potted flowers, seems to announce itself proudly, unable to be contained, by popping out of pages in which it grows. If only I was the gardening type… or lived in Japan.
5. The Tee
My knowledge of American literature is woefully tiny (thanks, public high school with no AP English), and I can’t be bothered to pick up such classics as Of Mice And Men and Moby Dick now when there are just SO many more fun books out there to read. Still, I’d sport one of these fab t-shirts from Out Of Print (well, except for the Catcher In The Rye one), since they celebrate iconic book covers and even donate books to Books For Africa for every tee they sell. Who says book nerds can’t be fashion-forward?