The controversial book storage trend that has divided the Ideal Home team – are you a fan?

Brilliant or bonkers? You decide!
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  • Storing your books backwards on the shelf…if you’ve seen it, you’ve probably already formed a strong opinion already, if not, you might think we’ve lost the plot. But a quick scroll of Pinterest or Instagram and you’ll see it really is a ‘thing’! 

    Related: Book storage ideas – create a mini library at home with these display and shelving solutions

    My first thought when I saw this was ‘erm…how do you find a book! Are you hiding a penchant for an erotic romance novels or other such guilty pleasures?’

    Backwards-spine-books

    Image Credit: Simon Whitmore

    Our Acting Deputy Features Editor, Lisa Fazzani isn’t a fan:

    As an avid reader, seeing my favourite titles stacked on the shelf is a satisfying reminder of my reading journey, they aren’t just accessories on a shelf but well-loved reads. I also want to encourage my daughter to be able to browse and pick one up.’

    Backwards-facing-books

    Image credit: James Merrell

    A satisfying array of colour-ordered books brings instant character to the room.

    ‘I actually quite like arranging them in a colour-pleasing way, pages out look too bland for me,’ adds Lisa. 

    Along with vases and framed photos, a book selection can be an expression of personality and a bit of a conversation starter. ‘How do you nosy into other people’s collections if you can’t see what ‘s on their shelf!’ she adds.

    Backwards books trend

    So why has the controversial trend taken off?

    If your look is minimalist or neutral, like Amanda @pinkmango72, multi-coloured book spines on the shelf are going to be pretty jarring with a calm white and grey space.

    Jessica @parkanddivision decided to try it because all the colours felt overwhelming in the room, and she’s not mad at the results!

    ‘It seemed a little inconvenient, but I will try almost anything I think it will look pretty.’ she continues, ‘Surprisingly, I haven’t had any issue finding the books I need. Up close I can tell what colour the cover is and I usually know the general size of the book I’m looking for.’

    Sophie @sophiecsophiedo isn’t afraid of bright tones when it comes to her style, but I think we can agree, the neutral facing books work as a balancing contrast to the other colours on show.

    ‘I am very grateful to Instagram for introducing me to the idea, as I think the mixed spines would ruin the look of the shelves. Each to their own of course, but this interiors trend is a type of madness that I’m more than happy to embrace!’

    Ok, so I might not be taking it up, but I may have been swayed. Looking at my own open shelving, it’s mostly full of books I’ve already read and won’t be picking up again for some time – so actually, for a neutral and aesthetically pleasing arrangement for styled shelves, it’s not actually as crazy as it seems.

    Related:Reading corner ideas – create the perfect place to indulge in a good book

    Will you be trying it at home?

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