Saturday, June 15, 2013

Colour Dearranged Books

A growing trend has been circulating on Pinterest and home decorating websites for quite a while.  Recently the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne (Australia) exhibited a home library (pictured) that resembled a rainbow.  The books were organised by colour.  

The question posed by the artist: "art or heresy?"

There are quite a few crazy ideas out there in the land of modern art and home decoration.  Don't get me started.  Also, I am not the person to ask about home decoration.  My classroom is testament to that.  I organise with what I have and I decorate haphazardly as my mood takes me and if I ever own a home the design will never be finished.  However, I certainly know about books and writing them and reading them and designing their covers and organising them.  I know that books are not ornaments that we purchase simply because they match the curtains.  

Do you think an author ever said, "Wow, I just won a Pulitzer prize, now to conquer my other literary dream... I'm going to have a book in the blue section."?  No author ever said that.  Not one.  Authors write to tell a story, to share knowledge and to call their readers to action.  They do not write and revise and edit and rewrite and argue with publishers so that a decorator will line it up with a bunch or other books that happen to be the same colour.  

Ladies and Gentlemen... Books should not be organised by colour.  

Books should be organised by topic, author, genre, or even title.  Believe it or not people, books are not supposed to be tucked up on a shelf to look pretty.  No, books are supposed to be fingered gently, and slid out from between other books  Books are meant to be handled and opened and read over and over.  Books are meant to be thumbed through and yes, even sniffed.  Books are meant to be quoted and left open at the page.  Books are meant to be hugged and dropped and picked up again.  Books should be stared at (on the inside, mind you) for hours on end while the reader's eyebrows furrow and stretch and somersault over every twist and turn of the plot.  Books are meant to have several readers pull them off the shelf and flip to the index and run their fingers down the pages.  Books must be read.  Every single word in them should be pawed over.  Every word and sentence and chapter should be read and reread and pointed at and stabbed with book marks.  Readers should be writing in the margins and whispering over them behind the stacks in the local library.  Books should be owned by people who will read them.  Books are written to be read!! 

In case my meaning is not clear... I will say this one more time.  A book is a collection of words which have been extracted from the mind and the heart of someone.  The words have been written and re-written and edited for the soul purpose of sharing something wonderful.  A book is published for the express purpose of being read.  So, when you buy a book, please do so because you intent to one day read it.  When you place it on your bookshelf, please do so with purpose and kindness and intelligence.  Do not, I repeat, do not, shelve your books according to COLOUR!!! 

-End of Rant-

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