Books as “decoration?” When did this unholy fad catch on? | Street Jazz

Books as “decoration?” When did this unholy fad catch on?



Roaming through an antique mall yesterday, where once again I bought a couple of books it will take me forever to get through - because they will have to wait in line behind other books I have bought -I came upon a sign on a bookcase next to some books which were for sale:

Great for decoration.

This isn’t the only place I have found similar signs; there is a used clothing/furniture store in Fayetteville I visit once a month or so to rummage through their CDS, DVDs and books which has such a sign, as well.

Books as decoration?

Welcome to my home, folks. Don’t I look smart? I got me a whole bunch of them Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, right next to my collected works of Charles Dickens and Jackie Collins.

To be fair, there is some precedent for this, evidently. In the novel The Great Gatsby, one of Gatsby’s party guests marvels at the fact that all of the books in his library are “real.”

But still, really?


Books as decoration? I’m not sure about you, Yarn-dyed Reader, but I have always sort of felt that’s what actual art was for. You know, paintings, drawings, the odd sculpture or two.

Books? Decoration?

Admittedly, I am one of those who notice right off when I enter a home and there is not a book, magazine or newspaper in sight. The lack of even a small bookcase, but a big-screen TV can speak volumes about the intellectual stimulation which goes on inside a house.

I have the suspicion that those who are busy buying pretty - or big - books for decoration (god, how that word still makes me gag) might not appear so darn smartified if you actually said to them, “I love this book! What did you think of it? Have you read anything else by this writer?”

And I gotta you, some of those books that are advertised as being ideal for . . . ugh, I’ll say it one last time . . . decoration are actually pretty trashy.

But go ahead, nonreaders - fill your shelves with Jackie Collins. Impress your friends and loved ones. Look smartified!


Speaking of books, you’ve probably got a whole bunch you won’t ever read again

A great way to help your community - and clear your shelves for even more books - is to take books you don’t want anymore to your local library’s used bookstore. That way, you can spread the joy.


Today’s Soundtrack

Today’s blog was written to the the soundtrack of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” narrated by the wonderful Mister Boris Karloff.

At the grand age of 60, I have decided that my two favorite Christmas melodies are “Carol of the Bells” - the Ukrainian Christmas carol so badly misused in many commercials, and . . .

. . . “Welcome Christmas” from Grinch. It’s just a song which makes me happy, every time I hear it.


Quote of the Day

Don't shout for help at night. You might wake your neighbors. - Stanislaw J. Lem

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