Wednesday, June 20, 2012

They Stack Up Really Well

A few weeks ago I snapped the above picture of some art books holding up a leopard clutch in the window of high-end San Francisco retailer Wilkes Bashford. I didn't think much of it at the time except just a general sort of "ooh! art books!" feeling. Then this morning I found myself taking another such photo--this one of a stack of what I'm pretty sure are actually fake tomes (though I do kind of wish 80s Collected Thoughts, Vol. 1 was real). What you can't see is that they're holding up a very cute little portable stereo thingee--this because they're in the window of high-end audio equipment store, Bose.

And this reminded me of an email I got a few months back from an author of mine, with an attached grainy photos from her sister-in-law, showing said author's very nice book on display in the window of a high-end Manhattan home decor boutique. At this point in the story, are we or are we not surprised that the store was not actually carrying the book? 

Of course the past-masters of this classy trick of visual merchandising are relatively-high-end clothing retailer J. Crew. They display art books so beautifully, so lovingly, throughout their stores that it's enough to make an art book editor weep (though whether she'd be weeping from pleasure at the gorgeousness of the homage, or frustration at the fact that few if any of these books are actually for sale, is unclear).

Don't worry, don't worry, I'm not in the mood to go on some sort of impassioned rant on this subject of books as furniture, books as pedestals, books as peripheral, books as--absolutely literally--window dressing. I'm more in the mood to just note and observe the world of books as I find it, and let you draw your own conclusions.

image credits
top two photos: mine
third photo: Josie Iselin's sister in law
fourth and fifth photo: Quintessence

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