Bookshelf by Alex Johnson (when going straight is bent)

by |March 5, 2012

I recently decided to build a small library for myself. Six weeks, and a lot of swearing later, I am still far from finished. The one thing my bookcases and the shelves featured in this new book share is few straight lines. Which would suggest that my bookcases are contemporary works of art, like the featured bookcases. But, sadly, this isn’t the case. I am just a very crap carpenter.

See below for bookporn… Yes, that’s what I said. Bookporn. It is what you’ll find booknerds reading when they think no one is looking.

Bookshelf by Alex Johnson

Bookshelf is the first book to take the bookshelf as its subject

With the advent of the e-book, one might have thought the days of the bookshelf were numbered, but if the titles in your collection are a reflection of your personality, then so too is the design of your bookshelf.

From the conceptual ‘Read-Unread Bookshelf’ (which weighs books read against those still to be started) to the multi-function ‘Trick’ (a unit that transforms from shelf-space into a table and two chairs), Bookshelf presents over 200 inventive and experimental shelving designs in more than 300 colour illustrations.

Specification details are provided for each bookcase, including materials and documentation, and the accompanying texts by Alex Johnson, author and editor of ‘The Blog on the Bookshelf’, provide a fun and informative look at the history of the bookcase, as well as reflecting on how a new generation of designers have re-imagined a classic.

Click here to buy Bookshelf and indulge your bookshelf fetish

For more gorgeous pics of book shelves/cases visit The Blog on the Bookshelf or go to Beautiful bookshelves – in pictures

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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