Since books can’t fly, lets angle them instead
I’m usually a patient and thorough person. My apartment is always in an acceptable order, I iron my clothes, I bike at an average pace, I don’t lose my patience when I stand in the slowest line at the grocery store. If I start reading a book, I always finish it sooner or later.
But; whenever I visit a bookstore or a library, and I get confronted by thousands of books, I completely lose my patience.
I know that there is a very clever and simple system to find what you are searching for, and that someone carefully placed every book in alphabetic order, neatly lined up on the bookshelves. But when I stand before the books, I get the same anxious stomach ache as when someone asks me a simple mathematical question that I usually can answer in one second, but in the stressed situation I turn red and stutter that I don’t know.
So how could I avoid this brain-freeze related paralyzation in the context of books?
So lets start with the order of the books. The order is usually determined by the alphabetic order of the authors name or the title, which makes sense since it’s both practical and logical, which I’m a big fan of.
Now imagine that you stand before the alphabetically organized bookshelf, turning the pages in Hendrikje Koersen’s poetry collection De witte boot. You are now amazed over the treasure you found, and start to eye the bookshelf after more poetry.
Here is the interesting part:
Imagine every book containing poetry, magically hoovering in front of the bookshelf, making it easy as a piece of cake for you to find.
Sounds good right? Unfortunately I’m not a wizard and therefore not in a position to change the laws of nature, but I can however physically highlight a category of books, by tilting the short-side of them, so they hang over the bookshelves end, pointing out in the room, without actually falling down.
To angle these books, you could use a very simple wooden tool as in the illustration below.
Left picture: Angler, viewed from the side
Right picture: Angler, viewed from above
I have chosen to call this tool an angler, since it is used to literally angle books. (Angler is also the word used to describe a person who is doing angling, a kind of sport fishing, which is fitting since you hold your fishing rod in a angle similar to my wooden tool.)
Left picture: The Angler
Right picture: Fishing rod
The angler-tool is made of a very simple construction of wood. It can both be used in singles or in groups, but in the context of bookshelves, I will describe the usage of multiple angler-tools.
To use it you first have to fasten it to a bookshelf, and then put it in the angle that is needed. You can choose from five different angles, each representing a different category.
I have chosen to represent poetry, architecture, design, photography and fine art in this scenario, since I study at an art school where these subjects are the most presented in the school-library. In theory, you could add even more angles to the tools design, but I believe that that would affect the clarity of the category’s in a negative way.
Picture: The five different angles that can be used
The tool has five angles, each representing on of the category’s above.
The angles are:
The angle 170 will be most far out from the bookshelf, and thus also highlight the book. I want to use it as a category for Poetry, because I believe that poetry it is an underrepresented subject that is read the least in art schools in comparison to other subjects. Having this subject highlighted could direct more attention to poetry and maybe influence someone to take a look in the book, even if this person usually does not read poetry.
Angle 90 would be used for books about Fine Art, since I believe that Fine Art is the subject with the highest quantity of books, which therefore makes it important for them to stay further back so they don’t block the view of the angled books, hanging out a bit from the bookshelf.
It is also a category of books that are often used for research in an art university, so it is important for their title to be visible to make them easy to find.
Angle 110 would be used for the Design-category, for the same reason as Fine Art.
The 130 angle would be used for Architecture, and angle 150 for Photography.
Picture: Illustration of how a book-shelf using the angler could look.
By using this angler tool system a modified bookshelf will look like a relief due to the books protruding in different angles. If you are looking at the bookshelf from a distance, you should have an easy time recognizing the different categories by the angle of the books. Looking at the bookshelf from a closer distance, you would be able to find your book by using the alphabetic order.
By making the bookshelf look like a relief instead of a plain overview, it will invite the viewer for a more tactile experience of the books, because you are not only able to touch and see the spine of the book, but also the front and back side, the material of the cover and the colors of the pages.
The tool may only be a small object, but it would affect not only the angle of the books physically, but also the viewers visual perception of the bookshelf, both from far and close distances.