Sunday, April 02, 2006


Books as Wallpaper

See? Even stupid people love books:

Books are so popular in home decor that even people who don't read acquire them. They buy volumes by the yard at Half Price Books. They send orders to a California book-decor specialist, who ships Danish books by the foot.

Danish? Well, they aren't meant to be read.

-- From today's Lexington Herald-Leader, via Literary Saloon.

The idea is not a new one. Here's something I once came across in the January 12 1849 issue of Notes and Queries:

During the reign of Catherine [the Great], every courtier who had hopes of being honoured by a visit from the Empress was expected to have a library. Every courtier was thus forced to have a room fitted up with mahogany shelves, and filled up with books, by far the greater number of which he never read or even opened.... A bookseller by the name of Klosterman was usually employed, not to select a library, but to fill fill a certain space of so many yards with books. Klosterman died worth a plum, having sold many thousands of yards of books, at 50 to 100 roubles a yard.

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