Buying books just for looks


Anonymous Patron writes to tell us about this story from the Cleveland Plaindealer

"Today, books are as much an interior-design tool as they are sources of information. Just ask the owners of Argosy Book Store, New York City's pre-eminent dealer of "fine antiquarian works on paper." A growing portion of the venerable bookstore's business now revolves around selling books "by the yard" to anyone wanting to build a library or decorate a home."


This would be the time that the books actually are organised by colour and size?

I can't imagine just buying books to sit on the shelf as decoration, never to be read...poor books...


The rental office at my apartment complex decorates with books. They've gone with the scheme of "brown, dusty, and impressive sounding." Mostly old foreign policy books and medical encylopedias. I'm tempted to stick a few of my own in there, just to see if anyone would notice or if any fellow bookcrossers would come hunt for them.

A lot of new attorneys who want to hang a shingle and start a law practice like to get old legal books (reporters) and stick them in the office to give the place the "look" of a law firm. It does work.

My future in-laws are the type of people that buy "books by the yard" to make their bookshelves look nice. They are WAY more into appearances than actual usefulness. I'll keep my mismatched ragtag collection on my cheap pressboard shelves--even if I wanted to buy books by the yard (or nicer bookshelves) I'd have no room for them anyway!

In the book "Used and Rare" the authors discuss the rude treatment they received at the Argosy Bookstore. As aroganant as the Argosy bookstore owners are potrayed in "Used and Rare" I am not suprised that they are a store that sells books by the yard.

To be fair, it's really a venerable institution. Three daughters of the original owner now run the store, with their 90-year old mother. Check out their history on their website homepage:
Argosy Book Store.

In the book "Used and Rare" the authors have a run in with one of the three daughters. The daughter comes across is a less than positive light. The Argosy may be a venerable institution but if they treat their customers like crap they may not stay venerable.

My son moved into his house yesterday. On the way there, I scooped up a few late 19th cent. early 20th cent. books I'd intended for the library sale, and took them along for his fireplace mantle. Also a "Great Ideas Today" yearbook for 1968 (his birth year)for decoration. He'll never open them (Emerson, Ruskin, Irving), but it gives the place a little class.

In return, he gave me a two volume notebook set with all kinds of calendars, ticklers, notes, goal setting, business expense, stuff he got at a management workshop. How does anyone ever use those things. . . "Prioritized Daily Task List" "Daily notes," "Monthly focus," "Information record." Do you need some values focus for April 20? "Are the things you value most governing your decisions?" is the question. The quote for today is "Happiness grows at our own firesides, and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens." And there are 255 days left in the year.

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