Print book collections are a statement about you and your life

Coffee table books

Digital might be the future, but a love of print books seems to go deeper than nostalgia. A personal library can say more about you than a hundred e-files can.

“When you have people over, you don’t show off your iPad library,” Josh Baker, the art director of Taschen Books, told The Independent. “There’s something about physical books that allows owners to make a statement about themselves and life.”

The quote comes from an article about the prevalence of coffee table books (including cookbooks) despite the digital revolution that’s crushing many print releases.

“Illustrated books and art books have withstood the digital decline that the rest of the industry is facing,” said Tom Tivnan, the features editor of The Bookseller. “The ‘beautiful’ books are the print books that will survive in the digital age. The latest Bookscan figures suggest, for example, that sales of individual monograph art books were up 70 per cent last year.”

Do you think coffee table books are “physical publishing’s last, best hope,” as it says in the article?

I do think home collections are a great way to show others the kind of person you are — and what you believe in. Someone who owns a lot of cooking and home-decorating books, for example, would likely be domestic at heart and value family and closeness.

7 thoughts on “Print book collections are a statement about you and your life”

  1. Personal libraries reflect the person who you are, but also the it is an indicator of the person you have grown to become. Being a former bookstore employee, Art books was the section that everyone dreaded organizing at the end of the night, because it was such a mess.


  2. I do think someone’s library is a window to their soul – especially as it features the books that they cherish enough to keep. Art books are really not served well by the ebook revolution at the moment, so I can’t see them disappearing any time soon. I suspect that children’s books (especially for small children) are also better as ‘real books’.


    1. Agreed! It’s interesting that the article didn’t mention children’s books…although I think with the right e-reader, those could be transported, too. But then that brings up the whole issue of, are we going to raise our kids on e-readers or real books, so they can learn to love the feel of them in their hands? :)


  3. So, guys, my boyfriend laughed when he saw this post because I recently sold some books from my shelf to Half-Price Books. But I need the money to buy more books, right? ;P



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