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.