We have gone on record here opposing the use of books for design purposes—really, any design purpose, from arranging them by color, to arranging them with the spines facing inward, to having to a bookshelf that looks cool but doesn't actually store books, to tearing pages out of donated books and stringing them along the ceiling of a dumb tent. So, taking all that into account, this circular shelf in the Los Angeles Athletic Club's renovated Blue Room isn't all that bad. Sure, the books on the outside are getting their spines bent, and sure the books are stacked both horizontally (wrong) and vertically (right), making it impossible to remove most of them without having them all fall out. But that could just be chalked up to poor book shelving skills, not to a design flaw in the shelf itself. Really, this is only somewhere around a 6 out of 10 on the Terrible Use of Books scale. (The bunch of violins hanging over it is a different story.) Unfortunately, the Blue Room isn't done there.
What the hell is that? A column of books? All stacked horizontally, so that, presumably, not a single one of them can ever be removed? Is anybody looking at that thing and going, "Oh, wow, what a cool column of books. This is such a classy athletic club."
For good measure, here's something from the Instagram account of interior designer Ken Fulk.
This is the worst thing. Do not do this.
· Here's a Great Way to Store Books If You Hate Reading [Curbed NY]
· Berkeley Festival Will Destroy a Bunch of Books to Show How Much It Loves Them [Flipped]
· This Bookshelf Is a Great Way to Store All 14 of Your Books [Flipped]