Books Do Furnish A Room

01 Feb 2010

Michael Hammond discusses the plush new Merrell publication by Leslie Geddes-Brown

This lavishly illustrated book bears little resemblance to its namesake novel by Anthony Powell.Powell’s novel conveyed post-war austerity, whereas this book indulges us with a glimpse into the homes of book lovers whose libraries range from purpose built shelves in a converted catamaran to contemporary cube bookshelves in a magnificent Venetian palazzo that is anything but austere.

The captions are not only succinct and informative, and in many cases identify the owner along with other details, making this a fascinating read.

My favourites included a designer who had built a library within the central staircase of her home compete with a bosun’s chair fastened to a chain hoist to gain access, a light filled home in the Hamptons and the Robert Adam designed library in Mellerstain, Scotland.

However, maybe the greatest pleasure is not studying the libraries or the presentation of the books, but identifying the books themselves, some of which I recognised from my own library and many more that I would dearly love to own.

Whiling away a Sunday afternoon in a good book shop is a delight many of us share. With this new book from Merrell it is possible to achieve almost the same level of satisfaction without leaving home.

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