Ikea Bookshelf Will Not Kill Book Publishing

billy bookshelf small.jpg
Looks like a bookshelf, really just a tchotchke shelf?
The Economist has attempted to use the fact that the new version of Ikea's "Billy" bookshelf (I'm surprised it's not called, like, Smörg or something) has deeper shelves as evidence that books as we know them are in trouble. Sure, paper books are probably slowly dying, but not because of bigger bookshelves. You know what you can put in a deeper bookshelf? More books!

Right? A more capacious shelf doesn't have to mean that "customers will increasingly use them for ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome--anything, that is, except books that are actually read" -- it also means that there is room for more books, to put on the bookshelf, since it's a bookshelf.

One thing that's cool about shelves is that they can be used for a lot of different things. This blogger uses her shelf both for "tchotchkes" and for books. The tchotchkes and the books co-exist next to each other and there's room for both of them. It looks as though that could also be the case with the Smörg Billy bookshelf.

This is what the bookshelf looks like:

billy bookshelf.jpg

It looks more like a thing that holds books and less like a thing that is setting out to kill the publishing industry, but maybe that's just us.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

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1 comments
smichaelgriffin
smichaelgriffin

You're doing it wrong.Remember that amazon now sells way more "books" via kindle than print.  Now, examine the bookshelf with the eyes of The Economist's readership (you'll have to adopt an insouciance born from market determinism and buttressed by mild affluence).

see what I mean?  

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