The Spine-In Trend
By Nick Chhoeun
I was at the high school where I work and I saw that one of the English teachers arranged her personal books differently. They weren’t arranged by genre or by the author. They were arranged with the book pages facing outward.
When looking at the shelf, all I saw were rows on rows of pages instead of the title and author of the books. I asked her why she decided to do it this way because it seemed like it would make finding a particular book confusing. She said she only put books that she finished back this way so she’d know which ones she still had to read. While I thought this was an odd reason because I’d think she’d remember what books she read before, I decided not to make a big deal out of it.
When I got back to my apartment, I was curious to look up this type of book shelving and it turned out that this is a popular trend that continues to grow. Buzzfeed published an article showing Instagram photos of people doing this in their homes with people saying they did this to keep track of what books they read (like the teacher I spoke to), or simply for aesthetic purposes. Then, I found another article on the Today Show website that stated that “the main argument for why designers like this look is that it shows the whites of pages, creating a cohesive color palette on your bookshelf.”
As it turned out, more and more people have adopted this trend. Books on bookshelves are becoming more of a décor element in people’s houses. To me, the spine-in trend looks ridiculous and makes it hard to find a book when the pages are facing outward. I’ve been so used to putting books on shelves with the titles on the spine facing out that I never thought there was any reason to put them any other way.
What do you think about this bookshelf trend?
Nick Chhoeun is a staff editor at Café MFA and a first-year candidate in American University’s Creative Writing MFA program.