What's more revolting than buying color-matched books by the yard to class up your room like you were some kind of Trumpish dumbass who wants people to think you read but never actually read anything?
"Decorating" your rooms with books that are shelved spine-in so that they form a kind of wall of edge-on paper with no pretense that you would, ever, ever, ever read them.
I remember seeing this in a restaurant and thinking, "Shit, I'm eating in a place that literally doesn't know that books are for reading; I sure hope they aren't this cavalier about the health code."
I'm not talking about using old books as construction materials, to make collages, sculptures, installations, etc -- for some reason, that doesn't make me want to punch someone. This, on the other hand, brings out my inner Book Hulk: HULK SAY YOU SHELVE BOOKS SPINE OUT OR YOU IGNORAMUS. HULK SMASH, THEN RESHELVE.
The things the designers and their promoters say, oy:
* "Lauren keeps the look neutral by stacking books back to front" (Ideal Home)
* "Filled with interesting stuff" (Apartment Therapy)
* "I have read thousands of books. I’ve only reread about 20, so I don’t find it necessary to be able to find a specific title that I’ve already read at the drop of a hat." (Natasha Meininger)
* "The bottom line? if you’re not adamantly opposed to hiding the spine of your favorite books and are looking for a new way to decorate your bookshelf, this trend can be a beautiful thing to try." (Today)
I suppose it’s still less pretentious than that trend from the ’70s and ’80s where people got grand pianos not because they could play or wanted to, but simply because it “pulled the room together”, but to my mind, “backwards books” is more than just style of substance — it’s weapons-grade ignorance.
The illiteracy-promoting interior design abomination called “backwards books” [Joey DeVilla/The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century]
(Image: Ideal Home)
Dream Askew and Dream Apart are "no-dice, no masters" RPGs where players collaborate to tell stories together without dice or dungeon masters: Dream Askew uses the system to create campaigns in "a queer enclave enduring the collapse of civilization" and Dream Apart is set in "a Jewish shtetl in a fantastical-historical Eastern Europe."
In Gregory Scott Katsoulis's All Rights Reserved, we get all the traditional trappings of a first-rate YA dystopia: grotesque wealth disparity leading to a modern caste system, draconian surveillance to effect social control in an inherently unstable state, ad-driven ubiquitous entertainment as the only distraction from environmental collapse -- but with an important difference.
I found John Hodgman's Vacationland to be a genuinely moving and hilarious read; and it has stuck with me in the year since its hardcover release -- now it's out in paperback, and Hodgman is touring with it.
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