There used to be a charity shop in Banbury which arranged all its secondhand books by colour. It was the first time I’d seen anyone take that approach to organising bookshelves and it both pleased and baffled me… hmmm, I think I’m in the mood for a red book today…
Recently I noticed that Birmingham photographer, George Benson has series of photos exploring record sleeves arranged by colour. Here are the blues and purples and the blacks:
And then I stumbled across Tom Bendtsen who was doing the book thing at a library back in 2003.
Bendtsen has also done some more architectural work with books, reminiscent of this passage from Steven Hall’s The Raw Shark Texts (p227):
This turned out to be a room-sized chamber with a yellow domed roof made of what looked to be telephone directories. More telephone directories were stacked up around the walls. The walls themselves had been built from more solid material than we’d seen previously – hardback books mainly, with the odd thick softback dictionaries, thesauruses, textbooks – and had been constructed with careful bricklaying techniques.
All of this work makes me want to be able to touch the objects, so that I can pull out the records or the books and see what unlikely or apposite juxtapositions have arisen. I think it might be fun to listen to the records after arranging them by colour, or to declare this the year I only read green books.