March 28, 2009

SpaceTM's Joe becomes outraged (briefly)

Those of you that watch X Factor, American Idol or the equivalent (depending on which country you live in), will know that if you like an act you have to vote for them, otherwise they could be kicked out of the competition. VOTES COUNT.
Libraries are one of those institutions that appear eternal, like Simon Cowell's cuboid hairstyle, but how recently have you actually stepped into one? On a recent visit home to see my parents I learnt that their local council was planning to close most of its bibliothèques. This shocked me. "It's an outrage!" I cried, slamming my fist onto the table. Yes, such fervent displays of solidarity are all well and good, but when did I last support my local library? Erm, probably never.

This is a ridiculous situation, if only because I love book shops. Have you ever gone into a book shop, spent hours reading and not ended up buying anything? (Me personally, that would be a yes). Browsing for books brings on the same buzz as clothes shopping, but also it invites you into a myriad of possibilities, a different world for every tome. You travel to so many mental places, you step out onto the street having been on holiday. Amazing!

Last weekend the V&A Museum in London opened a new bookshop designed in collaboration with Vitsoe (look out for the company's "iconic" 606 Universal Shelving System, designed by Dietr Rams in 1960). The space has been laid out "to encourage visitors to browse and explore the breadth of what's on offer". So I intend to do just that. And for anyone whose fix is still not satisfied, there's also the National Art Library upstairs, possibly one of London's best kept secrets. It's open to all, but perhaps don't tell everyone or they'll all want to go.
Random picture of two people putting together the 606 Universal Shelving System

1 comment:

  1. I am with you on the pleasure of browsing for books. Whether in a bookstore or a library I can lose hours and always consider it time well spent. Love those shelves too...