When You Run Out of Time, and Also, You Have Money to Burn

When You Run Out of Time, and Also, You Have Money to Burn September 5, 2019

We all know that books can be bought not for reading, but for decorative purposes, and I know that you—as I–have been anxiously awaiting to find out what kind of books Gwyneth Paltrow would have for her multimillion-dollar, ethically sourced, ecologically sustainable wellness dwelling (“house”). Finally, the good news is here!

Gwyneth remodeled her L.A. home a few years ago and when she moved in she realized she needed about five or six hundred more books to complete her shelves.

I mean, I never I thought I would say this, but maybe Ms. Paltrow is my spirit animal.

I looked at the books she already owned, which focused on fashion, art, culture, photography, and architecture, as well as books that her kids liked.

Oh, well, never mind—only half this list works for me.

We expanded on those topics, and for the kids, we included a selection of classics that we thought they might like as the got older.

Ok, so, that’s not terrible.

In the family room we integrated the books into her existing collection so that it felt very light, inviting, and easy to grab off the shelves. In the dining room, we stuck to a more rigid color palette of black, white, and gray since it was less of a space where one might hang out and read.

Boy, “rigid color palette of black, white, and gray” sounds inviting, doesn’t it? I wonder if you can get Binghamton Collections. There is really only one picture of Ms. Paltrow’s actual library. All the other ones in the article of other places the Book Curator has Curated. So it’s a little bit disappointing, but we’ll have to be satisfied with what we can get. He goes on, though, with advice for you if you’re wondering about how to arrange your own books.

First, think about what you are trying to accomplish. Is there a story you are trying to tell? A color palette you want to achieve? Then think about how that might work within the context of your home and available space.

Hmm, so, I guess for me, what I’m trying to accomplish is sanity. And my color palette, goodness, I dunno, something both restful and bright for the long winter evenings. Maybe hygge? One of the things about books is that when you shove them on the shelves, they sort of make the palette for you. Then, when you take them off the shelves to read them, you’ve basically redecorated without even having to think about it. “Available Space” is just another word for “Build Me More Shelves.” I guess I still have so much to learn.

Depending on how important the style and binding of the cover is to you, buy them intentionally either at your local bookstore or through online listings.

Um, well, I do love a well-bound book. But mostly for the way it feels in the hand when I’m actually reading it. I feel confused. It’s almost like he’s talking about paint and throw pillows and not the intellectual soul of humanity itself.


Goodness, I didn’t know we were even in a list, so wrapped up, as I am, in this important question

arrange your books in a way that makes you feel comfortable and looks inviting. It may take a few hours to get it just right.

Well, in my experience, everything in life takes more than a few hours. You start in with your decadent and probably vacuous attempt to make all the bindings of your books match your walls and your poodle, and then, twenty minutes later, you discover that it’s just much more difficult than you thought it would be, and so you call in…hang on, I’m looking up his name…Thatcher Wine, celebrity bibliophile, to do it for you.

Gosh, what a world.

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