Bookshelf of the Week: Fallingwater

Stair bookcase at Fallingwater. Picture credit: happy via

If you follow my Bookshelf of the Week then you’ll know I’ve a bit of a thing for bookshelves anywhere near stairs. So it probably comes as no surprise that this week I’m featuring a set of bookshelves which actually run up the side of the stairs, and I think it’s a genius idea!

It’s not a contemporary idea either, because this shot, taken and shared by happy via, is of Fallingwater the famous residence of Pittsburgh businessman Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. (founder of the defunct Kaufmann’s Department Store), and it was designed over seventy years ago by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1934.

The residence gets its name from the fact that it is partially built over a waterfall, and these bookshelves aren’t Fallingwater’s most impressive literature link. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, Ayn Rand ‘based much of her 1943 classic, The Fountainhead, on [architect] Wright and the house he had wrought.’ So it’s rather apt then that there’s such a bookish presence on the inside.

My thanks to happy via for taking the photo and allowing it to be reproduced.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. Bart's Bookshelf (Twitter: bartsbooks)

    The only problem I have with staircase bookshelves is that I’d never get to wherever I’m heading. I’d be forever stopping to browse!

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      A good point well made guys, but then again I can’t think of many better places to wile away the days

  2. very cool picture. my problem, too would be, I’d be spending too much time on the stairs and forget what i was really trying to do LOL

  3. “Ayn Rand ‘based much of her 1943 classic, The Fountainhead, on [architect] Wright and the house he had wrought.”
    … which she denied.
    By the way, it is an awful book.

    FLW was a genius, which shows even in his stairs.

  4. I absolutely love this idea for a bookcase – but agree with Bart that I’d forget whether I was going up or down the stairs having been distracted by all the lovely books I could choose to read 🙂

  5. Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

    Nick – I’d heard ‘The Fountainhead’ was a bit dreadful, so thanks for the confirmation.

    Clare – Unless you fill it with books you don’t really like. But then again what would be the point in keeping a hold of them?


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