Bookshelf of the Week: ‘Berlin Bookcase’

If you’ve been following my Bookshelf of the Week feature for a while now then you may remember back in 2008 I featured a rather odd shot of a bookcase bolted to the outside of an apartment block in Tallinn, Estonia. Well for this week’s Bookshelf of the Week I feature an equally enigmatic shot, this time taken by Joseph DelPesco on the streets of Berlin.

OK, let’s work our way through this one. What it looks like to me is that a number of tree trunks have been joined together, and then niches have been hollowed out of each trunk, in order to hold a number of wooden book boxes. Covering the front of each niche is a sheet of perspex, but I can’t work out whether the perspex is fixed or not (it looks like it may be hinged or sliding), so that the books can be removed at will. It’s a crucial thing to know really, because I can’t work out whether this bookish feature is an art installation, a public book swap point, or even part of an ‘out of shot’ bookshop. I’m going to ask Joseph if he can shed any light on the matter. But meantime, does anyone care to hazard a guess? 🙂

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).

Comments

  1. I love it. I want one in my garden 🙂

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      You know, I never thought of it as a garden feature. You’re right though – a bibliophile’s perfect garden ornament. Practical too, especially in the summer.
      Warmest
      Rob

  2. Is it just hinged at the top Rob and you open it like a trap door? In the spirit of ‘bookcrossing’ I’m going to believe this is a wonderful book swapping tree (I loved The Magic Faraway Tree as a girl!) and people just wander up, choose a book they like the look of, and leave one to replace the one they’ve taken. At least that’s what would happen in my Utopia.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      Well, it looks like you get the goldfish in a poly bag Sarah. You were right on all counts.
      Warmest
      Rob

      • Better than a lottery win Rob – I am BEYOND excited! And thanks for sharing a great little find, and so nice to hear from Joseph the story behind it. A book exchange system that isn’t abused, simply enjoyed and cared for by bookworms – what a joy!

        • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
          says:

          Well, maybe not quite as good as a lottery win, because then you could afford to have these dotted all around your garden 🙂

          I hear your enthusiasm for this example of book sharing utopia though. It brings hope that the world is not all sinking into a pit of pure vileness.
          Warmest
          Rob

  3. I can’t believe that in this day and age a public book swap point would work, the books would probably just get stolen or vandalised *or am I too much of a cynic?* I am leaning more towards a temporary piece of art or part of a book shop. I like it!

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      Well, if you scroll down a bit you’ll see that the owner of the pic, Jospeph has responded, and it is indeed a ‘swap point’. How cool is that? Hopefully it’ll restore a bit of our faith in humanity eh? 🙂
      Warmest
      Rob

  4. Hi Rob, It is a book exchange shelf rather than an art installation. The clear plastic material covering the book boxes is flexible and rubbery, and it’s hinged at the top. I should also note that every box was full of books when I found it (all the way around). I assume this is because it’s well looked after.
    JdP

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      Joseph,
      Wonderful of you to stop by. Thank you for clearing everything up for me. I had an inkling it was a hinged cover – as did the wonderful BookRabbit Sarah, above, of course – so I’m giving myself a point for that one.

      It’s great to see it so well stocked too, and that people haven’t (presumably) just come along and emptied it.
      Thanks again Joseph
      Warmest
      Rob

    • Where in Berlin is this? I would love to drop some books of there if I visit the city. Thanks!

      • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
        says:

        Hi bookczuk.
        I see you got an answer to your question on the Flickr page, so this is just to acknowledge your request.
        Warmest
        Rob

  5. I love this series, Rob. What a wonderful way to express the many forms of book love.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      Thank you for saying Nathalie. I often think myself to be one step away from ‘train spotting’ – and maybe I am. But at least I’m being unique 🙂
      Warmest
      Rob

Trackbacks

  1. […] this is a book case carved out of solid tree trunks. We found the link on a very cool site called Rob Around Books, a blog dedicated to a love of books. (My inner nerd did a dance.) One particular comment on the […]