Bookshelf of the Week: Scaling Mount Spiekermann

After missing out a Bookshelf of the Week feature last week (sorry) I wanted to bring you something a little bit special this time around. And it doesn’t get much more special – at least in a unique way – than the two-storey high bookshelf feature to found in the ultra-modern home of German typography master, Erik Spiekermann and his wife, Susanna Dulkinys.

So what’s so unique about a two-storey high bookshelf I hear you cry? Well on first impressions absolutely nothing! But what makes this particular two-storey high bookshelf stand out from any other is the equipment that the library user has to employ, in order to retrieve books from the higher shelves. You can forget about using pull along ladders and spiral staircases in this library folks, because if you want anything from the top shelf in this home then you’re going to have to strap yourself into a mountaineer’s harness.

That’s right fellow reader, to keep with their aim of creating a wholly minimalist living space, Erik and Susanna thought it would be more minimal – and no doubt a lot more quirky – to use a remote-controlled mountaineer’s harness to raise the reader to the upper levels (that’s Susanna in the picture hovering precariously close to the ornate lampshade :)).

Now I can’t deny the fun aspect of this retrieval method, but on a practical level can this really be of any use? For the time being maybe, to some degree (at least until the novelty wears off), but can you really picture these guys clambering into a harness and scaling the bookshelves when they reach the age of fifty? I certainly hope they do, but in all honesty I can’t really see it. Regardless, you’ve got to give Erik and Susanna full marks for ingenuity.

And ingenuity – along with minimalism – is definitely the overbearing theme in the Spiekermann and Dulkinys household. And you can enjoy a tour of the house yourself, courtesy of modern architecture and design magazine, Dwell – the good people who I ‘stole’ the picture from to begin with.

So over to you dear reader. Have you ever fancied scaling up your bookcases Mount Eiger style in order to get to your books, or is this a quirk too far?

*My thanks to The Casual Optimist, who first drew my attention to the Dwell Magazine article in the first place

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. Like that a combination of fulfilling the need for a good read and satisfying the sense of risk if that’s what floats your boat.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      You think Erik and Susanna are adrenaline junkies Simon? I know I do 🙂
      Warmest
      Rob

  2. As a book-fetcher in a major research library in my ill-spent youth, I may once or twice have resorted to climbing the shelves when no steps could be found… But it’s hardly in the same league!

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      I think you’re right G in he M. This is like professional book mountaineering or something 🙂
      Warmest
      Rob

  3. Goddess says:

    I love this!!!