Suspend Your Disbelief

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Books in the bedroom?


Sure, you love them. But do you want to sleep with them? Design blog Apartment Therapy recently surveyed its readers on whether bookcases belonged in the bedroom.

Commenters weighed in passionately on both sides. Those opposed to books in the bedroom offered a variety of reasons, from aesthetics:

I think bookcases are fine for a kid’s room — to keep their own personal books — but otherwise, books belong in a less intimate and private space.

Bookcases in a a grown-up bedroom are too cluttered and distracting.

to psychology:

The last time I had a bookcase in my bedroom was in college – dorm life. To me, packed bookcases are loaded with ideas, stories and energy that begged to be absorbed and digested multiple times. I’d rather have peace in my bedroom. A wall of bookcases are better off left in the home office, study, den or family room.

to practicality:

No way! But for a reason not yet mentioned here: I live on the west coast of the U.S., i.e. earthquake country. I position my bookshelves so that they wouldn’t fall toward any sitting or sleeping area. But especially not in the bedroom, because if I’m asleep, I’m going to be much less able to dodge falling objects!

Maybe if my bedroom were larger. I’d be okay with it if I had sweet built-in bookshelves like in the photo. But freestanding bookcases? No way. Not even if they’re anchored, not if they’re close enough to conceivably threaten me on my bed.

Those in favor of books in the bedroom spoke of the emotional importance of books:

I have a bed and 7 bookcases in my master bedroom (and every room except for the bathrooms has multiple bookcases). I love being surrounded by my books, and luckily I have 2 walk in closets so a dresser is not required. I am uncomfortable in rooms where at least a few books are not present.

Books bring me comfort. I want my bedroom to be a room of comfort. My books live in my bedroom.

What do you think? Do you keep books in your bedroom? Why or why not?

If you’re torn about this, perhaps you can turn your bedroom into a book, as this design blog suggests:

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