Have you ever wondered why most bookshelves are flat and straight? I’m pondering that question right now as I look at the fabulous Storyline bookshelf by Frederik Roije. There is no good reason that bookshelves should be perfectly flat, requiring books to balance with the help of bookends, lest they fall over into tilted piles. (See Todd Laby’s slanted shelves for our idea of innovative bookshelf design) Roije’s Storylines bookcase design makes more sense functionally than having a standard flat shelf, and it is more aesthetically interesting to boot – resembling a mini-city skyline.

Another coup for those design-savvy Dutch!

Via the Coolhunter

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Here’s an interesting comment from one of our readers, Jesse Sutherland:

The Answer: Here’s why this bookshelf, while neato and really nice to look at is trumped by the traditional wooden plank. The traditional shelf is actually much more functional. Think about browsing a large collection of books on this new-fangled beauty. What’s wrong? Your eye movement and “rhythm” for lack of a better word. Browsing along a traditional bookshelf you can quickly scan all of the titles printed on the spines of the books. Anyone who’s gone to the library or has a large collection knows that its way easier to do this when the books are about the same size. When the books are all different widths and heights browsing and finding the right book is harder because your eyes are jumping all over the place searching for the title. This new shelf totally compounds this program with its differing heights, widths and lengths. The ‘Storyline’ shelf basically demands a non-uniform collection of books, when books are generally (and especially for collectors) of two or three sizes only-thus fairly uniform. Furthermore, as the first picture clearly shows, the books on this shelf also suffer from sagging/bending unless each odd shaped ‘pocket’ is totally filled. Of course, as noted, this is an issue for traditional bookshelves which solve this problem in a much better way. Bookends which are of course moveable (and can in fact just be heavy tomes) are more customizable and therefore functional. Finally, this new shelf hardly allows for horizontal stacking which is great for really, really big, but flat books, ie. atlases.

So, to make a long story short, its obvious that this is the Lambourghini of bookshelves; great to look at but so good at the construction site. In this case functionality has almost totally been sacraficed for aesthetics.

I’m not totally convinced by this argument (Most of my books are different sizes), but the dude has a point.