Q. What are decorative books and who buys them?
A. The answer to this question used to be simple, however I’m trying to change the definition of decorative books and also expand the market for them.
There once was a time when the line between people who put books on their shelf only for decoration with no intention of ever reading them or even caring what their titles were on one side and the true readers who would never think of buying a book for its cover were on the other side. However, since I founded Juniper Books 10 years ago, what I have been trying to do is make all books, book collections, and libraries more visually appealing and integrated into their surroundings.
The results have been pretty successful I think. Perhaps it has something to do with the evolution of the e-book market and the increasingly recognized trend among publishers and the media that you have to give the consumer more reasons to own a printed book. For more on this see Selling a Book by Its Cover and also Selling Books by Their Gilded Covers, both articles in the New York Times.
My approach is to provide beautiful decorative books that are exactly what a homeowner wants to have on their shelves with respect to their content. Sometimes this is achieved by curating a collection of books by author, or by binding type or both, and sometimes it is achieved by curating these collections AND making custom book jackets for the books.
Consider for example these various styles of books and book collections with varying levels of decoration:
So, as you can see decorative books are not what they used to be and they are appealing to many more people than ever before. Juniper Books is decorative books much more decorative, but also much more useful, readable, and collectible. We have done everything in the world of decorative books from making the cover-less book bundles for Pottery Barn to designing unique collections in our custom book covers for several of the world’s finest homes, yachts and hotels (a big range I know but it illustrates how we work with all customers love books and love the look of books).
Gwyneth Paltrow featured some of our books in GOOP this year, as did Elle.com, and a huge variety of websites and media. We are hearing from interior designers, architects, builders and homeowners every week how they love discovering our book products and services and how they are unlike anything they have seen before – I think that’s saying a lot for a medium that’s been around for 500 years!
Oh, and did I mention that we are just getting started? Look for some incredibly creative new ideas in the world of decorative books in 2012 . . .