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There is Nothing Wrong in This Whole Wide World

Every book and art blogger, moblogger and phlogger within 100 miles of it has covered this already, but artist Chris Cobb has rearranged all 20,000 books in a San Francisco bookstore by color.

Chris Cobb's book installation, by J. Mayer

Delightful. An explanation and more photos are here, and there are still more in Flickr here.

I used to see a similar effect in bookstores in Europe, where the books were often arranged by publisher rather than by author, and some of the publishing houses would color-code their bindings with a cumulative effect in mind.

For some reason it also makes me think of ten or twelve years ago when Fran Miksa at UT's library school suggested that online catalogs should provide images of the covers of the books. It was a bit heretical at the time, but then along came Amazon, which is now the de facto online catalog for a lot of researchers before they hit the libraries. One shouldn't judge a book by its cover but a cover often does contain a lot of useful metadata.

Meanwhile, it was only last year that I started arranging the shirts in my closet by color. What a difference!

books 2005.01.14 link

Comments

The RGB bookstore :) I hope they have some kind of database to search the book you want to aquire, I cannot imagine myself browsing every book in the shelves to find the one I'm interested in.

The idea of arranging all the clothes in my closet scares me a bit. A man needs to have a bit of controlled chaos around.

Priapo [info cxe rsc112 punkto tk] • 2005.01.15
Delightful, but a pain in the bunda if you go looking for something specific! Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations is blue, the Remarks on Color is red, and you really can't read the latter without having the former handy ....

Wow, you hang your shirts up in a CLOSET? That's what floorspace is for, you ask me. My dear Neuza probably shoulda married YOU instead of The Bicho.

Colin from Bklyn [cbrayton cxe gmail punkto com] • 2005.01.15
The thing was a temporary art project, just up for a few weeks. It was so popular that they extended it; I think I heard the closing party is tonight if you're in the neighborhood.

I don't know what sort of finding aids they have, probably just the memory of the staff and customers -- "Hey, Joe, what color is The Color Purple?" -- although they say that each book has a piece of paper in the front saying where it should go back when the show is over. There have been many reports that people were happier with their serendipitous finds under the Roy G. Biv scheme than if they'd just looked up something specific. I'm sure the bookseller is crying all the way to the bank.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.01.15
Hanging shirts by color is the best. I have been doing it since I had to hang my tshirts (hangers being cheaper than a chest o' drawers). There is something nice about looking into a closet and seeing things arranged so nicely.

If I had a book store, I would arrange books by color, too.

ataraxy [ataraxy cxe graduallydisappear punkto com] • 2005.01.16
I haven't been yet, but really want to go see it!

I did really love how the Seminary Co-op bookstore in Chicago had a giant wall of penguin classics arranged by color. Green is Asia, yellow is England, Iceland, sagas... Red is Greek and purple is Latin. It all makes perfect sense although I could get behind making china and india different colors. I have them that way on my shelves and it's peculiarly satisfying...

I also like it when the backs of books in a series make a pattern or a picture when you have everything in the series.

badgerbag [lizzard cxe bookmaniac punkto net] • 2005.01.16
It seems to have been going around even before this project.

And at least one library has taken a step in Fran Miksa's direction: New England School of Law Color Index. (The file is called "well_its_red.html"!)

When I can manage it, which is just a couple times a year, I arrange my daughters' books by size. I love that brief moment of neatness.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.01.16
I've given up trying to organize the kids' books. It lasts for about a week every time I do it and then devolves into a godawful mess. There does seem to be a much wider size range in kids books. I hadn't really thought about it before.

I suppose it'll be a little more lasting once the youngest is past her "terrible twos", but The Boy isn't much better about keeping things organized.

ttrentham [todo cxe thechunk punkto com] • 2005.01.17
I went and looked at it, by happy chance was RIGHT THERE at the right time. And it was lovely.... strangely compelling...

badgerbag [lizzard cxe bookmaniac punkto net] • 2005.01.19
Part of what was nice was looking around and recognizing books by their color and size. Like unexpectedly seeing an old friend in the distance in a strange city and recognizing them from the way they walk. Oh, it's you, Heritage Dictionary! In all your red richness, kingly in the other Reds!

badgerbag [lizzard cxe bookmaniac punkto net] • 2005.01.19
Ooh, I like that old friends idea!

This thing even came up in class yesterday.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.01.19
um...I missed that one.

Latino Pundit [no cxe no punkto com] • 2005.02.23
Neuza I love you !!
All I can see is your face smiling!
Osmar please straighten this out you the only one that can do this!

I love your sister nore than anythingelse on the world.

Please tell your mother I have the shoes my feet I love your mother !
Please ask her to help!


I dream for the day that I can put my arms around your mother again and say I love you.

please osmar talk to neuza,antino I miss everybody so much ,have a good day!

I know everybody has herd me say a thousand times I love neuza ,but give me a chance ,I love brazil so much/
by

Jimmy

James Frick [deeppurpole cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2006.02.07
I realize nobody wants to hear this but I try to catch a dream my dream with the most beautiful woman in the world (neuza(!from brazil)

This might not mean nothing to most people but to me dreams are special
and I have learned much from this and when a dream becomes real do not make any mistakes ( I sorry neuza)!just give me a chance you wil not be sorry

By
Jimmy

James Frick [deeppurpole cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2006.02.07
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