Colour coding my books

I was thinking a lot about places I’ve been inside dreams, where I’m familiar with a building or a room, or like when I’m in a house in a dream and there are combinations of things in the house that don’t exist in reality – Chris Cobbs

The Adobe Bookshop's red book section

The Adobe Bookshop’s red book section

You know the recent trend of interior designers and inspired ones among us of arranging our books according to colour on our one or two bookshelves?

Chris Cobb, back in 2004, did this … in a scale that defies all our meagre attempts. He took over a friend’s giant bookshop (Adobe Bookshop, San Francisco, CA) for a week. With 20 people, he organised the books according to mind-bogging colour, instead of the normal, sensible way, topically.

“to change the entire space into something that you would see in a dream”< The Adobe Bookshop's red book section The Adobe Bookshop’s red book section[/caption]

He and his team did this, just in a night. Imagine the surprise of the patrons! I hope they had plenty of computers directing poor book-buying folk to the right bookcase and row!

Would you also imagine the time taken to describe book colour in their computer system? What about book jackets?

This of course, comes as a boot-up-the-bum for me to get a project done on my way-overdue to-do-list… reorganise our books by colour. (I have plans to one day paint the bookcase -left by previous owners- white gloss and the walls some other colour too, but that’s for another day.)

Before I descended on my books:

My books before colour treatment

My books before colour treatment


My books after being colour coded

My books after being colour coded

Quotes taken from an interview with Chris Cobbs.
Images taken from Conversational Reading

16 October 2008
23 October 2008



  1. Reply


    19 October 2008

    Fantastic…I love that this post was inspired by a dream. Also, I would love to shop in that bookstore because just imagine all the great new reads you would find because of them being all jumbled up.

  2. Reply


    19 October 2008

    Great job! What a simple thing to do for a great result.

  3. Reply


    20 October 2008

    bmommy: thanks! it wasn’t my dream, it was a quote from the artist, Chris Cobbs. but i do so love that dream, because we all have those dreams. the beautiful fanciful (way way overpriced) landscapes and spaces!in a bookshop, it would be a ridiculous task looking for books to read on … Mosquitoes in the Sahara Desert… or Politics Among the Dodos. ;)in my home, i only have so many books…. :)anna: yes I did enjoy it :) not a task to do with significant others tho… something to be enjoyed on a quiet solitude of a weekend afternoon… with Norah Jones.

  4. Reply


    22 October 2008

    wow! you inspire me to do the same :)

  5. Reply


    23 October 2008

    shill: thanks!!! so great to know my little attempts inspires you :) so much fun too!

  6. Reply


    26 October 2008

    Wow! What a difference that makes! Isn’t amazing. Looks so much cleaner and less cluttered.


The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

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