Typographic Wallpaper

This week’s Gifts for Book Lovers is all about the words on the wall. Check out these new typographic wallpaper from the fancy folks at Wall & Deco.

This first one is called Wordless.


It’s sort of a washed out bled through bad-photocopy-paper effect and I like it. It’s just enough that the wallpaper says “book” but your guests won’t spend all evening looking over your shoulder reading. It looks like a bad Google Books scan or something.

But if you’re more of a bold font sort of person, check out this typographic wallpaper called Bronzo.


It has that old world metal letter vintage signage vibe. The colors would pop too. You’d need the right room for this though.

This last one is called Covers and is the most subtle of the bunch.


It’s not really a typographic wallpaper, but hey, it’s stacked books! This one would work in just about any room I would think though it’s kind of hard to tell what that linen pattern is doing.

I couldn’t find any pricing for these wallpapers, but I’m sure if you created a Wall & Deco account or shot them an email they’d be happy to chat with you. These wallpapers would be a great gift for any book lover’s home.

Which one is your favorite?

Barnes & Noble Stocking Fewer Books

Barnes & Noble released some details recently showing that revenues are down almost 5% and so on. The overall decline in sales and profits has been the lede of this news so far.

But one point that jumps out at me is worth mentioning (and lamenting). And that is the fact that Barnes & Noble bookstores are carrying fewer and fewer books every year.

Publishing industry thinker-doer-sage Thad McIlory surfaced the following nugget over on his site:

“In its latest report the company states that “each Barnes & Noble store features an authoritative selection of books, ranging from 22,000 to 164,000 titles.” The number ranged from “60,000 to 200,000 titles” in 2004. The long tail at Barnes & Noble is now 18% shorter.”

I feel frustrated every time I walk into a Barnes & Noble these days and have to navigate around the monolithic Nook base up front and then travel around all of the board games, toy figures and bobble-head dolls to get to… the fiction section. It’s that way in both the B&N shops here in town.

Lots of people go to stores with a specific title in mind to buy, but how many bump into books while there? How many folks browse and stumble into a good book and buy it? This happens. I know this happens. It happens to me. But when you keep fewer and fewer books on the shelves it is going to happen less and less.


I can only assume that on some spreadsheet somewhere it shows that the margin on toy figures is better than books. Which I’m sure it is. So the owner of that spreadsheet decrees that in the interest of chasing profits (which they do indeed need to do as B&N is hurting) they swap out books for non-book merchandise. Which probably gooses the bottom line a little.

But over time bookish folks don’t get all that excited about visiting a B&N anymore. Another two seasons like the past two and it’s going to look like the toy and magazine/book racks at Target or Wal-Mart. So folks start directing book buying elsewhere and it starts to feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I know the book industry is crazy right now and margins on books have always been razor-thin, but the more Barnes & Noble goes down this path it really feels like it’s doing more damage than good.

Am I off in my thinking? Anyone else see it differently?

Zuckerberg Goes Sci-Fi

Mark Zuckerberg has tapped a science fiction book as his next Facebook book club pick. According to a post on Facebbook, Iain M. Banks’ sci-fi novel The Player of Games will be at the center of the group’s next discussion. Zuckerberg has been choosing a new book every two weeks since the beginning of the year.


This one is a little bit of a departure for the A Year of Books list as it’s not a straight up business/community improvement/social science book. The selections started with Moisés Naím’s The End of Power and Harai’s Sapiens was the latest and 12th pick (which the book discussion on Facebook looked pretty interesting).

But The Player of Games seems fitting all the same.

PlayerofGamesThis book is Book Two in Banks’ ten-book “The Culture” series which technology (thanks to aliens) is accelerated with the help of creative folks to ideally serve mankind way off in year 2083. I have not read this series yet, but am certainly familiar with them, as it was started in the late 1980’s. But from the conversations I’ve heard, the plot lines are very well thought out and you wind up having meaningful debates about what it means to be human, the pros/cons of technology on us and of course – aliens.

I’ve never participated in any of the previous A Year of Books discussions, but this one may very well be fun to follow. No doubt the talking points will be far and wide, which is great, especially when they are focused on serving others and improving things. Of course, I haven’t read the books… maybe it all crashes and burns. We’ll see.

Have you read anything from Iain M. Banks’ “The Culture” series?

The Little Paris Bookshop – Book Review

Title: The Little Paris Bookshop
Author: Nina George
Publisher: Crown, 2015
Where I heard about this book: I received this book directly from the publisher

What first drew me to Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop was all the “books about books” chatter accompanying its launch. An area it certainly delivered in. But while books play a central part in The Little Paris Bookshop it is ultimately about loss and the consequences of our choices. All of which is peppered with the food and landscape of France.


The book follows Jean Perdu, book prescriber, bookseller and captain of the Literary Apothecary, a book barge moored along the Seine and overflowing with books and . The first third of the book is filled with thoughts and talk of books, literature and book buyers as Perdu will not allow his customers to buy any old book they want – it must be the “right” book.

“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.” –Monsieur Jean Perdu

This self-imposed hermit bookman displays a knack for sizing up a customer and prescribing just the right book to cure what ails them. But Perdu is suffering from his own pains and deeper issues as well. So he and a best-selling-author neighbor cast the lines ashore and take off down the river, in the book barge, to deal with Perdu’s past choices head on. More literary-minded characters come on board along the way as lives unravel and are laid bare.

Once the journey starts, George really starts to focus on loss, the choices we make in life and the stages of grief. Oh my goodness does Perdu spend time becoming self-aware. A lot of time. Towards the end there’s lots of yelling at the sea and pounding on tables as he comes to grips of lost love, growing older, re-connecting with himself and those around him.

The book is much more of a romance than I was first expecting. There was a lot more pining away and emotional anguish than I planned on. But the jacket designer, for the U.S. edition, nailed it. Just know that the sense you get from the cover is exactly what’s inside.

All of the book talk made it worth it for me though. Lots of Harry Potter and classic literature references to feed your inner bibliophile. And I would be selling it short if I didn’t mention the food and the river scenery. I was ready to set sail and eat my way through France by the time I turned the final page. The book even has a few recipes in the back from meals that were enjoyed in the book. Ultimately this book is filled with folks that I’d love to have over for a dinner party.

I give The Little Paris Bookshop three out of five stars and I’m recommending this book to friends I already know read romance books. But again it was worth it to me, just for all of the bookish discussions and characters.

EXTRA: The publishing team for the book put together a neat promotional book apothecary website where you can go and get books prescribed for you based on how you’re feeling.

Books, Publishing and Birmingham