The ultimate shelfie rainbow

Many of us will remember those days in early lockdown when Zoom became a thing? Suddenly, new trends came onto our radar – perfecting the professional look for the top half (a strong lip, a smart top, brushed hair – with pyjama bottoms carefully out of sight beneath the screen; a slice of homemade banana bread for elevenses; your new puppy licking the Zoom screen during an important meeting; or perhaps setting the perfect backdrop for FaceTime drinks with the girls.

So, when we came across the article Zoom makes us judge a book by its cover for the perfect rainbow selfie in Sunday Times, 4 October, we smiled. Written by journalist Louise Eccles, it says: The bookshelf was once a place to store treasured volumes, their worn spines fading over time. But charity shops say customers are increasingly concerned about the colour of a novel’s colour rather than its content, in the quest for a perfectly curated shelf. The trend is partly fuelled by the number of people working from home. Many people, realising that their bookshelves will come under intense scrutiny on video calls, are keen to impress their colleagues with a tastefully co-ordinated backdrop… Charity bookshops say some customers are leaving with armfuls of books in every shade with the intention of arranging them by the colour of their spines. Others are searching for piles of books with only white spines to create a minimalist instant library… A bizarre social media trend for displaying novels back to front also led to requests for books with weathered pages and of uniform height, to achieve a fashionable but well-read impression.

Fiona Jackson, manager of the Oxfam bookshop in Tonbridge, Kent, said: Books with block colours on their spines seem to be really in at the moment, maybe because it’s satisfying to look at. The orange Penguin Classic books are also very popular, and people will come in for them specifically because it matches their living room or they just like the way it looks…Scott Woolgar, who runs the Oxfam bookshop in Brighton, said: We have had people who want the whole rainbow…I think people want to update the areas where they are working. If they are having a Zoom call with 30 other people on the call, they are thinking about what is behind them.

Futon Company says: Aside from making a colourful backdrop, the rainbow shelfie can also make the perfect room divider – which is ideal if you live in a small space and want to separate, say, your bedroom from your home office or create a focal point.

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