A reading blog where I will try to my utmost to avoid the mention of books.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


It's just a feeling I've been having recently. An aversion to design, or rather, to the over-designedness of everything. Especially these magazines that suggest (through word or picture) that you arrange your books by color! Imagine trying to find a book that way. I arrange my books by language, and then by national literature and genre, excluding reference books, which I group all together and then by language. And undoubtedly there are many systems that would work quite well, but unless we are speaking of someone who would remember the color of every book they own--a very rare character, I should say--it is simply unimaginable that one could really get along arranging all one's books according to color.

So, a comment on the blog. The reason why I haven't made my own layouts for years is a separate question, and one I will probably not address on this blog. But my motive for the recent switch to this more minimalist layout is related to the above complaint. The fact that I'm a giant fruitcake notwithstanding, this layout reminds me of the old, text-based pseudo, always with white backgrounds, and invisible tables broken up by occasional dashed lines. Though I'm using design-esque language right now, I hope you can discern that what I'm describing is not design, it's a mess. And it's beautiful. As when I buy dresses and things because I think they're ugly. It's satisfying.

But there is something about design, the reason we're being sucked into it, one and all. (Well, not all. Certainly not my boyfriend.) And I don't mind conformity; it safeguards against certain dangers, and it's never absolute: no need to worry about that. And I don't mind foolishness, nor arbitrariness, nor even a little bit of uselessness. But futility is a different matter. I vote for stopping short of that, before we turn into pompoms. That is all.

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