I just came across this deeply disturbing article in The Seattle Times:
Books are so popular in home decor that even people who don't read acquire them. They buy volumes by the yard at Half Price Books. They send orders to a California book-decor specialist, who ships Danish books by the foot.
Danish? Well, they aren't meant to be read.
Perhaps the ultimate signal that books are decor came when a recent Pottery Barn catalog showed an entire bookcase with the books turned backward, annoying mismatched spines facing inward, all in an attempt to achieve a neutral, uniform look.
I can overlook the Danish books being bought by the yard and used to cozy up a room. Apart from the necessity of dusting, I can't see much difference between that and trompe l'oeil murals of bookcases. But I gasped at the part about turning the shelved books backward, spines to the wall. That strikes me as frighteningly similar to Morticia Addams' flower-arranging technique. (In case you don't remember, she snipped the blooms off her roses and lovingly tucked the thorny, leafy stems into vases.) Some things are just plain wrong.