When we made the seemingly harmless suggestion to store your books in piles—sans shelves—we couldn’t have anticipated how many strong opinions people would have about it. One photo, in particular, created a bit of controversy: the haphazard, rainbow book stack belonging to Domino’s very own branded partnerships visuals director, Meghan McNeer.
Whether you’re a shelf devotee or you abide by stacks but only if they’re organized neatly, book storage is ultimately a personal choice. Here, we asked McNeer to explain why she stands by her colorful, piled-high collection.
The setup started out of necessity, because when I moved, I didn’t have a bookshelf to house my beloved book collection. The space was so specific and basically the width of a book on its side, so I just stacked them. I needed what I then considered to be a temporary place to store them. I wanted them to look nice for guests coming over to see my new place, so I thought arranging them loosely by color would give them a maybe-she-meant-to-do-that je ne sais quoi. Then after I lived with it for a while, I started to love it.
Eventually I put built-ins on the other side of the living room, but I decided to leave the stack. I don’t think I can play favorites and say that it’s better than shelves, but it’s a more unusual and less expected way to store books, so I think it’s fun. It’s a dinner party conversation point and it reflects my colorful, maximalist mind-set. Most important, it reminds me of that anything-could-happen excitement, like when I ate Chinese food on the floor watching Sex and the City with my friend Amy in between unpacking boxes from when we had just moved to New York.
I have read all the novels in it! And while I am deeply attached to my copy of The Phantom Tollbooth (a favorite elementary school read of mine), I don’t think I’m going to reread it anytime soon. There are some art books in there that are nice for inspiration, but I can still get to them. It’s not glued together. I call it an installation because it’s mostly form and little function, but there are definitely books I can pull out easily. It’s not a place I would store my to-read books. Brace yourself, Internet: There’s another stack in my bedroom.
So yes—I do, in fact, read. While I love a good discourse, please remember that book stackers are people, too, and be kind with your disagreements.