If it looks like a book, feels like a book and stacks like a book, then there’s still a good chance it may not be a book. From a report:
Fake books come in several different forms: once-real books that are hollowed out, fabric backdrops with images of books printed onto them, empty boxlike objects with faux titles and authors or sometimes just a facade of spines along a bookshelf. Already the norm for film sets and commercial spaces, fake books are becoming popular fixtures in homes. While some people are going all in and covering entire walls in fake books, others are aghast at the thought that someone would think to decorate with a book that isn’t real. “I will never use fake books,” said Jeanie Engelbach, an interior designer and organizer in New York City. “It just registers as pretentious, and it creates the illusion that you are either better read or smarter than you really are.”
Ms. Engelbach said she has frequently used books as decor, at times styling clients’ bookcases with aesthetics taking priority over function, which is a typical interior-design practice. At Books by the Foot — a company that sells, as its name suggests, books by the foot — one can purchase books by color (options include “luscious creams,” “vintage cabernet” and “rainbow ombre”), by subject (“well-read art” or “gardening”), wrapped books (covered in linen or rose gold) and more. The tomes are all “rescue books,” ones that would otherwise be discarded or recycled for paper pulp, said Charles Roberts, the president of Books by the Foot’s parent company, Wonder Book. During the pandemic lockdown in 2020, remote work created increased demand for the company’s services. While it mostly specializes in the sale of real books, the company has also dabbled in the world of faux ones.
The book seller has cut books — so only the spines remain — and glued them to shelves for cruise ships,”where they don’t want to have a lot of weight or worry that the books will fall off the shelves if the weather gets bad,” Mr. Roberts said. There are other, sometimes counterintuitive, uses for fake tomes as well. Although it has the capacity to hold more than 1.35 million of them, many of the books in China’s 360,000-square-foot Tianjin Binhai Library aren’t real. Instead, perforated aluminum plates emblazoned with images of books can be found, primarily on the upper shelves of the atrium. While the presence of artificial books in a place devoted to reading has been widely criticized — “more fiction than books,” one headline mocked — it remains a buzzy tourist attraction. After all, the books don’t need to be real if it’s just for the ‘gram.