It’s a charming characteristic of old houses, one that folks on HGTV demand and MLS listings proudly announce – Built In Bookshelves!
But why is this a thing?
In the 1920’s and 1930’s book sales began seriously lagging and book publishers started to seriously freak out. How could they get more people to buy more books?
Enter our old friend, inventor of modern PR, Edward Bernays! Uncle Eddie was hired by a group of book publishers and given one mission: make buying books cool.
The first thing he did was hire public people to espouse the importance of a private library. Only the coolest, smartest, best dancers with rock hard butts read. You read too, right?
Then (my favorite!) he urged architects designing the popular kit homes to include built-in bookshelves in the plans. ‘“Where there are bookshelves,” Bernays reasoned, “there will be books.”
It worked! Book sales took off. Next time you walk into a charming Sears Kit Bungalow that has built-in bookshelves, take a moment to give props to Ed!