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Bookends Offer History of Utility and Symbolism

POSTED: January 9, 2008 2:57 pm America/Chicago

Book collectors old and young, rich and not so rich make use of the collectible bookend to keep their collections in order. Simple in theory and utility, bookends can accent the decor of a room or simply hold books on a shelf. Decorative bookends can make symbolic statements while serving the simple task of keeping your books upright. Unique bookends can help to complement even the most humble book collection.

Since the Middle Ages and the time of the scribes, books have been a primary source of information. The problem was that books were hard to come by for anyone except the wealthy and the royal. Commoners rarely, if ever, had access to information in written form. The introduction of the Gutenberg printing press in fourteen forty fundamentally changed how people received information. Despite this enormous leap forward, people of lesser means would have to wait for several centuries for the mass diffusion of print. If the Middle Age population had books, then highly valuable antique bookends would also be available.

Today, there are those people who are predicting the death of print. These predictions may be somewhat premature. In this digital age, there is a tendency to think that newspapers, and even books, may go the way of the horse and buggy. It is true that we receive more and more information through the portal of the internet. Despite the trend and contrary to popular opinion, newspapers are still profitable. The same can be said for book sales, which have remained strong.

Books and newspapers have a very important advantage over more high tech sources of information. Laptop computers, cell phones and other electronic gadgets all have something in common. All of these devices need power and access to a wireless broadband signal or a dial up phone connection. The humble book is so low tech that all you need is enough light to read by. A book can be read almost anytime, anywhere. A book is something tangible, far different from information that merely whizzes through the empty ether.

Books still hold the information we need. Students learning the high tech computer languages that support the great digital information surge use books to study their craft. A single book can be passed from reader to reader without the need to plug in, turn on or dialup. Without the need for logging in, cords and passwords, books can provide us with hours of pleasure and knowledge anywhere.

Childrens books remain a popular publishing genre. There are fun and functional Children's bookends that can capture a theme or compliment the special world that makes up a childs room. A set of bookends will often reflect a favorite super hero, dinosaurs and animals. The selection of bookends for children is almost as limitless as a childs imagination.

Speaking of limitless, that would be a great way to describe the various the materials used to create decorative bookends. Perhaps not as fashionable, but certainly just as functional, other books can be used as bookends. Down though time, bookends have been made of stone, metals, glass and crystal. There are wooden bookends and bookends made form paper mache. A bookend may be nothing more than a brick or piece of stone.

Famous pieces of art and sculpture have been the inspiration for bookends. Replicas of The Thinker by Rodin, busts of the great Caesars grace some of the worlds great book collections. There are even bookends that are images of the collections owner. Public libraries, more popular than ever and use bookends in a very utilitarian way. Simple affairs, often just stamped metal bent at a ninety degree angle, the simple bookend literally holds the accumulated knowledge of human history.

Bookends come in many forms. The professions have Attorney bookends and Physician bookends. Animals are very popular when it comes to bookends, due to our love of them. Bear bookends are popular as are Deer and Antelope bookends. Other wildlife that people celebrate in this form are eagle bookends and frog bookends. Lucky animals include elephant bookends. Many peole believe that elephants are lucky, especially if their trunks are facing upwards. Many pets are also celebrated with bookends including dog bookends and cat bookends. Sports are popular in this field especially golf bookends. Bookends are a great way to decorate the house with a theme. One popular home decorating theme is a throwback from our great beach vacations, the nautical theme and the nautical bookend. Not to be outdone, the children in your life like to have kid bookends, and please don't forget horse bookends. Finally, dragon head bookends and gargoyle head bookends make great gifts for the person who likes the unusual but they have everything that they will ever need in life. You really cannot find a better gift then a set of bookends for the person who has everything because everyone has books that need attention, with a decor to match!

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