This is how we keep our books


One stacks books all over the house, another prefers to line her walls with them. The creators of Flow allow us to peek at their home libraries.

Managing editor Caroline Buijs (left): “Our house is overflowing with books. The fact that my husband is a publisher explains a lot. Sometimes I’d like to throw them all out the window, but deep down I love them too much. They’re in the bookcases, beside my bed, on side tables, on my desk, next to the bath, behind the couch, in the bathroom. I believe that only the balcony is book-free.”

Managing editor Rachel Lancashire (middle): “In our home, the wall-to-wall bookcases are sorted according to body height: My 
two-meter-tall husband’s philosophy and martial arts books are at the top, the children’s books are at the bottom, and my own beloved English classics and books about gardens and architecture are in the middle. Then, the cookbooks are in the kitchen, the reference books in my office, the comic books in the bathroom, and there’s a small shelf of poetry on the landing. It sounds vaguely organized, but all through the house are stacks of books that don’t fit anywhere.”

Editor-in-chief Marije van der Haar-Peters (right): “Of course, I can get a bit jealous of other people’s handmade custom bookcase, but I still swear by my two slightly wonky bookcases bought from Ikea when I moved into my first apartment. Two years ago, I cleared them out thoroughly. Discarding was actually not that hard: With each book I felt straight away whether I wanted to keep it. I think I took a few hundred to the thrift store. After that, it seemed a good idea to arrange my select collection according to color. That was only partly successful because my husband refuses to color-code the books on his two (already hard-fought for) shelves. And I’m still piling books in stacks.”

  • See more bookshelves and book-stories of the makers of Flow in Issue 30.