Design Classic: The Lema Booken Bookcase

Turning the idea of a traditional bookcase on its head, the Booken isn’t afraid to go against the grain

Designers: Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, 2013

Details: Lacquered-ash and oak bookcase, £559, Raw Edges for Lema

Known for their edgy yet playful creations, eclectic design duo Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, aka Raw Edges, played with the idea of the book transcending its function as an object to become something altogether more innovative, multifunctional – and impossible to ignore.

Thus with Booken, your most treasured tomes move out of the background to become a design feature in their own right, banding together on a series of oak bookmarks to work not only as a nifty, hanging library, but a stylish side table and shelf for resting your cup of tea, specs and, er – headspin – book of the month on.

While a horizontal rather than vertical library takes a bit of getting used to, soon you won’t want anything else – just think, no more neck ache craning to find the right book and, thanks to the built-in bookmarks, no more losing your place or resorting to the sinful practice of thumbing-down pages.

The name Booken comes from the idea that the book becomes the constituent material of an object. In the same way that ‘wood’ becomes ‘wooden’, ‘book’ becomes ‘booken’. Genius.

Of course, the temptation would be, as here, to colour coordinate your histories of modern design, making Booken not merely a hanging library but a statement art installation.

What a novel idea!

Editor’s Picks