THE SHELF JOURNAL: Cult of the shelf

By Teresa de Andrés. June 28, 2012


The title of the memoirs of Sven Nykvist –Bergman’s and Tarkovsky’s cinematographer– has always been at the top of my list of favourite titles. It elegantly summarises in only four words –I don’t know how many it has in Swedish– a whole life of pagan devotion. Reverence for the light. That might be the reason why every time I see the word “reverence” I suddenly run out of breath for a few seconds and an unknown urge makes me adore irrationally whatever I have in my hands.

The Shelf Journal proposes a new but old reverence, a cult that I had never seen in this way before: a cult of the shelf, meaning the space, meaning the book. This new magazine of editorial design is nothing but materiality, it is green edges, it is spine with the thinnest lines that emulate Japanese bindings, it is a cover in rugged paper where you feel like sleeping over.

We are living effervescent times. Fascinating. Energetic. Every month there are first issues of new magazines in which it is worth to get lost for a whole working day (now that time is the only thing we don’t have!). The founders of The Shelf Journal are the French designers Morgane Rébulard and Colin Caradec. And they are young enough to dare to create this beautiful printed magazine on books and to convince us that theirs is a master stroke.

The Shelf Journal –with 108 pages, bilingual edition in English/French and biannual– is filled with graphic surprises that embellish and make the white page, the paragraph, yell; but it is also the empty space that is no longer empty because somebody, somewhere, has wanted it that way.

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