Saving a Book’s Life

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The rules of shelving can seem arbitrary, even arcane, but the fundamentals are easy to learn: two hard covers, and no more than three paperbacks of the same title, on each shelf.  The exception is the face-out. If the jacket is displayed horizontally, behind it you can stack as many books as can fit.

Over at the Atlantic, novelist and independent bookshop employee Susan Coll looks at how the shelving and positioning of a book within a store can mean success (or demise) for a writer.


Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →