Newton Bookshelf Clamps Your Books, Hangs Them Up In The Air

Functional furniture is awesome, but less-functional ones do carry their own appeal. Such is the case with the Newton Bookshelf, a hanging shelf that’s one part quirky and one part weird. Yep, it’s downright strange, any way you look at it.

Designed to hang on a pair of hooks nailed to a wall, the unusual fixture isn’t a shelf as much as it is a decorative piece. To put it mildly, it makes taking and returning books from a shelf more work than what should be necessary.

The Newton Bookshelf consists of an industrial-style steel clamp that’s designed to hold your pile of books like a vise grip. Problem is, the books are literally just hanging in the air. Loosen the clamp and all five books you’ve got lined on the “shelf” drop straight down on the floor like the proverbial apple that hit Newton in the head (hence, the name).

Is it nice? Yes. There’s an industrial, workman-like quality to the piece which makes it a great way to display lines of books in a living room. Is it functional? Hell, no. Not unless you find having to screw a clamp like a carpenter working a mechanical drill a functional way to enjoy your leisure reading. Consider it as a piece of art that you install once and leave, rather than a utilitarian tool that can actually hold books you intend to read every so often.

Created by Italian designer Francesco Polare, the Newton Bookshelf will be available for purchase between April 14 to 19, 2010 at the Ex Ansaldo studio in Milan.

[via Design Spotter]