We have some good news and some bad news. Fake books have evidently become quite popular today, sufficiently so that several companies now are making and selling them. This fits in with the trend of buying “books by the foot” to fill your shelves with books you'll never read, not even might want to read someday. There is also the covid-induced symptom of TV talking heads, speaking to the camera from home during the pandemic, using a shelf full of books as a backdrop. It makes you look intelligent. Now, we have people lining their shelves with “books” that aren't really books, they just look like them. That is the good news and the bad news. The good news is that people believe an image of a book-reader is something of honor and respect. The bad news is they aren't actually reading them. I don't know which weighs more heavily on the scale in these times of advanced technology where there is fear that books may become anachronistic. Here are a few of the fake books you can buy today.
Craig Hill makes “False Books” that are a lot like book safes but with some variation. They are meant to look old, weathered, and a bit dog-eared. They are also “...entirely devoid of information. Inside is an empty cavity—a place to keep your valuables, however you may define them.” Then they go one step further to make sure no visitors disturb them and learn your secret. They devise titles that sound so boring no one would ever want to look at them. There are titles such as 3208 Industrial Engine Parts Book, Concrete Manual, Rapid Identification of Some Metals and Alloys, and An Introduction to Engineering Plastics. You can be confident that no one will disturb these.
Covogoods makes something somewhat akin to book safes, but they are made from real books. As they explain, “Covogoods is on a mission to save books from landfills. Many of our products are made from books that were literally headed for destruction. We rescue them and make beautiful home decor and practical storage products.” Rather than single books, they take a group of books, cut off all but the spine and another inch or so, and fashion a hidden shelf behind them. It looks like you have a stack of books on your shelf, but in reality, there is storage space behind them.
DecBOOKS calls themselves “the leading false book manufacturers in the world.” I can't personally verify that claim, but they say they have been around since 1991, and “since then, others have copied but failed to achieve the level of authenticity captured with DecBOOKS faux books.” Again, I can't verify. Their specialty is making false spines, a group of apparent book spines together, as on a shelf, but with nothing behind the spine. They are effectively a Potemkin Village of books on a shelf. They say their books have been used to fill libraries and bookcases, but hopefully those are private libraries as patrons of a public library would be very disappointed trying to pull one off the shelf.
Facaimo Faux Books features “decoration European style fake book bronzing retro decorative books.” That's a bit of a mouthful, but I think what it means is they use a “bronzing” process to make books that look really good, as good as new or better. They also retain their beauty, rather than easily deteriorating with a little handling. Not that these are meant for reading as they aren't really books, but, rather than just a false front or spine, they look like a complete book. Ideal for where the entire book will be visible, not just the spine.
So there you have it – a few suggestions for book lovers who are not readers. They create a false impression that they are really books, and that their owners are really readers.