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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Eye candy

To a reader, books are an essential feature of any home. A concept taken rather literally by Dutch artists Jan Is De Man and Deef Feed, whose amazing trompe l’oeil mural has transformed the side a three-level apartment building in the Dutch city of Utrecht into. . . a bookcase.

De Man and Feed, who co-own a tattoo and piercing shop in the city, asked people in the neighborhood to nominate favorite books for the painted shelves, with only religious and political choices off-limits.

Since no book collection is complete without its Jane Austen, I’m happy to report that Pride and Prejudice made the cut. (It’s the pale blue book with gold accents on the bottom shelf, third from the right.)

The other English-language titles I could make out form an eclectic bunch: the novels The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon, and The World According to Garp, by John Irving; the autobiography of Keith Richards; historian Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind; and blogger Mark Manson’s self-help book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*uck. (Closeups of the books can be found here and here.)

De Man says the project has brought residents of the multicultural neighborhood and selfie-seeking visitors together through a shared love of books. Which is a beautiful idea, even if, these days, it sometimes seems like an optical illusion, too.

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