Bookcase – Don’t look for any dusty piles of books, you won’t find any. Here, books are kept in a beautiful made-to-measure bookcase built by a “wonderful” carpenter but thought by Emmanuel. “I didn’t want a piece of furniture but a bookcase that would be perfectly integrated into the room and without an (excessively) appearing structure.” They chose a clear oak, to warm up the very mineral room.

Emmanuel is lucky to have his dream bookcase: “I see it like a necessary refuge for beauty. And I also like its opening on the world when we look at it.” Art, travels, people. You can guess that it is what Emmanuel likes when you look at the bookcase that contains books of course but also drawings, engravings and many objects collected during the travels Emmanuel and Laurence, his wife, have done together. Laurence agrees: “Those objects and books allow us to go back to the places we travelled to and loved.” A living and eclectic universe: “Books move constantly from one place to another, depending on the new entries… I like to find the right place for each of them. To create dialogues and correspondences between them.”

Very sensitive to the book as objects (“a beautiful paper, the quality of a reproduction, the design of a cover, all of these things are very important for me”), Emmanuel owns mainly art books. The advantage of such a collection: “The covers of art books are a way to have artworks of my favourite artists and at an unbeatable price!” To find the novels, you have to go in Emmanuel and Laurence’s bedroom. There, the bookcase has been made by Emmanuel himself.

Readings – Emmanuel regrets having less time to read novels. And when he finds a few hours, he is not especially attracted by contemporary authors. He likes to read again and again the classic authors. “I think we can spend a whole life reading the same authors and books.” A bit nostalgic from childhood: “Only boy amongst three sisters, I was kind of lonely as a child. My all universe was made of readings. At that time, I had plenty of time. And I am very nostalgic about this time that sounded infinite.” Maybe this question of time is one of the reasonz he likes art books so much: “Reading an art book is something completely different. I can open them from time to time, leaf through the pages while talking with someone. I have more opportunities to spend time with them.”

In art like in literature, Emmanuel likes caustic and stylish voices, with humour and irony. Houellebecq and Céline are amongst the most important authors for him. As for the artists it is more complicated: “There are too many artists I like!” So we take the initiative to explore the bookcase and we write down a few names: Jules de Balincourt, Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille, Raymond Petitbon, David Shrigley… The list could be much longer.

Ritual – Opening one of the book, a ticket flies away from it. A little quirk of Emmanuel. “When I visit an exhibition I always buy the catalogue of the exhibition or a book related to it. And I slip into the book the ticket of the exhibition and the receipt of the book.” Laurence smiles. Emmanuel explains: “Yes, it is kind of fetishism but I like to do it.” And it is certainly a way to mark time since it is impossible to hold it.