The backward book trend has been floating on the internet for quite some time, and it is safe to say that quite a number of people are a fan of this neutral, minimalistic approach to interior decoration. And yet, when a designer shared a picture of her take on the home décor trend, she had to face a torrent of abuse including death threats.
Lauren Coleman, a designer based in Northamptonshire, was flooded with filthy remarks and comments on social media after a picture of her unique bookcase went viral.
Instead of displaying her collection in the usual manner, the 35-year-old had stacked her books backward – with their spine turned towards the wall.
And, this seems to have been the bone of contention.
Opening up about the horror she faced following the picture of her books, Coleman wrote in her blog that she "had become a victim of cyber bullying".
"I have been referred to as a dumb slut, a psychopath and a degenerate," she said. "One facebooker even requested her friend 'come and help me find Lauren she needs her head kicked in', while another suggested 'Lauren needs to die and be fed to pigs'."
While the sudden torrent of abuse and threats online caught her off guard, the designer-cum-lifestyle blogger explained that her idea was rooted in purely aesthetic reasons.
"I do it for no other reason than to provide a display backdrop," she wrote adding, "it's purely because I like the look of it, much like the impractical sofa you may have purchased purely for aesthetic reasons."
Apart from criticism over the "backward book" trend, Coleman revealed how she was also subjected to horrific remarks about her being a book hater. "Contrary to popular belief, I can read," said the victim of cyber bullying, "However as the daughter of someone with dyslexia, I also find the notion that this is a negative trait highly insulting."
"Everyone has a right to an opinion after all but trolling to express your thoughts is not, and never will be acceptable," she added.
For quite some time now, the backward book trend has been a talking point for interior design enthusiasts. While some have taken a likening to the idea, others felt it's pretentious. But for Coleman, her worst experience was on Facebook, where even after reporting the threats, she received only an "inadequate" response.
She recalled, "I got an auto-generated reply saying my complaint did not meet the required criteria and that I should block the abusers."
However, Coleman's account has resonated with many of her fans and followers, who extended their support in the comments.
"I'm sorry that sharing images of something as personal as your home has exposed you to such deeply nasty sentiments," wrote one user.
Another added, "I hope all the positive, supportive you get today far outweighs the awful bullying you have had to endure. It's really shocking!"