A million years ago, when I was in school (OK, it was only 31 years ago this summer), I was studying book publishing with some people who became very dear friends. Anyway, we were younger and much smarter than we are now and had many opinions we thought were facts. And we were so clever. One of us came up with the expression "books as furniture" to explain editions like those published by the Franklin library and so forth that people bought primarily becuase they looked very good on the shelf and weren't actually meant to be read. Get it? "Books as furniture."
Anyway, for some reason that expression came to mind when I read this article. Enjoy!