Books are an integral part of many peoples homes, yet arranging them to be useful and attractive remains a fine art. Many publishers are not obliging enough to publish their novels in complimentary colors. Your favorite books may look a little shabby, especially the paperbacks. Different sizes of books can be difficult to arrange attractively. However, there are ways that you can include your books in your decor without tossing out your old faithfuls or buying only books with blue covers.
The layout of your home is going to determine how your books are going to be placed to some degree. Bookshelves can be flexible; you can use some deep ones to create a “nook” for a desk or window hideaway. If you don’t have a lot of space for a bookshelf in the area where you want to store books, you still have some options. Bookshelves, fortunately, are coming in many different designs to accommodate books in places that were previously unsuited for book storage. The Sapien Bookcase, a tall, thin bookshelf capable of holding up to 70 texts, is one example of this. You can find out more by visiting the Design Within Reach website (dwr.com).
Figure out how you want to divide your books. Should it be on subject or genre? Size? Are you going to arrange them alphabetically by title or author? You have many choices. Some people have gone so far as to arrange all their books by color, irrespective of subject. Others have divided books by the room they will be of most use in; for example, cookbooks and books on food being placed in the kitchen. (The one caveat lector you must take into consideration is books in the bathroom. The humidity will warp and otherwise damage books left in the room for any length of time.)
Unless you only buy books for their appearance, you will want to be able to access them quickly for reading. No matter what your storage solution is, it must be practical. Books should be placed so that they are not compromised by objects in front of or on top of them. One method to create form and function is to use books that are vertically stacked as bookends for horizontally stacked ones. Another is to use heavier decorative items as bookends.
If you are concerned with the appearance of a few well-worn favorites, you can improve their appearance by repairing or replacing torn dust jackets, gluing spines, and taping torn covers. Another option is having the entire book rebound or rebinding yourself. There are resources on the Internet for those interested in rebinding worn books themselves. If you are really ambitious, you can rebind books with colors that look exceptionally good on your shelves.
By taking some time to arrange your books in pleasing patterns and keeping them in good repair, you can make your book collection both aesthetically pleasing and useful. This will enhance the overall experience of your home and make your books more than just repositories of information, but decorative assets in their own right.