When we had the wall of bookcases built in our home office, it wasn’t because I had an abundance of literary classics that I had read and wanted to display. It was because I wanted the look and feel of a library.
But, empty bookshelves don’t necessarily feel very library-ish, so I hit up my local Habitat ReStore’s annual book sale and brought home hardbacks by the boxful. For the most part, I shopped based on size and color. If it had a really pretty cover under the dust jacket (which I always remove), that was an added bonus. I know, I’m every literature lover’s worst nightmare.
I do love to read, although it doesn’t happen nearly as much as I’d like at this point in my life. And, most of the books I’ve read lately are either paperbacks that don’t look very pretty on my shelves or are now stored on my iPad. So, the solution to making my home office library actually look like a library was to buy books for the sake of filling space on my shelves.
(I’m almost always a fan of using more books than anything else decorative when accessorizing bookcases.)
One of my favorite finds was this set of embossed encyclopedias, published in 1921—the year my grandmother was born.
I’m very aware that there are all kinds of strong opinions about buying books just for the sake of using them to decorate. (If you don’t believe me, read some of the comments here.) But, I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to decorate with books just because they’re pretty. To me, books give your home a certain feel just as much as other accessories like lamps, pillows, art, etc.
Once, I got an email from a reader that was disappointed I had suggested turning books around if the title was questionable. But, let’s be reasonable. Who wants or needs to see the Monica Lewinsky story on display every day? I swear I didn’t spend money on that. I’m pretty sure someone gave it to me. Really.
Interestingly enough, I also have Bill and Hillary’s books on my shelves, as well. Hmmm. . .
Even if I know I’m never going to end up reading Major Foreign Powers in this lifetime (Zzzzzz), I still love the warm, cozy feeling that a wall full of books gives to a room. I like covers that are worn, pages that are yellowed, and the history behind them. Yes, I do believe books can be a beautiful decoration in your home—read or not.
What are your thoughts on decorating with books that you have no intention of ever reading?
(Book worms, take it easy on me.)