Five Ways: Books

I’ve been reading a lot lately. I don’t know if it’s going to last. In 2012, I read a grand total of 20 books and that, barely. This year, I’ve already read 7, but I feel like I was reading a lot in the first couple months of the year last year too. Either way, I’ve been having difficulty thinking about much else other than books. That’s where I went last week, why I hardly posted at all, deep into the depths of Every Day, Every Hour by Natasa Dragnic and then The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe.*

I used to claim that I don’t like the look of books in a home, that I thought bookshelves full of books look cluttered and busy. I think I may have said that purely because I wasn’t reading much, because, perhaps, I was burnt out on reading after five years of an English Literature degree. Now, as I feel myself diving back into the written word, I want to be surrounded by books. That means bookshelves, but it can mean a lot of other ways to display books too.


Standard, but necessary for high volume. There’s no way to replace bookshelves in a home except by getting rid of most of the books. I crave more bookshelves.


This is the perfect way to display a few special books or particularly pretty ones, in a little pile of pretty spines with a vase or a lamp and some artwork, a gorgeous little space with a literary touch.


I suppose this concept is very similar to vignettes, really, but I think it could extend beyond a simple few books to store a whole row of books, or even two rows, back to back, if more space is necessary for high volume storage – and display. Bookends turn any surface into a bookshelf. A sideboard, the edge of a desk, a TV stand.


This one wouldn’t work for us at all, but it might for you. Our dogs would have a hey-day with any books we decided to use for a coffee table, or a bedside table. It’s a unique idea. I don’t love it, but if you truly had so many books, your house was overflowing, and if you didn’t have enough coffee tables, it might be a decent idea. 


Maybe this idea doesn’t actually count. It doesn’t give you storage options in any way. It involves displaying your favourite books by cutting off the cover and framing it. Who’s cringing right about now? Me too. I wouldn’t be able to do this to the copy of a book I read, have read, and want to keep on my shelf. But I do love the idea of finding an old copy of Madame Bovary or Dracula or my childhood favourite, The Golden Compass and taking that second copy and turning it into art on my wall. 
The only problem? What do you do with the rest of the book, the pretty cover-less thing?
Is your house full of books or do you limit it to your few favourites, books you could never bear to get rid of? How do you display them?

* The links will take you to my reviews of these books on Goodreads. It is my goal for 2013 to write a review for every single book I read. Linking my love of reading to my love of writing may be one of the reasons I haven’t been able to think about much else other than books. (Feel free to follow my reviews and, if you note in a message when you add me that you follow my blog, I would love to follow you back!)

Of course, many of the books I read will still be reviewed here as well as there!

0 thoughts on “Five Ways: Books

  1. We have tons of books, and I plan on turning the landing of the back staircase in the new house into a "library". I've been reading like crazy this year (I'm on my 14th), but they've all been on my Kindle. It's so easy to download and start right away.

  2. 14! Impressive! Or, maybe it's normal? I know I'm on the slow side in terms of reading (I probably average 1.5 books a week; my mom on the other hand, reads 3-5, I think!), but 14 definitely seems impressive to me. I've been bouncing between my Kobo and bound books and I absolutely adore both mediums! No e-book/'real' book rivalry here!

    Are you on Goodreads?

  3. Heh. I guess it's not really that involved. I just love seeing what other people are reading and seeing what they think of those books. I spend way too much time reading reviews of books I've read and books I haven't. Also, I update it like a twitter for books – whenever I have a brief thought halfway through a book, I'll add an update – gives me a glimpse into what I thought as I was reading the book.

  4. There are books in almost every room of this house (just not the laundry and the washrooms). My husband and I both read every day and we keep a lot of what we have read. This trend is changing though since we both have kindles now. I resisted for so so long but now that I have one, there's just no going back for me. I will still buy coffee table books though (well once the girls are old enough to no longer be tempted to tear them apart).

  5. I can say without a doubt that no children reside in any of those homes where those books are displayed. You just gave me an idea for a post on my own blog–decorating with books kid-style. 🙂 look for it soon!

  6. Haha! Yes, Adam, you are definitely right – children and such pretty displays of books don't necessarily get along. Come to think of it, me and pretty displays of books don't really get along. I always admire them, but my own book collection always ends up a mess and a huge chore to reign in.

  7. I resisted the ebook think too! I ended up getting a Kobo a while ago and I use it a lot, especially to read the classics, and once I get my library card sorted out (it expired…) I'll use it to borrow ebooks too, but I do find I'm still collecting bound books, picked up for cheap at the thrift store or snagged from someone's free book table along the street. In fact, lately, I've mostly been reading bound books, trying to FINALLY finish all the books on my shelf. Or at least make a dent…

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