Books are entertaining and enlightening and can be a beautiful decorative element in a room if you learn how to display them in an effective way.
Sort your books following any criteria you want. If decorating is your main concern, focus on sorting by age, binding or colour, or you can sort based on the content of your books.
Decide on the best place in your home to decorate with books. Look for spaces that aren't cluttered and can use some visual interest. Also look for wall space where you can place a bookcase.
Use bookcases as decorating tools by focusing on the theme of your books. If you have a large number of beautifully bound older books, place these books together to create dramatic interest. Shelving books according to their height can add a pleasing order on the bookshelves and compliment your décor. Create interest with the bookcases themselves by using a floor-to-ceiling bookcase or shelf to add drama to any room, regardless of the books it houses.
Display individual books on tables and other surfaces. You can use the classic coffee table display as you decorate and set one or more especially attractive books on the table. However, if you think more broadly, you can find more surfaces to decorate. A small shelf may be a perfect display for a book with an unusual cover or you might find that a small book fits perfectly in your pantry, bringing you a smile each time you see it.
Hardcover books look much better and more decorative without the dust jacket. The bindings are usually printed with nice script, and the colours give the book more of a classical look.
Books are great for elevating lamps that aren't quite tall enough or for bases used for staggering pictures or candlesticks on a dresser or table. Varying heights create more visual interest, and the combination of books and pictures and candles or a lamp is always a great vignette!
Need an end table? Stack sturdy books to the height you need. You can even place a tray or basket on top to hold a snack, phone or remote!
Place a square woven bamboo basket with books on a hearth, or to break up a bookshelf. Use cookbooks on a kitchen counter or in a corner display paired with platters, pitchers or a serving bowl. Using an easel, rotate cookbooks and show off the covers if they are pretty and work with seasons - Christmas baking, soups, etc.
Place books around your home to draw attention to the function of a room or a corner. If you have a large book collection and to want make a statement in a room, build or purchase enough narrow bookshelves to fill one wall of a room, or one side of a wide hallway. You'll get lots of storage in only 12" to 15" of floor space.
Remember that you'll want to read the books from time to time, so make sure they are easily accessible.