Archive for the ‘Displaying Books’ Category

Personalizing a Space with Books

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

A Collection of Books on Ireland

A Collection of Books on Ireland


Accessories add life, beauty, interest and a bit of excitement, whether you are decorating a room or an outfit to wear. Using accessories properly to add just the right amount of drama can make a boring, impersonal space into a warm, interesting, inviting enviroment.
One of the easiest ways to personalize a room is to use books as a decorating accessory. What announces and shares what your most passionate interests are, is the books that you read. Whether you are a bookworm who just has to be the first to read everything on the best-seller list or a casual reader who likes light fiction or a collector who loves to research their finds or just an armchair traveler who dreams about visiting far off places, there are so many books to enjoy and to share that reflect your personal interests.
Books come with beautiful colorful illustrated dustjackets. Did you know, that 1/2 of the value of a collectible or rare book is the paper dustjacket? Without the dustjacket, the book’s value is dimished, so protect and handle carefully those paper book protectors. Many books come with fine decorative bindings, leather or faux leather, gilt lettering or designs, embossed illustrations ect. Victorian novels had covers decorated with beautiful illustrations of the fashionable heroine of the story, many of my customers collect these just for the cover illustrations, sadly and not read the stories but these look beautiful piled and displayed in a bedroom, on a lady’s antique desk , even a powder room.
Bedrooms are the perfect place to creat a special reading corner with a comfortable chair, a footstool, a small table with room for a lamp, a cup of tea and a few books. A basket or the footstool can hold a collection of your favorite books next to your chair. A wonderful place to escape to for a few moments of quiet to enjoy your favorite author. Maybe you are like me and have a nightly ritual of reading a chapter or two before sleep, I even have a bookmark that says “There is Where I Fell Asleep” to mark my page. My bedside table always has a collection of books that I am reading or next to be read. A bookcase or even a china cabinet doing duty as a bookcase can add to the decor of creating a personalized reading nook. These private little spaces can be created in a corner of anyroom, at the end of a hallway, an alcove under the stairs, anywhere you can fit a chair, lamp and a place for your books.
For those lucky enough to devote a whole room to a library of books, nothing makes a space feel more warm and inviting than floor to ceiling bookcases filled with all kinds of interesting books to read. A comfortable couch, filled with comfortable pillows, maybe a throw to toss over yourself, several lamps scattered throughout the room with to be used to illuminate just where you are reading, keeping the light level, comfortable and flattering, not glaring with overly bright overhead lights. Perhaps a large table that can handle stacks of books and still leave plenty of space to open a book and spread out to do research or take notes, a library table or a large wooden desk. I have sinfully sold books with decorative bindings by the foot to customers who just wanted to fill their bookshelves, to impress their friends or clients with their selection of classics but had no intention of ever reading the books. It is with mixed emotions that I fill these orders being a true book-lover, don’t they know that they are missing out? As a book-buyer, finding these unread libraries that were purchased just for their decorative appeal and never read or even handled is like winning the lottery in the rare book market.
Hallways can also be used to creat a library, if your hall is wide enough floor to ceiling bookcaes or all matching height bookcases can create a really interesting space and focal point to be observed from many other rooms or areas. Perhaps you have a loft or open balcony that can be seen from other rooms, it’s the perfect place to creat a reading alcove.
Livingrooms have so many places to place and arrange books on . The large colorful travelbooks, also known as coffeetable books are perfectly at home here. Great for guests to enjoy and share with them your favorite places. A wonderful ice breaker to get people talking. After you may have visited one of these far away places, a travel book is a great remembrance of your trip to enjoy over and over again. It could also be armchair traveling and dreaming material. Studying the great interiors in magazines like Architectual Digest, piles of books placed on tables, stools, in piles on the floor, on any flat surface add so much interest to the room, I am always fascinated by the tittles to see what the celebrities are reading. I learn so much about people from the books that they have read, it really gives an inside look at how they think and what interests them. In my business of buying books from estates, I can get enough clues from the books, the tittles, the inscriptions, the bookmarks and letters found in the books to put together the story of the owner’s life and interests. Nothing tells more about a person than their books. I rescue the books and hopefully pass them on to someone else to love and enjoy.
Gardening and art books can reside in any room, but make a statement in any of the public rooms. their beautiful covers, jackets and illustrations make a beautiful decorating accessory no matter where they are placed. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t appreciate the beauty of flowers, gardener or not. I love to place a book of garden lore, garden art or garden poetry on the nightstand in the guestroom. One word about old garden and art books, if the books are falling apart and have lost their value, re-design, re-use, pull out the illustrations, mat and frame and display on the wall as artwork. I don’t encourage the pulling apart of a good book but to salvage a toss away and recycle the illustrations to enjoy for another decade or two is a great ‘green’ idea.
Cookbooks are not just books of recipes. We have an extensive collection for sale in our shop and the hundreds of International cookbooks we have are more travelogues, to learn from and are filled with photos to actually see the cities and countrysides and then complimented with anecdotes and text that will entertain you with the stories, traditions, and customs behind the dishes. Grandma’s favorite Red and White old Betty Crocker Cookbook from the 1940’s is perfectly happy sitting on a shelf in the kitchen but the new exciting cookbooks are meant to be on display and available for all to read. Books on wine wil not only educate you on making the right selections but the photos and with the travel information on the vineyards, whether France, California, Spain, Germany or many others, you can spend many happy hours armchair traveling with a glass of wine by your side.
There books on any subject, for any interests and there isn’t a place in your home that couldn’t be accessorized with a collection of books or just a single properly placed book. To protect your books from harm, try to avoid placing them in direct bright sunlight or in areas of extreme moisture. Try to arrange them to stand straight up or lay down flat. Move and rotate when on shelves, dust lightly with a feather duster. Don’t pack too tightly on the shelves, make sure they are easy to slide in and out without damaging the books or dustjackets. Books bring the world to your door, spread them around and share the ideas and dreams with all who enter your abode.