To Shelve or Not to Shelve Your Books?

It seems counterintuitive to place books outside of the bookcase. But shelving and not shelving may have different effects on the look of your space.

Updated on March 12, 2018 13:03 pm

Camille Besinga

To Shelve or Not to Shelve Your Books?

Have a huge collection of books? Your instinct would tell you to buy yourself a bookshelf or two. But it really depends on the kind of look you’re going for in your home.

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Shelves help you organise your treasure troves of knowledge and stories, whether by classification, by alphabetical arrangement of authors’ names, or even—and this is a neat, decorating trick—by the colour of the spines. At the same time, bookshelves more often than not become the focal points of the room it’s in, especially when you’ve got floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall bookcases. Generally, bookshelves lend a studious, formal air—as in a grand library. They are perfectly paired with loungers or armchairs that let residents curl up with and get lost in their chosen book.

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If you are going for a look that’s more relaxed, then it’s okay to pile up books on tables, sideboards, even on the floor. This makes it easier for anyone to leaf through books they might think interesting. Also, it lends a more casual, laidback air to a room, which makes this perfect for homes with an informal, eclectic design. Piled up books can even serve as additional surfaces in place of side tables.

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Here’s a happy compromise: an “invisible” bookshelf that lets you pile up books directly on the wall!


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Cover photo courtesy of www.fastcodesign.com

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