I know everyone knows the saying " Dont judge a book by its cover", but I'm going to go ahead and disagree for a little bit. I'm sure you're thinking - "Hold up Bailey, you cant seriously tell me I should just buy books based on their cover". Well kind of and I'll explain my thoughts and one of my favorite hacks. Something that I think people have forgotten, or just might not know is accessorizing with books. They add so much character to a space. They offer so much more than just a good read. With technology advancing and people using their Ipads, phones, and audio books, the need for print is lacking. And so unless someone is especially particular about reading print, you tend to not see as many books in homes anymore.
I remember growing up my mother loved to read and so she had a massive collection of books. I think she still has all of those books in fact. Tucked away in a book shelf and proudly displayed. I like to read and every once in a while I will really get into a book and cant put it down, but I never had a love of books like my mother did.
But I'll get on the design point of this post. Books offer a ton of different characteristics to a room. Here are a few of the things to look for when I shop for books to use as a design element.
I feel like texture is one of my favorite things to look at in design elements. It just makes you want to reach out and touch it. Even with a good color palette and good selections on furniture, without texture everything just tends to looks bland and un-layered. Books are can be made of leather or fabric covers. The pages offer a beautiful texture in themselves. Maybe the book is old and has some patina, or maybe it offers a clean crisp texture because it is new. Maybe the cover has a stamped or it has reflective text. All of these are great ways to add that little extra to a side table, or a book shelf.
Books come in so many beautiful colors. Adding books to your room is a great way to incorporate color while still being subtle. You can even add some really wild colored books and it still work because they are small and not over powering. If you dont want as much color from the covers, then a nice trick I like to use is to turn the books around and have the pages face out instead of the bind.
Here, I'm styling a book shelf for a client and stacking books can offer different heights for accessories. When stacking books I usually like to do no more than three in one stack. It depends on how thick the books are, or if you have a set of books, but typically I like to stick around 2 or 3 books.
Besides the design aspect, I've always found that when someone has books in their house, It always gives off an impression of an interesting personality. It's kind of like how when someone has plants in their home, they tend to give off and impression of a naturing personality. Or at least that is always my perception. So while I started this post off by saying to judge a book by its cover, there is a caveat. I do also think that you should take some care in what books you choose based on content as well. A book may look beautiful, but I also tend to choose books based on a clients personality, or what it is about. For instance, I tend to stay away from books about religion or politics. I do not know or want to assume a persons personal religious or political beliefs. I also tend to stay away from books that are too gruesome or graphic. I do however love classic books, or books about art and design. Or if I know that someone is particularly in love with a certain fashion brand or genre like comedy, I will look at getting a high end brand coffee table book or a book geared toward that genre.
So here is my hack that I promised you!
Books can be expensive. I mean, really expensive. Especially when you are needing to buy a lot of them for a room of built ins or if you are wanting one of those special Louis Vuitton coffee table books that can range anywhere from $50-$100+. If you are buying all of these books brand new or are a collector of first editions then you are going to be paying a decent amount. But if you don't care about either of those things, a great way is to go to your local thrift store. Most of them have a book section. I will go to my local thrift and usually find about 10 books and end up spending about $10-$15. You can find some really great classic books there that are beautiful, and you never know, you might find your new favorite book! Happy Book Hunting!