Bookworm Chic

I have a lot of books. This is nothing new. I’m on Bookmooch and GoodReads and consider myself quite the reader. I’m also quite the aspiring owner-of-a-well-decorated-condo. The two don’t always mix.


I’ve actually Googled “styling a bookcase” because I’d like mine to look a little less like I’ve crammed every book I could find in there sideways. Unfortunately, most tips for beautifying bookcases involve getting rid of your books and replacing them with faux souvenirs or woven baskets. One decorator advised getting rid of “unsightly paperbacks.” If I did this, I’d lose most of my collection.

I am culling. I get rid of books (via swap or donation) as soon as I finish them. I just seem to acquire them at a phenomenal rate. Input is far exceeding output.


My life is not a magazine. I need my bookcases to hold actual books. Actual paperback books. I know. I dream of wall-to-wall shelving (especially with a sliding library ladder), but until that day, I need to figure out creative storage. My bookcases are full to the brim and books are currently residing there both horizontally and vertically – however they best fit.

In addition to two busting bookcases, I have one of these:

Thus, a stack of five or six hardbacks becomes wall art. I’ve considered getting several more (they’re cheap!) and making a floor-to-ceiling “stack.” I also love this herringbone bookcase, but I was indecisive and West Elm sold out.

Do you have a home full of books? How do you display them? Suggestions, please.


About Helena

Helena lives in Chicago with her boyfriend and two cats. Her boyfriend thinks she's awesome. Her cats agree.

Posted on August 19, 2011, in My Home and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. My book collection (of hardcover AND paperbacks!) is arranged in Roy G. Biv order. I think it’s aesthetically pleasing, but I can also see why librarians or people who like alphabetizing might not like it that way…

  2. My mother selects books and puts them in stacks all over the house to decorate. The coolest bookshelf? A pie-cooling rack!

  3. Sliding library ladders FTW!! That’s my aspiration in life – to have a room with a slidy library ladder. I currently have two very not matchy bookshelves crammed with books. I culled when I left Canberra (the Twilight saga went straight in the dumpster!), but can’t bring myself to cull any more. So I just cram them in and hope for the best…

    • I’d love a library ladder as well! They are pretty fantastic. I love the look of floor-to-ceiling shelves as well. I try to cull, but seeing as how I bought two more books this weekend, I’m clearly not on my way to recovery.

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