Novel ap­proach

Do you suf­fer from “tsun­doku” (own­ing too many books)? These decor ideas will suit any book­worm, writes Bea Tay­lor. PIC­TURE LEDGES JUST STACK THEM COLOUR CO-OR­DI­NATED BACK­WARDS BOOKENDS

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Even with the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion, books and book­shelves have sur­vived as es­sen­tial decor items for mak­ing a house feel like a home. In fact, the pro­lif­er­a­tion of elec­tronic read­ing de­vices and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of read­ing ma­te­rial on­line has given printed tomes a bit of a lux­ury tag.

Take cof­fee ta­ble books. Large, ex­pen­sive, usu­ally won­der­fully il­lus­trated or pho­tographed and solely in­tended for ca­sual read­ing. They’re guar­an­teed to have a stylish cover, and these fall­back wed­ding or birth­day gifts also dou­ble as decor items.

So whether you’re an avid book col­lec­tor or sim­ply suf­fer from “tsun­doku”, the Ja­panese term for own­ing too many books that will never be read, here are some ways to dis­play your lit­er­ary col­lec­tion. Apart from be­ing great reads, books also con­tain some great works of art: on their cov­ers.

In­stead of hid­ing their faces in a book­shelf, dis­play­ing them front on not only gives the cover art

its mo­ment in the spot­light but also acts as an al­ter­na­tive to pic­tures on a wall.

In­ex­pen­sive and easy to in­stall, this op­tion gives you a gallery wall to swap out and ro­tate items as you please. In­ter­change books with framed prints and stylish cards for an en­gag­ing look.

Pic­ture-ledge book shelves are a great way to bring in colour and en­cour­age read­ing in kids’ rooms too. No room for a bulky book­shelf? Luck­ily books were born to be stacked.

Try ver­ti­cal book­cases, or stack books in un­used fire­places or un­der cof­fee ta­bles. It’s ef­fort­less, cheap and a stylish way to fill an empty cor­ner. This may raise some eye­brows, but there’s a rea­son why colour-block­ing book­shelves is a trend that en­dures: it’s eye-catch­ing. In a white room with lit­tle else go­ing for it, a colour-blocked shelf is an easy and cheap way to add colour.

If the rain­bow ef­fect is too much, books of sim­i­lar colours dis­played to­gether on a small shelf has a har­mo­nious look. Per­haps a con­tro­ver­sial move, and book­worms no doubt will be scan­dalised, but for a neu­tral, clean look, dis­play books with the spine fac­ing the wall and the pages fac­ing out­wards.

This look can be used to cre­ate a geo­met­ric pat­tern when books are stacked hor­i­zon­tally and ver­ti­cally up or across a wall or man­tel­piece. For those who have only a hand­ful of books but a lot of shelf space, bookends are great space-fillers, mini-li­brary mak­ers and decor ac­cents.

Try bookends made from mar­ble, rose quartz, pol­ished wood or brass for a sleek, mod­ern look.

Cof­fee ta­ble books are fail-safe decor ac­ces­sories, as well as be­ing great gifts.

For a more in­con­spic­u­ous look, place books with the spines fac­ing the wall.

A colour co-or­di­nated floor to ceil­ing book­shelf makes a bold de­sign state­ment. Mix books with trin­kets and framed prints for an in­ter­est­ing shelf dis­play. PHOTO: JANE USSHER

A ver­ti­cal book­case is a great way to fill an empty space.

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