Friday, January 28, 2011

How Does a Bibliophile Decorate?

As a family who is constantly collecting becomes a difficult decision sometimes as to where I put all these treasures.  We have six double bookcases in our den alone that are full of books.  My husband, being first a pastor and now a Chaplain, has collected great theological works ever since we were married.  Then came homeschooling, which literally exploded our book collection...and there are other books too... for crafting, cooking, spiritual edification, etc.  What to do with all those books!?  So, I try as much as possible to find attractive ways to arrange our collections.  I like to group books in sets together, so I do not lose sight of them, and then I begin arranging them in different ways, placing various articles on or around them to make them a decorative grouping.
In this grouping, an old chair holds gardening books.  The bench is home to a very old collection on top that works with the primitive touch there and underneath are my Gooseberry crafting books all lined up to give some color.
Here is a shot a little distance away from some of our bookshelves.  I have tried to use my book and basket collections to make groupings and use the space as wisely as possible.
Pictures nearby always add a homey touch.
Some paperback books are just not attractive on shelves.  I like to put those in baskets (which also saves room) and then use these small chalkboard ties to easily let me know what is in them.  I tried using chalk with these and little ones kept wiping them off.  Then I found out about these. However, they can be expensive, but Michael's and A.C. Moore carry if you have those stores, wait for the 50% off coupon! 

Do you have lots of books at your house?  I would love to know how you manage the ever growing collection!!!  Hope you are all having a glorious week in the Lord!


Chelle said...

I love all your books. They look so nice. I think you did a great job placing them. I love my new book shelf I got for Christmas. My husband decided he would build me another one for the other side of the fire place. I can't wait. Our family loves to read too. I like all your baskets too.

Jill said...

I love books so much and so do my girls! Our bookshelves overflow at times, but it is tidy and we also use baskets. We have a local goodwill that at times we find great books and paperbacks are 10 cents, hardbacks are 25 cents. Can't beat that! They have a book swap once a month at my daughters school so we participate, and switch books with friends and family. I'm not sure how people are switching to kindles etc., to me there's nothing like a good book to curl up with! ;-)
Your shelves look great!
Have a wonderful weekend!

His bondservant said...


Thank you for your sweet words. We love to read too!


I am with you. I ended up getting a Kindle...and my husband wants one for his birthday. But, it will never fully replace my books. I like the fact that I can carry a lot of books with me at a time on a Kindle when traveling...or waiting at the doctors office, etc. But there are some books I just have to have a hard copy!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

That looks great!!!!

Mrs. Trixi said...

We, too, love books. Your decorating with them looks GREAT!
I don't know how I missed it but I did not relize that your husband was a chaplain. What denomination? My husband had drill this past weekend and they got a new Chaplain. He is very liberal Presbyterian. My husband said he went to his first and last service.
Have a great weekend!

Lois said...

For some reason, my bibliophile genes skipped my children! I sadly downloaded many books during our last move, because we had "outgrown" them, but I kept some hardback classics. I came home from a used book sale with a box full. My kids just looked at them and asked why I bought them. I replied because they look good on the bookshelf! Actually, we are using the library rather than buying, when we can. We are in a small house now, and have only 3 book cases. But, with little kids' picture books, I used to put plastic rubbermaid tubs on the floor to make it easy for them to file through them. Oh, I love Cotton Patch books! What a great place to display them!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

We have the same problem and I've been using the same solution. Michael's been building me some bookshelves which is really helping. I think it looks nice, too. You've done a great job with your books!

His bondservant said...

Mrs. Trixi,

My husband is endorsed with the AGC..Associated Gospel Churches. (A very evangelical endorsing agency) We are Southern Baptist. I know what you mean about the Chaplaincy. It is very sad to see so many that do not even know Christ...and then those that embrace the pluralism of the system. I don't blame your husband!

We used to use the library a lot more. The more children I got, the less I ended up I became a book collector instead! Now that my children are a little older, I think we may start going back. And who knows...those bibliophile genes may show up later in life!

Stacie and Jackie,
Thanks for you sweet words...Jackie, you are very fortunate to have such a handy husband. You both make a great team! Blessings,

Camille said...

What a fun post Jackie! I enjoyed seeing how you incorporate your books into your decorating. The baskets are a wonderful idea and the little chalkboard signs are too cute. :) Hmmm....we have TONS of books...I think literally. LOL! Every bedroom has a bookshelf in it, the schoolroom has three bookshelves, Howie's office has another two bookshelves in it and we have another in the dining area! Over-run with books...but I'm with you...don't want to part with them...they are precious. :)

Have a wonderful weekend.
With love,

Trisha said...

We are kindred spirits! Except I need to learn to use my books more in my decorating. Like yours, our home is bursting at the seams with books, and I really don't know where to put them. :)

Great post, and I love the basket idea. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I'll be trying this one.


His bondservant said...


Yes, we are kindred spirits. I have really enjoyed gleaning from your book list. How fun it would be to live close enough to share them huh? Or read them together and have a book club night!
Take care,

I am with you...the only reason we do not have a bookshelf in each room right now is because the bedrooms where we are renting are too small. It is funny...when I go and look for a house when we first thing is, "Will these rooms hold our bookshelves?" Take care my friend, Jackie


You are very creative and have given me some good ideas. Most of my old books are stored in our garage. I may blow the dust off of them and have my wife do a little "book" decorating around the house :-)

Sarah said...

Oh how wonderful! Our family too, loves to collect books! And like yours, our family collection 'exploded' when we began homeschooling!

We still have alot in storage until we have more shelving to store them better. My husband usually finds great literary treasures at second-hand stores.

I must say that your home does looks so warm and homey. You did a great job with your decoration!

God Bless

His bondservant said...

Hope your wife doesn't mind. :) It's always nice to have your books closer to you.

Thank you for your sweet words. I would so love to have built in shelves...but with us being military, we have yet to settle anywhere. You will have to put up some pictures when your shelving gets done.

God bless,

Robin said...

Your books look great! We have bookshelves all over the house, and the kids have almost as many as the adults! We also love the library, and bring home several books every week. We are also homeschooling, and I have given books away in the past that I wish I would have saved, but I guess they made room for others.

His bondservant said...

Thanks for your sweet comments. I know what you mean about the books...I have given ones away I wish I would have kept...or I even make a worse mistake...I buy books I already have because I have so many I forget! Maybe that's just age...but I like to think it is because I have so many others things to think about! :)