How To Style Your Home With Books - The Sage Haven

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How To Style Your Home With Books

Did you know that the word ‘Bookworm’ is actually a much older word than ‘Bibliophile’?! Bookworm was first recorded in text in 1580, while Bibliophile didn’t appear until 1824.

Whichever term you prefer to use, I am one of them!! I love books, new or old, fact or fiction, hard or soft cover! I especially love recipe books and more recently, gardening books (you can never have too many, right?). 

I have tried to pass on my love of reading to our kids but in an age of screens it can be challenging to convince them of the joy of books. Here are a few ideas you can try to make books as accessible as possible, to both adults and children, to hopefully encourage more reading and more learning.

1. Make Your Shelves Attractive

Styled bookshelf - books for reading - Style Your Shelves - The Sage Haven

A bookshelf can very easily become an overcrowded, Jenga style mess. We shove the books in wherever we find a space and then we start piling them in front when we run out of room!

When a bookshelf is nicely styled it attracts people to take a closer look, you’re not afraid of an avalanche each time you try to pull out a book. 

  • Group by theme or colour to create a collection
  • Leave spaces for ornaments, photo frames or a small vase of flowers to add interest and colour
  • Arrange books in piles as well as upright to encourage people to interact 
  • Place the most colorful and interesting books at both adults and children’s eye level
  • Keep the biggest and heaviest books towards the bottom to allow easier access

2. Keep a few in the loo!

Books in bathroom - bathroom bookshelf - Style Your books - encourage reading

According to trusty (?!) Google, we spend over a year of our lives sitting on the toilet!! Imagine being told you can have a year off from life to just sit and read in peace and quiet!

Books in the bathroom have a captive audience, you’re kinda stuck there until, you know, the job is done! So include a small stack of books that interest members of the family, as well as maybe a mind puzzle book or a quiz book to get the brain working. Just make sure to change the books often enough to keep the interest alive, and keep them away from sinks, baths or showers where they could get easily splashed.

3. Side tables, coffee tables, bedside tables...any and all tables!

Coffee table books - Book stack on table - Encourage reading

Anywhere that people sit for a while is a place for books! Place a few on the table bedside your guest bed, a small pile with attractive covers on your coffee table and even a small display of cookery books on your kitchen counter can provide some often required, inspiration and motivation.

Despite years of being told not to, we do in fact judge books by their covers, so try to choose books with interesting and/or beautiful covers, and if you have children maybe remove the dust jackets as they only end up getting torn by little hands trying to manipulate big books.

Check out our blog post on how to style your coffee table for more ideas!

 4. Home office desk/study space

Bookshelf on desk - books on home office desk - book storage

If you work from home or have children studying at home, why not include some inspirational reading material for those times when your overactive brain needs a break?!

DK do some wonderful general knowledge books for children, a far cry from the brown Encyclopedia Britannica that used to feature in every family home! If you know what topics the children are covering in school, you can include these in your choices.

I find having some home decor books on my desk for work, help to provide inspiration when my mind goes blank, so whatever your job is, architect, blogger or tech guru, have a collection of books which inspire you and motivate you to get through your day.

5. Create a reading corner

Reading nook - armchair with bookshelf - cosy reading corner

There’s nothing more cosy on a Winters evening than snuggling up on an armchair with a fluffy blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and a good book! 

  • Make sure the chair is comfortable and include a cushion and a warm blanket draped over the back or arm
  • If you don’t have a spare side table, make one with a stack of books that you have already read but can’t bear to part with. Place a tray on top to avoid any accidental spills
  • A decent light is a must for reading, a tall bendable lamp is perfect for this, allowing you to direct the light depending on sitting position!
  • Ensure there are no drafts or irritating sounds (for me that would be a ticking clock!) nearby to create a relaxed, comfortable environment.

Book stash’s don’t have to be a guilty secret in your home, they don’t have to live in fear of being thrown out in the next Spring clean! But they do need to be manageable and earn their valuable space in a home, so make them work for you and your family and include them in your everyday life.

Happy Styling!

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