There is one bookshelf in my living room that holds all of my collectible books. Hardbound first editions of Harry Potter (I queued up for those every time a book was released!), the Discworld collector’s library by Gollancz, all my favorite Neil Gaiman books, hardbound copies of anything by Tolkien, plus a lot of other favorite books. I must have rearranged this bookshelf dozens of times, but I still couldn’t quite get it to look right.
Our living room is in shades of white, with accents of pink & greenery, and the dark colors of the books really don’t match. But we don’t have room for a library in our tiny flat, so it’s not like I could move the bookcase to another room. (I wish!) Our bedrooms also have bookshelves in them and they’re crammed with paperbacks 3 rows deep.
Every time I search online for tips on decorating a bookshelf, the advise I find only manages to amuse (or annoy) me because of their utter wrongness. I mean, obviously these people don’t read for pleasure. Nor do they re-read their books.
Sorting books by color – seriously, what self-respecting reader does that? How can you find the books? No, no, books should be sorted by author &/or genre if you want to be able to find what you want.
Placing books backwards – worse! Imagine trying to find a book in such a shelf? You’ll have to pull out everything! No, just no.
Removing books and using objets d’art – hello, this is my prized collection! No way am I getting rid of them! That’s the whole point of the bookcase – to house my beloved books. I have other bookshelves where I can do more creative accessorizing.
Finally, a friend suggested covering the books with fancy wrapping papers and using hand-lettering on the titles. Bingo! Best advice ever!
The first thing I did was count roughly how many books I had, and then I searched for the prettiest wrapping papers I could find here. Kikki.K at Raffles City Mall was a treasure trove, and I got 4 dozen sheets of their specialty papers.
The rest was rather easy. I cut the paper to size, leaving an extra 3-4 inches on each side for the overlap, and wrote the titles using gold Sharpies. I couldn’t help but use 3 paper designs just so I could still sort the books somehow. For example, Discworld books are all in pink covers, Harry Potter books are in a metallic gold & mint, and classics + Tolkien books are in a white and gold pattern.
The calligraphy isn’t perfect – I made so many little mistakes, although thankfully not in the spelling. But at $7 per sheet, I couldn’t afford to redo them. haha!
Surprisingly, (and also because I’m mildly obsessive-compulsive), I managed to finish quite a lot in one week! Here is how the book shelf looks now:
I really love how it came out! I ran out of covers for the books at the bottom shelves, so I’ll have to go back for more. I think plain kraft paper will look nice too, and then I’ll use white ink for the titles. Those wands are staying, they’re licensed Noble Collection wands, but I might paint the wooden holder a metallic gold or copper. What do you think?
Can’t wait to finish the rest! Stay tuned.