The November 2009 issue of Living Etc. has a great piece on displaying your book collections. Yes, you certainly can collect books - of which I myself am very guilty of (although in the current climate I'm having a new love affair with the library). Gathering all your books together into an appealing display is a necessity, especially if you really have a lot. Why not embrace them and show them off? I have friends in New York (Queens to be exact) who built in bookshelves along one entire wall of their sitting room - it's actually like a work of art in itself because you sit on their sofa and look over at this impressive collection or if you are like me - you'll just be standing up checking out the titles and pulling them out for an occasional peek.
I think you tell a lot about a person depending on whether or not they have books in their house and certainly what kind. I had a friend in New York, actually part of the couple mentioned above, but when she was single she had a room mate who God bless her, loved reading Harlequin Romance novels. Now, of course, that's fine but what really got to my friend was that she wanted to proudly display her entire collection in the sitting room next to my friends art and photography books. It just didn't go over well with her. Anyway, what ever you love to read - do come up with a creative way to store and display your collection. Colour coordinating (like above) is a very ambitious way to put them on display and not sure how, with such a big group like this, you'd be able to track down what you were looking for if they are not in alphabetical order. But it sure looks good!
The majority of my books live in my home office in and Ikea bookcase that has cubes instead of long shelves. I shelf them as much as possible by category so all my Irish interior books are in one area and all my House Beautiful books in another and all the books I used to do research for my Nantucket book in another. The shelves are deep so they also become a catch all for various other knick knacks I horde.
Here a book shelf has been used effectively as a room divider.
And why not house them under an open staircase like this?
For gathering up smaller groups of books, Living Etc. rounded up some really great shelves to do the job. You could hang one in a bathroom, or pop all your cookbooks on another or add one on a wall next to your bed.
Do any of you have any great ideas for housing and displaying books?