The Case For “Real” Books

 “Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:17-18‬

I think I have said it so many times, by now most of you know that Butch and I are avid readers and we are passionate about books!  Both of us teach small groups at our church, so much of our reading is centered on studying scripture…which is a privilege and a priority for us!  We always have a book close-by, and usually one that is waiting on deck!  Butch is currently reading a very long and compelling book on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas.  I am finishing up the fascinating Mitford series by Jan Karon (just a few years late).  Our reading runs the gamut…inspirational, historical fiction, travel, biographies, coffee table books…you get the idea!

As an interior decorator, I found many clients that had bookshelves to be filled, but didn’t own any personal books that they had read.  I couldn’t begin to imagine that people didn’t read or didn’t even own books.  But, one thing is for sure, we have never had that problem…I have more books than I have places for them!

I certainly love shelves with gorgeous collectibles, but what I really love are shelves loaded with collections of “real” books that have been read by those living within the walls!  I have gathered examples of spaces that showcase the beauty of books!

Click each photo for the original source.

Follow my Pinterest board Libraries, Desks, and Bookcases

A very chic office with a unique wall color and a large piece of art, but the books give it an approachable feel!

A cozy space to pull those “real” books from shelves to read!

The vivid curtain draws the eye to the shelves lined with books!

Lots of color in this space with some art and a few objects on the shelves, but the books take center stage!

A more formal room with books!

A center table with books ready to peruse, and shelves that are loaded with reading material!

A few collectibles, but mostly books in this beautiful space!

Dark gray bookcases full of “real” books define this space!

A small but warm space filled with a large collection of books!

Black shelves bring attention to the colorful spines of the books!

Stacked books rest beside standing ones!

A living space that is full of books and just invites you to grab one and take a seat!

A beautiful shade of blue brings attention to the books!

I love this casual approach to the book shelves with a handy step stool to reach the higher shelves!

What is your bookcase preference?  Do you like only books, a mix of collectibles and books, or just collectibles?

Linking with Pieced PastimesSilver Pennies, Life on Lakeshore DriveThoughts From Alice, Coastal Charm, Dwellings-Heart of Your HomeSavvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage, Stone Gable, Confessions of a Plate Addict, Worthing CourtBetween Naps on the Porch, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, A Stroll Thru Life, The Charm of Home, Imparting GracePosed PerfectionKatherines Corner, Rooted In Thyme, Share Your Cup,  21 Rosemary LaneCozy Little House, Rattlebridge FarmRustic & Refined, Poofing The Pillows, What Meegan Makes, Celebrate & Decorate


  1. Love all these shelves with books Pam – nothing better in my opinion!! I do love collectibles as well but as a family of avid readers (we will all read anything and everything) I have the same problem as you – so many books it is a challenge to find space for them all.

  2. Stacey says:

    We love books at our house too. Your inspiration pictures are amazing!

    I will admit that years ago, I realized that I’d probably never reread a book and stopped buying them. We use the library constantly. 🙂

  3. Deanna Rabe says:

    We are book lovers and readers in this house! We have books everywhere and have started to our kids collecting their own libraries now! I love books added into the decor with collectables as well as bookshelves packed with books. I have followed your pinterest board – I’m always looking for great library ideas!

  4. Karen says:

    I love books and when we bought a new house this past spring, I could hardly wait to set up the room we’ve named our “library”. A full-wall built-in bookshelf now houses some of our best-loved reads! There’s a collection of Childcraft books my parents purchased for me when I was 1, many of the books that had belonged to my mother that came home with me after she passed away 6 years ago, classics the kids have read, a shelf of books we intend for each of them to read before they finish school, books that have been gifts…they all have meaning. I enjoy shelving my books in categories for easy finding, but jut having a wall full of our best friends…it’s wonderful.

    Thanks for sharing such a heart-inspiring post. I’m visiting you from Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Nice to meet you!

    • Karen, my pleasure meeting you! Thank you for your wonderful sentiments on books! My books are like friends, I love,that you have your mother’s books! I have been an avid reader for years! Love the feel of a book! Blessings!

  5. Kim says:

    I love books, too! We moved into our house built by Mennonites (who don’t watch TV), and there were NO bookshelves. My books were stored in boxes in the largest closet in the house for months. Finally, my dad came to visit and tutored me in building bookshelves, and I finished it with a mantel in the center. I’ve since collected many other stand-alone bookshelves to scatter throughout the house. I thinned my stash a couple of times by donating to the local Carnegie library. What a mistake! They do seem to bread overnight, though, so I guess we’ll just have to keep adding to the bookcase collection. 🙂

    My husband is completely traditional and likes formal, but I’m more whimsical. If I had my wish, I would totally transform my home to accommodate the decor of picture #1. I know. Since my violet and royal purple room as a child that I begged for endlessly until my mother gave in, I’ve never “gotten over” that love. That violet library with fancy chandy speaks to my soul! (But, I do love all the others, too. I could live in any of those rooms!)

  6. I’m a bit of a book-ahollic myself Pam, and I am swooning over these gorgeous libraries! Of course I’m drawn to the colorful ones, the lavender is quite dreamy, but I especially love the colorful ones with the art, and the black shelves are stunning! I do most of my reading on a kindle now, which makes it easy to control clutter, and just keep the coffee table style books out. I have had fun dreaming here today!

  7. Pam, my family loves books. My 13 year old daughter collects them. She doesn’t like to read books on her KIndle. She says that she would rather read and feel a real book. I’ve told her when she grows up and gets a place of her own, we will have to buy her a beautiful bookcase to fill with her wonderful collection of books.

  8. dolores says:

    Leer es un placer, pero si ambientamos el lugar de forma que no solo sea una estancia hermosa sino que también sea confortable, entonces el placer se total.
    Las estancias que nos presentas hoy son variadas para todos los gustos y muy acogedoras. Me parece muy acogedora la segunda imagen, aunque la primera me encanta por su originalidad.
    Si tu correo funciona y te llegan los e-mails, te mandaré algunas fotos de mi casa. Mi casa es normal…pero es acogedora y creo que te gustará ver una casa española…jajaja

    Reading is a pleasure, but if We set the place so that is not only beautiful but also stay a comfortable one, then all the pleasure.
    The rooms you show us today are varied to suit all tastes and very cozy. It seems very cozy the second image, although the first love for its originality.
    If your email works and you get the e-mails, I will send you some pictures of my house. My house is normal … but it’s cozy and think you’ll like watching a Spanish home.

    • Mi querida Dolores, gracias por lo mucho! Sus comentarios siempre aclara mi día! Me encantaría ver fotos de su casa, me sentiría como si me gustaría saber más sobre usted y su cultura. No pude encontrar el correo electrónico que ha hablado de. Por favor, actualice mí en la salud de Antonio y de correo electrónico fotos a Bendiciones, Pam

      My dearest Dolores, thank you so very much! Your comments always brighten my day! I would love to see pictures from your home, I would feel as if I would know more about you and your culture. I could not find the email you spoke of. Please update me on Antonio’s health and email pictures to Blessings, Pam

  9. lulu says:

    I have always loved boo,s, both for my own pleasure and for what they tell me about the people who read them. As for shelves, I like mixing books with other items.

  10. Ginene Nagel says:

    I have two large bookcases (actually from an old public library) filled with just favorite books which I know I will reread. Books are a treasure waiting to be discovered and I will never go Kindle.

      • Ginene Nagel says:

        I know. I have connected the hours I’ve spent reading the computer screen, while figuring out some glitch or something, with frustration and angst. Screens are meant for pictures and short sentences. I laugh when I think what it would have been like in the 1950s if someone suggested reading books on the television screen. Give me a daybed on a screened-in porch and a book and I would be in Heaven. A tall glass of fresh squeezed lemonade would be nice, too.

  11. Sandy says:

    I so agree about shelves lined with real books. Your Pinterest page is great. I have books in every room of my home, although I do wish I had a room to be the library with floor to ceiling shelves around the room… of course with good lighting too.
    Great post

  12. Oh Pam. I love this post. I have a Pinterest board too! Rooms with books. I have a book blog and a page ‘t under construction dedicated to Decorating with books! I hope you can get a chance to come over and visit me. I’m sad because blogger/google took away my comments option so I don’t know who visits. But there is a tiny icon at the bottom of each post for Google+. You can click it and comment over there.
    Or send me an email. and let me know you’ve been by!
    Thanks for sharing this at Pieced Pastime linky party! I linked too!

  13. Carol says:

    I’ve gone the gamut of our small bookcase completely filled with books, to more of a mix of books and treasures. A mix is what I prefer. I don’t quite understand the trend to cover your books or having the spines all facing to the back….how do you find what you might want to read? And, of course, we have those bedside tables with books piled high and ready to topple! This was a great post.

  14. Carol Cook says:

    We have very little space in our house for bookcases so a lot of my books are in baskets to form vignettes all over the house.

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  15. lindahobden says:

    I have bookshelves in the lounge and in all the bedrooms jammed packed with preloved books covering every genre known to man. I use my kindle more nowadays but still keep those moth eared paperbacks! Also non fiction is better in book form than on the kindle I feel ????

    visiting via Katherine’s Corner linky

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