How To

How to Decorate A Bookshelf: 5 Fun And Creative Tips

Corin Balkovek

Staff Writer

As a child, Corin tried to find ways to look busy when she was actually reading a book. She still does that, but as a librarian, she has more luck pulling it off.

We love our bookcases—they hold our most favoritest, precious things. But sometimes they can look a little…meh. While there is something aesthetically pleasing about an entire wall just of books (I mean…hello there), sometimes you just want to snazz things up a bit. Here’s how to decorate a bookshelf and your bookcases as a whole. These are tricks you can do to make your bookcase both functional AND attractive.

Your general tips for how to decorate a bookshelf first, and then I’ll get into more examples and information on each!

  1. Bring in strategic stacking
  2. Add some cute bookends
  • Make sure to include fun lighting
  • Use those colorful covers
  • You do you: Find your own style

    1. Bring in strategic stacking

    Lay ‘em down! Add a couple sections of books stacked horizontally to add bit of dimension to your shelf. Not only does it break up the monotony of rows and rows of vertically standing books, but it creates spots among your books to front-face your favorites or house other items. Plus, it’s a good way to show off any amazing book spine poetry you’ve created!

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    2. Add some cute bookends

    Keep those books up with style! Bookends aren’t only great for keeping your books from falling over (particularly with floating bookshelves), but also give you another chance to express your personality.

    All about those crystals? Add some awesome agate bookends to your shelves!

    Obsessed with snacks? How about these cute doughnut bookends!

    Add a little spray paint to a pair of bookends from the thrift store and make them extra snazzy!

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    3. Make sure to include fun lighting

    Highlight your book collection by adding some lighting to your shelves. A string of fairy lights is a fun and simple way to add some sparkle.

    If you love winter, adding icicle-shaped lights will turn your bookshelves into a winter wonderland!

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    Why not add a lamp that is disguised as a book?

    Decorate Your Bookcase

    Or, take it to the next level and turn a book into a hidden light switch (OMG)!

    Decorate Your Bookcase

    4. Use those colorful covers

    Look, I’m a librarian and I 100% believe in the power of the Dewey Decimal System and alphabetization. But when you’re organizing your own personal library, you get to make your own rules. If you want to add a bit of panache to your shelves, rearranging your books by color is a great way to mix it up. Create a rainbow within your bookcases!

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    Add a group of books with bright pink or yellow spines among beige or black covers to add a pop of color.

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    And if want to go for the truly minimalist look (and aren’t worried about finding a book quickly), you can turn all your books backwards to show the pages rather than the spine.

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    5. You do you: Find your own style

    Ultimately, your bookcase should reflect who you are and what you like. You prefer to only have your hardbacks on display and store you paperbacks in a box under the bed? Do it! Like the look of a bookshelf bursting at the seams? Stack those books two- or even three-deep! The only true design rule is that you make your space a place that you love.

    Looking for other ideas on how to decorate a bookshelf, or a bookcase, or maybe a whole library? Check these out:

    What are your tips for how to decorate a bookshelf?