By Joanne Rock
|My Superromance series, Heartache, TN|
You can’t deny that you occasionally judge a book by its cover. Not just in the bookstore either. Figuratively speaking, we draw conclusions about people and places based on visual clues. We can sum up certain things about a homeowner based on the coziness of their front porch or the neatness of the front yard. Are the gardens neat and orderly or cottage style? Are the colors vibrant and warm or cool and calming? We draw other conclusions based on clothing (bohemian versus sporty, elegant versus easygoing), occupation, choice of car, choice of neighborhood, or choice of pet. But for me, I don’t feel like I really know someone until I’ve seen what’s on their bookshelves.
It’s the most intriguing moment for me when I visit a new friend—better than seeing what dessert she’s made for lunch (although I’m easily won over by sweets, I will admit) or what personal photos are hanging on the living room wall. It’s such a fast snapshot of someone’s interests, from what books they choose to display (and how) to what books receive the most prominence and special positioning. Is there an obvious keeper shelf full of well worn reads? A shelf full of vintage finds with beautiful leather spines or illustrations? A coffee table of art books that look more for show (and to coordinate with a room) than for reading?
I will admit, I have all of the above. I have put books on a coffee table because the colors look nice with the furniture, although I’ve never purchased a book for beauty alone. I have enough titles that I can “shop my shelves” if I want to put out something pretty on my nightstand. Only in recent years have I decided that books should live outside the bookshelves for me to enjoy in other areas around my home. I like to see them, remember them, think about them more than I’d like to see random art objects. So why not decorate with books?
I have a friend who has literary quotes on her walls. That was as neat of a find as seeing her bookshelves. Her love of story was obvious! I am intrigued by the new trend of arranging bookshelves by color of the spines so that all the white titles might be in one room or the blue titles together to accent a room that’s otherwise gray. Pinterest has lots of ideas for bookish decorating from making the stair treads look like famous book spines to creating book nooks around a window or stair landing.
So far, I’m still a novice in literary decorating. For the most part, my books are very much on my shelves, and I tend to arrange them thematically—books about history are together. Feminist studies things are together. Divination and texts about myth and magic are all grouped close to one another. And then, down low, all the art and history books that are too heavy for the high shelves.
My romance shelves are another bookcase all together. I have keeper shelf upon keeper shelf grouped according to subgenre and author. I even have a bookcase of my own books now that I’ve got over seventy titles to my name, each of which has spawned beautiful foreign editions. I like seeing them to remind myself I can do this.
|Win a $10 Amazon gift card!|
If I stopped by your house today—inquisitive soul that I am—what might I learn about you from a sneak peek at your shelves? Do you collect old cookbooks? Have as many MAD magazines as you do modern day romances? Do you keep only the non-fiction titles? Or are you a digital reader with shelves online? Share with me today on the blog and I’ll give one random poster a ten dollar Amazon gift card so you can add something fun and wonderful to your collection.
**Joanne Rock's fourth book in her Heartache, TN series releases in September 2016. Whispers Under a Southern Sky is available for pre-order now.