Project: Bookshelves Revamp

Today, I have been thinking a lot about my bookshelves. We have four Billy Bookcases in the bedroom and office that hold a mix of novels, reference, music and religion books, and owl bookends. But they need some freshening up. Since a rolling ladder is currently out of the question (space, expense and lack of a stable built-in on which to attach it), I have been toying with color-cordinating my shelves. It's not a novel idea, but might give me a fun, cheap project and a new look. Everything is currently organized by subject matter and height, which makes it easy to find, but not the most aesthetically-pleasing. (For example, classic writers like Virgil and Homer are together, while the Parisian 20s expats like Fitzgerald and Hemingway are on another shelf.) Above are my Coralie Bickford-Smith Penguin Classics and some other favorites. Anyway, here is some of the inspiration I found today on the interweb.

I found this update to chotda's bookshelf redesign on Flickr. Oh, to have built-ins like that! My Aqua House wishlist includes a library, a room with wall-to-wall shelves that has no other purpose than to hold all my books.
Designer Kelly Oshiro's house tour was on Design*Sponge this week, and I loved the way she combined her books with her collections. She's accumulated lots of sets from events and photo shoots, and this is a lovely way to display them all. Everything is kind of crammed on top but still manages to look neat and organized.

I could also do an all-white shelf like this one from Apartment Therapy, if only I had enough white books. It would go great with all the milk glass we collected for our wedding:
I also love the idea of stocking my shelves with old leather or cloth classics from Books By the Foot:
The team that sits next to me at the office does TV sets — the actual stages, not the television box in your house. ;) And they had several boxes delivered a couple weeks ago for a project. There were some amazing finds in there, but the team was ripping out the inside and just installing the covers/spines to save weight. 

These vintage cloth titles have so much character, unlike some of my tattered paperbacks. Well, maybe I should take that back. The paperbacks do have their own sort of character, like crinkles from falling in the bathtub, food stains from reading on my lunch break in Bryant Park, or folded corners with my favorite passages. Even if their covers aren't as pretty. Some, like my Harry Potter books, bear the marks of traveling in my purse for a week or two—each time I read through the series. Many memories and many hours on the subway have been logged in the pages of my books. I love being able to browse through them and re-read a favorite, like an old friend. So I suppose that is more important that whether they line up neatly on my shelves...

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