how to style books for shelves and bookcases
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Sharing budget-friendly and fun ideas to style books and add a little personality to your bookshelves.

Books are more than characters and storylines. Books have the power to take us back to pivotal moments in our lives and memories. When I hear the name Judy Blume it takes me back to middle school and training bras.

Books show us compassion in words and characters and in return we gain new perspectives of others not like us. We grow… like The Giving Tree.


One of my goals this year is to scroll less and read more. It is hard. Those bots are ready to take us to online shopping sites and news stories that are better left unread.

A wise man told me what we take in stays in-choose wisely.

With my newfound love for books, I sorted through closets and boxes to find a few favorites.

I wanted to style the books to add a little personality to the bookshelves.

cute ideas to style books for shelves and bookcases

As an adult, with reading no longer required, I had time to read and show off my collection of books. Meaning, I loaded them into bookcases and called them good.

cute ideas to style books for shelves and bookcases

Or if was feeling creative I stacked a few books on top of each other.

When I started a blog everyone was covering books in brown paper. I joined the trend when I repurposed packing material to cover a few of my books.

cute ideas to style books for shelves and bookcases


Many of the books looked like they were coasters for sippy cups or Goldfish crackers. Or maybe a glass of wine.

fun ideas to style books

I wanted a pop of color on my office shelves and our library wall in the living room. The style ideas needed to be budget-friendly.

And I wanted my books to reflect my interests – like my ever-growing cookbook collection.

fun ideas to style books like cookbooks

I moved my growing collection of cookbooks to the library wall. It is the perfect space to linger over the pages of desserts and dinners.

But there is a part of me that needs my book jackets to have order and color palettes.

I know, I know. FWP

budget friendly ideas to style books


  • Display your personality in your books
  • Add color or textures that draw the eye (and interest) to the bookcase or shelves.
how to style books on bookcases and shelves

  • Mix it up with books facing forward and/or backward in a bookcase.
  • This eliminates a matchy-matchy look in a bookcase.
  • Start small or focus on one shelf of books.
how to style books for bookcases and offices
  • Display books with shades of one color. This is a fun way to style bookcases. You could even go all-in for a seasonal color scheme.
  • I used leftover vinyl scraps, wallpaper samples and paint. Do you see the book with the painted spine? It is fun to spray paint books.
  • Display books by type or category.
  • I started a collection of cookbooks on our library wall remodel.
  • It is a fun way to display cookbooks and linger over recipes.
  • It is my version of my husband’s growing collection of vinyl.


If you are the type of person that likes your books neat and tidy.

Or maybe you don’t want to spray paint a family heirloom book, magazine holders are a way to stash books and keep your bookshelves symmetrical.

I used leftover magazine holders from this tip. This works great for paperback books you want to keep but might look better in hiding.

If you look closely my cookbooks are stored in a wood file tray from Target.

How to Style Books
How to display books
  • Stack your books in different directions. I placed a corbel on top of a few book covers with shades of blues.
  • It’s a good idea to raid books from around the house if you are looking for a color pallete.

I had so much fun figuring out how to style my favorite books. Now when I get a new cookbook I immediately remove the book’s cover to see what color band binds the books’ pages.

I have my eye on this children’s class for a green book theme!

I have a few seasonal ideas running in my head. Thank you for stopping by today.

I would love it if you pinned this project or shared it with your friends.

You can find more ideas on my Pinterest page here.

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  1. My office should be ready soon and it is intimidating how many bookshelves I have to fill. Thanks for the inspo. Have a wonderful Easter, Laura!

  2. Laura,
    Great ideas….Thanks so much for stopping by!! Wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter!!

  3. Great post! I need more books so I can style them. All I ever do is put them under stuff. boring. Thanks for linking up at Farmhouse Friday! Hope you do it again soon.

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