There’s something much more tangible and magical about physical books that an e-reader can’t quite capture. And, let’s face it, you can’t pull off any of these wonderful décor ideas with even a handful of e-readers.

When you think about using books as décor, you’re probably not thinking about using a signed first edition from the 1800s as a coaster for your coffee table. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take some liberties when it comes to those books that you bought at a second-hand shop for a dollar for no other reason than you love the covers.

Show the world your personality and interests through the books you own and decide to use in your décor. And, in the case of décor, you can judge a book by its cover!

Decorate your walls

Vintage books — especially vintage science fiction and fantasy — can add a quirky touch to your walls if you frame them. Use a deep box frame for extra depth on your walls or use only the covers and make a collage of frames and covers. (Can’t bear to cut off a cover? Simply scan and print it. Be sure that the scanner is set to at least “300 dpi” quality, though.)

Single pages can also make for a great impact, especially when they look like these!

Manuscript page on wall

The British Library’s Digital Collections is just one collection that is open to everyone, so why not have a look for something that speaks to you? Perhaps you prefer something by Da Vinci? A few pages from his notebooks will not look out of place in a more formal setting or study if they are beautifully framed.

Your bookshelves

Booklovers’ pride and joy can be their bookshelves, but even if your bookshelves reach to the ceiling, it doesn’t mean that it has to carry only books.

Break up rows of books with small to medium sized potplants, for instance, succulents or by adding some artwork or favourite framed photos.

The monotony of rows of books can be broken by placing some of the books with their covers facing forward. Doing this with your favourite books are sure to put a smile on your face.

If you want, you can arrange all your books according to the colours of their spines. For example, choose a rainbow, put accent colours next to one another; the possibilities are endless!

Add some fairy lights to your bookshelves for a whimsical look that portrays the magic hidden within the books. Not only does it look great, but it’s also perfect for that new #bookstagram post.

As statement pieces

You can also use books as statement pieces throughout your home and make your own artistic installations.

The vintage look

Use some old books (or cover some books in fabric like cotton or muslin, tie them together using vintage lace or ribbon and place some potpourri on top in a beautiful bowl. Instead of potpourri, you can also use a votive in a beautiful holder. The vintage look is especially beautiful in a simple entrance hall or on top of a wooden or white side table.

Stacked books on table tied

A modern twist

Cover some books – or journals – in chalkboard paper (or paint them) and stack them on top of each other on the coffee table or in the TV room along with a piece or two of chalk nearby. Time to get creative!

Stacked High

Sometimes you can let go of the need for a bookshelf all together by stacking books in a single column against a bare wall, with the largest books at the bottom. Just remember that this should look styled (by color, size, etc.), not as a random bunch of books you forgot to put away on the bookshelf.

As furniture

You can also use books as furniture in some places of your home, like say on tables.

Coffee table

Books doesn’t just have to be on top of the coffee table – stack some large books in three or four piles and top with a “tabletop” made from glass or even upcycled wood. Make sure that the books are properly balanced before adding the tabletop, though.

Bedside table

The same idea for the coffee table above can be used for a bedside table as well. Just don’t trade practicality with style and décor too much. Keep both and do both!

Lamp bases and phone charging stations

You can use smaller books to make a lamp base. Just check out this cool DIY idea to make one!

You can also use two hardbacks to make a phone charging station that neatly hides away the cables. Here is the step-by-step guide on how to do it.

Bookshelves made from … books

Lastly, there are great ideas out there on the internet for creating hanging shelves from books and even creating bookshelves from old and unused books.

You also don’t need to leave the covers as is, but can cover the books with any paper or fabric that you like and that suits your décor. Just have a look at this beautiful hanging shelf.