18 Book-Themed Decor Ideas Readers Will Love, Because Books Don't Just Belong On A Shelf

Books are among my favorite companions. Over time, one’s books become a patchwork quilt of personal history, representing accumulated knowledge, quirky interests, sentimental hopes, moments in time. And they’re portable, waiting to be pulled out anytime we have a few minutes to pleasantly pass. What other friend can you say that about?

In the same way our books represent us, so, of course, does the way we choose to decorate our home. And given the place books have in my heart, it seems natural to gather them around me in my nest. Yes, there are bookshelves — my dream is to one day have a full wall of built-ins — but why stop there?

Here are 18 ways to incorporate your paper friends into your living space. Let’s take a look, book lovers.

Book print

Such a pretty faded palette in this photo of a bookshelf.

Bookshelf photo, $12, Etsy

Pretty books

While many are replacing books with e-readers, I’m standing my ground. I justify buying hardback books by knowing I’ll have their prettiness on my shelf long after I read them.

Little Women, $10, Amazon 

Vintage covers

This vintage book, carved into any letter of the alphabet, would work nicely as a bookend.

Carved book, $16, Etsy

Sweet dreams

Not just a pillow — a body pillow. Cuddle up.

“Read” pillow cover, $48, Etsy

Luminaria garland

Party lighting with a little literary something different.

Book luminaria garland, $55, Etsy

DIY mural

A scaled-down, more manageable version of wallpapering with book pages.

Image: Natalie Parker

Color-blocked shelves

In the great bookshelf organization debate — by author or by color? — I’m pretty firmly on the side of the former. But I do love the way color coding looks, as exemplified by this wall of books, a prominent design feature in the room.

Image: Jen Altman

Skateboard bookshelf

Combining practicality with a sense of humor, and looking good at the same time.

Image: Maria-Teresa Capelle-Burny

Julius Caesar

This contemporary nod to Shakespeare has such a clean, graphic feel.

Shakespeare print, $12, Etsy

Under glass

There are so many ways to go with framing books, book covers, individual pages — including this gorgeous example with a 3-D effect. I want to do this.

Image: Jason Schulte

Cut-page garland

This garland — turning book pages into leaves — started out as a decoration for a book-launch party, but it works just as well as a permanent installation.

Image: The Nester

Color coordination

A set of vintage books is an easy way to add some texture to a monochromatic scheme.

Set of vintage books, $21, Etsy

Jane throw pillow

P&P, with the classic Penguin cover in pink. So cute. 

Jane Austen pillow cover, $25, Etsy

Fireplace update

I love this storage solution — using a non-working fireplace to hold books and bring a pop of color to the corner of a room.

Image: Lesli DeVito

James Dean in glasses

Printing on book pages seems to be a thing lately, as in, this rumpled James Dean with a book. Wearing glasses.

James Dean print, $9, Etsy

Paper wreath

Strips of pages are curled and made into a wreath, for the holidays or every day.

Image: Kellie Dykast

Ladder shelving

A rustic ladder becomes a bookshelf/art installation/conversation piece in this pass-through area. Love it.

Image: Red Image Photography

Literary bus roll

A list of fictional locations styled as English bus stops, on a tea towel. Let’s wash dishes!

Linen tea towel, $20, Etsy