What to do with all those books

I am experiencing a personal interior design dilemma.

Neither my home nor my office has enough space for all the art and design books that I have been collecting for decades.

It’s an ongoing debate: Should I keep them? Give them away?

There are so many great art and design sites and blogs out there on the Web. But they’re not books. You can feel a book in your hand and it has a certain smell as you turn the pages. That makes it much more interactive and intimate.

Thumbing through a design book is an experience and can be inspiring at times. It’s just not the same as surfing the web, which feels like researching a car or a TV. So yes, I would like to keep all my books but the reality is I am tight on space.

As an interior designer, I should be able to come up with some sort of solution. And I have. So if you’re in a quandary about what to do with all your books, here are a few ideas:

Share the wealth: All of your books don’t need to be in the same physical space. Place them in different sections of the house. Tip: You might want to keep a log of where they’ve been placed so you can find them easily.

Not sure I got this one right. If the books are holding up the glass top, how are they easily accessible?

Build a side table with the books: It has a very funky, novel look. Use a 1-inch thick by 9×12-inch piece of wood slab for the pedestal, then stack books up to about 20 inches, staggering the directions. The books serve as the legs to the table. Top it off with a piece of glass approximately 16 inches in diameter. You can not only access the books easily but now you have a small table that can sit next to a chair, sofa or low bed.

Mix and match: Place the books under or alongside other design elements in a room, such as underneath vases or pottery. You can also put books underneath small plants or stack them under open tables.

Use as decorations: Books can look nice on a small chair, an antique ladder or on a coffee table.

Be creative: Books can add life to unused corners or hallways when placed on shelves. Think about placing books in atypical places. Use them as you would place art on a wall, in the kitchen or dining room.

Books add a warmth and interest to a room. They add a dose of history, excitement, intellectualism and worldliness. When organized in small spaces, books can be quite chic.

Be careful, though. When books aren’t kept tidy and organized, they can make a room feel sloppy and cluttered. They can also provide a new and wonderful dynamic to any room so don’t get rid of those old books just yet.

Check out this exciting site with fantastic bookcases: