There’s nothing that makes your home feel more lived in, warm, and, well, homey, than books. If you’re like us, you love buying books, reading books, and seeing them lined up neatly on shelves, a literary record of your reading life. After a while, though, as we stack more and more books on the shelves, and then books on top of books, and then books on the floor, we start to realize there’s a fine line between homey and messy. What to do?

First of all, keep stacking those books – it’s better than boxing them up! It’s good to display books – and the good news is, you don’t have to restrict them to a certain room. (Does anyone have a library anymore?) Books are perfectly welcome in the dining room, bedroom, living room, hallway, and even in the bathroom!

Looking for a new way to store/display books? Try organizing them by the color of their covers. It’s a clever trend that designers are trying and the effect can be really stunning.

If you’ve got some coffee table books on your coffee table, keep one book open to a special section or photo. The effect is warm and inviting…giving your room a look that says, “I’ll be right back.”

On your bookshelves, mix them up! Place tall books next to small books, wide books next to skinny books. Stack some books horizontally and stand some books vertically. This looks more interesting and comfortable than displaying them like a sleepy library.

And, always…Be sure and keep your books dusted…they tend to act as magnets for dust and pet hair. Dusty books look sad…and definitely not homey!