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Decorating with Books

Books are objects of art... to be appreciated and admired not just once but again and again.

We like books. In fact, we pretty much love them. And most of us book lovers, collect them. Books are objects of art… to be appreciated and admired not just once but again and again. Here's how to turn your collection into collectibles.

Get a few novels of the same size bound in red leather. Place them on your mantelpiece in between carved bookends.

Build a shelf running all along the four walls of a room starting from about a foot or two below the ceiling. Stack it up with books of approximately the same size.

Categorise your books. Keep cookbooks in the kitchen, and encyclopedias in your or in your child's bedroom.

Build your encyclopaedia collection. Does your child have an encyclopaedia? You'd be amazed at the number of children who have never rifled through one simply because of lack of access. Children are full of questions, and most parents do not have the time or the patience or, often, the knowledge to answer questions thrown at them from those intelligent, answering minds. Get an encyclopaedia and rifle through it with your children. You will be amazed at the number of things you didn't know. Not only will your kids have a great time and learn a lot, but so will you.

Keep coffee table books out there - on the coffee table. They look good, and they make excellent conversation pieces. Any interesting hardbound book you can just browse through, which has great images, and usually one which tells you a lot about something you really don't need to know anything about, and one which causes you to fork over a hefty sum of money, pretty much summarises your average coffee table book - such as the Kama Sutra. Now that's a coffee table book which has sparked many an interesting topic of conversation!

Preserve your books well, so you can enjoy them for years to come. Here are some tips on book preservation:

  1. Do not place books in the sun.
  2. Get those dust bunnies out! Clean your bookshelf often. Remove every book and wipe it well. You don't want bookworms to feast on them, do you?
  3. Do not place books in areas with high humidity such as cellars and basements.
  4. Place your books horizontally on bookshelves instead of placing them vertically.
  5. While you may feel that laminating a document helps preserve it for longer, the reverse is true. Lamination adds acid, and causes damage over the years. Instead, just file away a document you want to preserve, and do not fold it.
  6. What about those old, old books that have been with you for donkey's years, have been half eaten away by bookworms, and whose pages just melt in your hands? You'll probably never read them again, but you just don't have the heart to throw them away. Firstly, come to a decision. If you want to keep them, keep them well, or sell them. Find out from your local library about which place would be interested in purchasing old books. If you have decided to keep them, then get a cardboard box for each book, label the book and place it in the cardboard box. Use it carefully. It is not advisable to use cellotape on books, as the acid ruins the paper in the long run.

So there you have it. Books can be a decoration item in themselves, and if you use them well, they can add instant character to a home.

Share your tips, ideas and thoughts here.

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