Books are cool

Now that the built-in bookshelves in our family room are finished, it's time to fill them up. It's hard to resist either filling them with pictures of my kids or unpacking 10 boxes of books and loading them up. I opted for a mix of the two with a few collectibles mixed in. Although I generally hate knickknacks for the sake of having them, I think things that means something or that you really love are a great way to break up spaces. In this case, I included a shell that we got in Nevis about 7 years ago (our first vacation as a couple after buying our house), and a ceramic pear that I found at my favorite local consignment shop REfind. I love the pear but have no idea why.
Where did we get all of the great books? We are the proud owners of an unbelievable book collection thanks to my late grandfather who was a tireless book collector. Legal history to Jane Austen, and everything in between. Our passion for built-in bookshelves quickly followed the book inheritance not surprisingly. But, for those who want to create this look, hit up yard sales and used book sales (frequently at libraries and community centers) to find great looking old books to fill your shelves. Shiny new books just don't seem to have the same effect on bookshelves. Another option is to remove the dust covers from those new books that you already have - generally less writing and prettier colors underneath. Makes you seem extra smart too!

Here's our super smart living room bookshelves that Jim also built a few years ago. More on these later.