I don't know how you feel about books as decoration but I've always been in two minds about it.  I've always been an avid reader and I do love books.  I like to have some to hand so I can dip into them as the mood takes me (barely leaving the sofa if at all possible),  but feel slightly uncomfortable about the contrived nature of coffee table books.  They often seem to be the kind of books that make their owners look interesting - you rarely see coffee table books on accountancy or trainspotting.  Personally I only own books I actually read but I am definitely guilty of only allowing attractive books onto my coffee table.  However fabulous a book is, if it isn't good looking it doesn't get to stay on the coffee table or the sitting room shelf.

The advent of ebooks has led to a slight shift in my opinion on the matter of books as objects.  I read a lot of novels on my ipad but I wouldn't dream of buying a "picture" book to read on a device.  Books on interiors, art, antiques etc. really do have to be in print.  The ebook has made me yet more aware of how important the appearance, heft and feel of a book is.  I don't expect I'm alone in this feeling and in any case I know that many people love to decorate with books and do it really beautifully.  Today I thought I'd just focus on some of the many great bookends that are around and pick out a few of my favourites.

I treated myself last week to these fun and affordable (£12 a pair) pointing finger bookends from Rockett St. George that I think give my books a bit of a Fornasetti style injection:

One of my favourite things is to use a pile of books laid flat to support other books.  That way you can put any object you like on top of the pile and ring the changes whenever the fancy takes you.  I've been enjoying these outsized mercury baubles on my sitting room shelves for quite a while now:

If you have £128, or better still £256, to spare to spend on bookends at the moment I'd put that money on Anthropologie's utterly beautiful petrified wood bookends.  Each pair is unique in colour and shape so probably best to buy in store if you are really fussy (as I would be, I'm afraid), but they are available on line:

If you want to make a splash (sorry, weak pun) you could go for the Uprising bookend available at Paul Smith.  Just one of these would make quite a statement:

I hadn't spotted these on Jonathon Adler's site but I knew if I looked on there he'd have something interesting to offer.  I think these would make an otherwise slightly stuffy looking desk look that bit more interesting even if the books were dry technical tomes.  They would certainly be a much more imaginative gift than the usual executive toy, although at £195 each it would have to be to a very special person:

If you like to keep your cookbooks in the kitchen, it might be fun to flank them with these silhouettes of cooks:

 I've specified these a couple of times, each time for a young person's room but they'd suit music lovers too.  They have retro appeal and green credentials because they are a clever way to reuse old vinyl:

I'm off to bed now with a good book on my ipad.  Night, night.


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