If we're talking about furniture I always fall for a bookcase like this one.
I love books.
I love how they look and I love to read them. A pile of books waiting
to be read is better than a jar of candy. I love the smell of second hand book stores; it is the smell of promise. I have a small collection of hard cover books, some new and some old. Hard covers appeal to me because they suggest something closer to permanence than a paperback does, although I know that cardboard and paper are extremely temporary and that nothing (that's right-NO thing) lasts forever. If I loved a book that I read in paperback I keep an eye out for the hardcover copy in the second hand stores. then I remove the dust jacket and store it away. I love the colours of the binding and take advantage of this beautiful mix of colour in my home decor. The pictures below show the beginning stages of fireplace mantel decoration and some of my hardcover books.
Some books on my mantle.
These books didn't fit on the mantle.
There are a couple of nice looking bookshelves in our house but not nearly enough. I have an ever growing collection of paperbacks both fiction and non-fiction, essay and poetry writing. They are all in boxes,Iris Murdoch, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Graham Greene, Timothy Findlay and Tom Robbins to name justa few. I miss them. I don't re- read books much anymore but I like to see them there and remember what they contain.
I am a book snob, I admit that freely, and won't buy a book if the cover shows Oprah's endorsement (and I don't have anything against Oprah, just the suggestion that I need someone else to pick a good book for me) or if a movie has been made and the cover is the movie photo edition. I am also a furniture snob and won't by laminate. This is why many of my books are still in boxes.
When planning an extensive home renovation a couple of years ago, my husband and I dreamed of a library. We drooled over magazine photos of floor to ceiling bookcases with attached rolling ladders. The room which is now my laundry room was almost a library nook, with floor to ceiling bookshelves on three sides and two cozy armchairs for reading. Washing clothes took precedence and the dream did not materialize. We have a wonderful new home, but more than one plan for bookshelves didn't work out. If I had know that would happen I would have been more creative and had recessed shelves created in the walls of our staircase. I have seen beautiful images of that type of shelf.
My current strategy is to pile the new books in my bedroom. I have a little reading nook there and will try to figure out how to fit in shelves. I can't wait to post my results but projects are long around here and time and oportunity are short.
(the above photos not taken in my own living room are from flickr)