Enhancing Your Book Nook - The Bend Magazine

Enhancing Your Book Nook

Styling a reading nook or bookshelf with Katy Jones-Gulsby

By: Katy Jones-Gulsby  Photos by: Rachel Benavides

If you were to ask me what the most important accessory for a thoughtfully designed space is, my answer would always be “books.” Nothing creates a sense of permanence like an eclectic bookshelf, full of books that represent the interests of those who live there. I’m a big proponent of a layered, cluttered bookshelf – none of this overly styled, rainbow-sorted nonsense, and I can’t even speak of the act of turning books backward without cringing. The quickest, easiest way to turn a sterile, cold room into somewhere warm, inviting, and lived-in is to add books.

I’m endlessly curious about what people are reading, and spend a lot of time zooming into photos on social media to snoop on bookshelves. I love vintage and out-of-print books, both for reading and aesthetics – the design of older volumes often goes beyond the dust jacket, and they present so well on shelves. But I’m also not a book snob; you’ll find trashy trade paperbacks next to 19th-century tomes with marbled end-papers on my shelves!  


Top Tips:

1. Shop for vintage and secondhand books! Estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores, Half Price Books, and local bookshops are all great places to hunt.

2. I often buy specific titles online through sites like eBay or Etsy. They can be great resources for out-of-print titles.

3. Don’t overlook antique malls! I stock secondhand interior design and art books at my space in Red Crow, and other vendors will also sell vintage books alongside their other wares.

4. I get asked a lot about dust jackets – some people love them and others hate them! No matter what side you’re on, always save them, because a book’s value plummets when it is without its original dust jacket.


Get the look:

Cocktail Table Chic to Chic Furniture

Books and Chair Author’s Own

Antique Rug and Teacup Shell and Pine, at Red Crow Antique Mall