The Kindle and its ilk may be changing the way many of us read, but there's truly no substitute for the original. "Traditional" books are as functional as a design element as they are good reads. Here, 11 inspired suggestions to incorporate your love of reading into your home's decor.
1. It's a book! It's a charger! What a simple, fun idea: designer Rich Neeley takes beloved novels and transforms them into Book Chargers ($48-$54) for the iPhone, perfectly suited for a bedside table. Books range from popular Harry Potter titles to gorgeous classics, like Pride and Prejduice, shown above.
2. Speaking of bedside tables, an item from designer Marian Lassak's collection a few years ago sparked an idea: books as a bedside table. The piece itself is a nightstand constructed to look like a stack of books. The idea it inspired: a stack of large, sturdy and heavy coffee table books makes a great bedside table for a bed with a lower profile. Just be sure to place the largest, heaviest books on the bottom to create a sturdy base.
3. Here's another creative way to make your own side table, courtesy of DesignSponge. The Book Strap Side Table is made of smaller books that (you probably already have) and homemade small wooden cubbies. The piece is held together with old men's leather belts and sits on a cardboard base to keep it sturdy.
4. Or, for a splurge, how about this custom-made Stacked Book Side Table? For $1,800 (plus the books that you supply), the artist creates a super-sturdy wooden table incorporating your selection of books. Choose a set with particular meaning (your first year of college as an English major, your mom's art history books from the '70s), and enjoy them as a unique set for years to come.
5. Wall art! The Still Life With Pencils print ($550) sold at Anthropologie is a print of an intricate still life painting by artist Christopher Stott. The print is a high-quality reproduction of the original. For a more affordable and cutsomizable option, check out these Ideal Bookshelf prints ($24-$26 for prints; $220 for custom). You can even pick up the popular Design Books print ($39) at West Elm.
6. In the bathroom: Author Dave Eggers, with six books under his belt, has published his most recent short story on a PVC-free shower curtain ($65). His idea: that the story would be read while showering. The project is an installment of The Thing Quarterly, where each issue (or thing) is conceived of by a different contributor.
7. Floating book shelves: These floating wall shelves ($15) mount directly to the wall using two screws, and are a unique solution for displaying your favorite titles. Screw the book-made-shelf into the wall and stack your favorite (or most colorful) titles on top. Or, for a similar look without having to choose a permanant title as a shelf, try the Umbra Concealable Floating Bookshelf ($17) or the Concel Shelf from Urban Outfitters ($14). Both are made from durable clear plastic and attach to the wall so you can Stack any set of books you choose. Try books with different color combinations to add a burst of color to any wall.
8. The Book Rest Reading Light ($50 on sale) from Uncommon Goods is the perfect brightness for bedtime reading, and doubles as a place to hold your place when it's time to fall asleep. (Bonus: no more folded corners!) The lamp is made to work with energy-efficient CFL bulbs only.
9. Keeping time in any room (but especially perfect for an office), the Book Clock ($24) is a fun and affordable accessory to brighten up your decor while displaying your love of reading. Or, camouflage it within your bookshelf in between rows of actual books for a whimsical feel.
10. Take a note from inspired home designers and color-code your bookshelf to arrange it. The resut, a rainbow-hued work of art that's as functional as it is eye-catching.
11. While not technically made from books, the Hockenhemier Magazine Seat from NJU Studio is a made-to-order stool constructed from magazines or newspapers bound by leather and topped with a seat cushion. The result is a fun and colorful piece of furniture that still displays your love of reading.
Fellow book-lovers, there's more! Here's how to create a candy box out of a used book. Have you gotten creative with books of your own at home? Share your ideas below.