Make your bookcases and bookshelves an impressive feature and discover the classic French reads everyone needs to have in their collection.
Top tips for styling books on shelves
Start from scratch
Before you start styling, remove all your books and anything else off the shelves sorting through everything as you go.
Bookshelves aren't just for books!
Mix objects between books to add areas of interest. Items might include decorative ornaments such as a vintage match striker, a photo frame, antiques or a vase of dried flowers. When considering what to add, we suggest sticking to your room's look and colour palette and don't forget to add a mixture of textures such as wood, glass and metal for variety. It's also an opportunity to add your hobbies and passions, for example, items from your travelling adventures.
Odd numbers work
When styling in the home, always think in odd numbers.
Layer up and embrace the book stack
Create interest by layering items on your bookshelves. Perhaps lay books on the sides in a pile and place a curiosity on top. Piles of books are perfect to use as platforms.
Highlight your favourite book(s)
If you have a favourite book or a cover you love the design of, how about making a feature of it.
Add a splash of colour with coloured glass
Add a splash of vibrance to your shelves with coloured glass. Coloured glass adds an exuberant feel to any display and reflects natural light. Incorporating your glassware into your bookcases also offers an alternative way of storing your finest glassware until your next dinner party!
Bring them forward
Reduce settling dust whilst creating a uniform style by bringing your books to the front of the bookshelf rather than pushing them to the back.
Create a backdrop
Consider painting or even wallpapering behind your bookshelves, creating a bold look.
How should you organise your books?
There is no right or wrong way to organise your books. Here are some suggestions:
Bookshelves organised by the colours of the rainbow are a great way of creating a pattern and sense of order but aren't everyone's cup of tea. It is, however, aesthetically pleasing and often a talking point.
With organising by colour perhaps not being the most functional way of organising your books, how about organising alphabetically by the author's surname?
Or how about by genre? You could also group by genre first, and then by alphabetical order in the same way often seen at libraries and bookshops.
Useful French vocabulary around books
For those of you keen to keep learning the French language like me, here are some new words around the topic of books:
Livre - book
Roman - novel
Lire - The French verb to read
Bibliothèque - library or bookcase
écrivain - Author
couverture - Cover
éditeur - Publisher
étagère - shelf
Do the French love to read?
France, like the UK, is regularly placed in the top countries that love to read. Along with loving the French classics and modern novels, the nation also loves to read books translated from languages from all around the world.
French home-style books every home should own
Classic French books to add to your bucket list
Le Comte de Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Au bonheur des dames by Émile Zola
La gloire de mon père by Marcel Pagnol
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo
Les Contes des fées by Madame d’Aulnoy
La peste by Albert Camus
Les malheurs de Sophie by la Comtesse de Ségur
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert