I can be a little bit fanatical about things being balanced- probably way more than I need to be. So when I'm filling a shelf and things just aren't looking right, it's usually because the balance is off. Take this for example:
See how that glass just gets dwarfed by the picture frame?
But add a black photo album under the cloche and *perfect!* It works.
All of these books make everything the right height:
But what do you do if all of your books are ugly?? Or if they have embarrassing titles??? No one coming into your house wants to know that you have an interest in the mating habits of beetles. So what do you do? You cover them up!
Remember in high school when all of your text books were covered with colorful jackets? Do the same thing now with your unsightly books. Give them something to wear that makes them look good in your room. And get creative- try pretty fabric or wallpaper that compliments the rest of your decor.
Another easy fix is just to take off the original book jacket. No matter how much I love a book, I do not want the author's face smiling up at me from my coffee table. But usually under a busy-looking book jacket is a simple, neutral colored book.
If you start looking at books as a decorating accessory, you can step up the style in your home AND still provide yourself with some good entertainment. What's better than curling up with a good book? Curling up with a good-looking book!