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A Happy (Organized) Ending
It doesn't matter if you only have a few books on hand or your own little personal library—your favorite reads can go from legendary to clutter in no time flat. Here are a few ways to help your books go from one big mess to happily ever after.
* You only have a few books. You like to read, but you only keep a few of your favorites on hand. You're in luck because you have an opportunity to pair your tried-and-true pieces of literature with some of your best keepsakes. Try holding a couple novels in place with a family photo or lay two books flat on a high shelf and place a pretty tea cup on top. Mix books and attractive pieces on the shelf, or try painting the insides of the shelf a contrasting color. These are great ways to make the most of a sometimes-blah piece of furniture.
* You like to mix books and other media. You are a book lover AND a DVD guru. Take your collections and blend them together on the shelf, but keep things organized (and fashionable, too). Put stuff that isn't so pretty—wires and USB hookups—in pretty boxes and make sure the stuff you use more often is readily accessible. It's nice to sort CDs by genre, or devote one shelf to a mix of your timeless books and DVD collection.
* You always dreamed of being a librarian. Admit it, you fantasize about spending an entire night in Barnes & Noble all by yourself. That doesn't mean your rampant love for literature has to be in chaos. Take a mix and match approach—think antique novels interspersed with new ones—or categorize books by subject. Learn to break the line by sprinkling in a few bookends or framed photos. The monotony of book after book can be bo-ring.
We want to know: What's book can you not live without? [Real Simple]