Marissa Napoli doesn’t own a Kindle. “I’ve always loved to read and I’ve always loved books. I’m definitely not a Kindle girl … I’ve gotta have a book.” She has an eye not just for a good read, but also how to work books into your home décor. Her love for the texture of a real book, combined with her interior and graphic design background and current role as San Marco Bookstore’s merchandiser makes her an expert.

Above photo: Marissa Napoli uses books throughout her home to add color and texture to space.

“Even though they’re hard objects, books add softness and texture to a space,” Napoli says. “And they don’t have to be vintage,” she adds. “Your home should tell your story, so decorating it is personal. It is a picture of you and your life … using books to tell the story is timeless and affordable.”

Books can be used as elements in a display or as the display themselves. “You can use them as a pop of color or to add texture and break up surfaces, like between a glass table and a glass lamp. It’s your space. Decorate how you want!” Napoli says.

3 ways to work books into your home décor

 1. Find books a new home:

Don’t be afraid to take books off the shelves.

Do use books as risers to elevate lamps, picture frames and favorite things.

Marissa’s advice:“Use an old chair as your bookcase or stack books on the floor.”


2. Display as a collection:

Don’t do it every time to every shelf in every room.

Do display collections together for a classic look or to fill high shelves.

Marissa’s advice:“You don’t have to turn them spine-side-out. Shelve where you can see the pages instead.”


3. Not Quite Your Basic Bookcase:

Don’t be too rigid when filling a bookcase.

Do mix in vintage finds and display things that make you smile.

Marissa’s advice:Combine books and objects. “Some collections are organized, like my stack of anthology magazines, but most do not really follow a pattern.”


Where to Shop:


Local Bookstores

At your local, independent bookstore, you’ll find a variety of books from vintage to classics to kitschy and leather-bound volumes for a high-end look.


Antique Malls

Displays vary from booth to booth. Look for collections that make you smile.


Estate Sales

Look for old kids books. If you need a complete set of books, estate sales are your friend! Encyclopedias are great for their consistent binding.


Thrift Stores

A great source for cheap books for projects. For a new twist on book displays, display the book spine-side-in. If only the pages show, the book title and binding doesn’t matter. Look for hardback books with dust jackets. Take off the jackets and gather a collection of a single color binding.