Newspaper Columns from the New Britain City Journal

Entries in books (2)


What to do with built in bookshelves

Dear Les Is More:

I am sick of my built in bookcases. They never look like bookcases do in magazines or on TV.  Do you have any ideas what I can do?



Dear Lucy:

Yes.  I have plenty of ideas—thanks for writing in.  However, you don’t tell me the room it is in, or what material it is made out of –so here are my suggestions in no particular order. 

  1. 1.       Paint the inside or wall paper the inside of the bookcases and use texture rather than color to make them stand out.
  2. 2.       Separate your books by color (use the spine of the book as your color guide) and use a few shelves to showcase a different color. 
  3. 3.       Make a few of the shelves book free and use this space for decorative items.
  4. 4.       Use baskets to make the shelf organized.  I love Kaisa Grass Tray Basket (12.00) from SERRV International (  or  1-800-422-5915) this muti-purpose basket can hold magazines and looks great on a book shelf.  Using a few baskets such as Kaisa Basket Set which comes in 3 nesting sizes is great for different items and the handles on the baskets help you to move your magazines to your favorite chair. This is also a fair trade crafts non- profit organization and their products are the most beautiful I have seen in a while, and very reasonable.
  5. 5.       I love using unusual types of baskets such as the (DabneyLeeat Lucite tray which is sexy in all the right ways.  Designed by a New York artist, this tray is beautiful and is perfect for your bookcase.  Use it to house a favorite large scale book, or a favorite book and spare glasses for the bar. Anything from this company makes a great addition to any space.
  6. 6.       Paint the entire bookcase a bold color or stain it if it’s wood.

Good Luck with your design challenge and as a last resort,  you might want  to donate all of your books, take down the book case and buy a e-reader. 


Organizing the home library; staying on top of it all

Dear Les Is More:

I love all my books but I can never find a way to keep them without collecting lots of dust and forming an eyesore in my home? How would you suggest clearing out my piles without losing my loved reads?



Dear Sandy:

Every book you read you feel close too, however Sandy, you have to be strong and only keep the ones you love and the ones you know you will read again. But, I have a better idea.  How about buying a Kindle for 139 dollars through and buying ebooks for genres you like but don’t love. If you are a big murder mystery person, then buy the books from your favorite authors, but use the kindle to read books you know you will never want to own the paper copy. You could always buy what you know you will love, and then go to this place every city has called the library.

Dear Les Is More:How do I stay organized all the time in everything?

Thank you! Gen

Dear Gen:

That depends on you. If you want to be organized you will be.  You will find a home for everything you own and put it back when you are done. You will weed out everything that is unnecessary in your home and donate everything you do not love.  However, you need to want to do it. It’s just like losing weight. It takes work. Welcome to life.