It’s a simple and intuitive fact that books look smart.
They are the historical bearers of wisdom, and one of the greatest and most important innovations that humans have ever made.
That means that keeping a few books around the house looks smart. Each one is a repository of knowledge, whether good or bad, and they all require a certain amount of skill to extract that knowledge.
Knowledge is power.
While this is all generally true about books, the individual book will bear this mantel with its own personality. An Aristotelian tome casts a different light then a saucy romance novel.
Taken together the personality of the individual books in any given location will create an overall impression of the entire room.
This impression is both intellectual, the way people think of the space, and emotional, in that they will react naturally to what they see.
A strategic impression can be created by choosing which books you display, and which ones you store.
This is often the purpose of the coffee table book; however it can be stretched out to shelves, mantels, and whole walls. In this way books can be used in the place of décor, or even wall treatments.
However, the strategic placement of books begs the questions, why hide any side of your personality? If you choose a book, why not display it? If you don’t read, why display books?
That is a matter of conscience.
On the other side of this matter, if you do read, and you are proud of your books, displaying them in your home, or your office, is a way of sharing yourself with those who enter. You are making yourself vulnerable to the scrutiny and opinion of any who happens to come in.
That is a matter of self confidence.
For the average person, walking the middle path will bear the most profitable results. Taking a measured line will allow you to avoid the problems on both sides of the matter.