Happiness is. . . a Styled Bookshelf

I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves. ~E.M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy, 1951

The other day, a bookshelf arrived at my clients home (it’s located at the top of the stairs next to the patio doors of her roof top deck–hence the summery flowers). She was skeptical at first, that it would accommodate all her books like I said it would: 


Until I came over and styled it for her:
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. ~Oscar Wilde
What is your favourite book?
Related posts:
Happiness is. . . being Uncomfortable (when you pick the wrong colour)
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  1. I cant even start to say which book is my favourite. Each one is when I am reading it.
    The shelves are beautiful

  2. Things That Inspire

    I love the styled bookshelf!

    One of my all time favorites is Pillars of the Earth. I loved the sequel too, but not as much as the original.

    Hope you are having a good weekend!

  3. Linda at Lime in the Coconut!

    Yes…that is a tough one. I always fall in love (or at least heavy like) with each book I read.

    The bookshelves look gorgeous after your magical touch!

  4. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    Maria ~ How nice that looks with the (dare I say it) "pops" of orange mixed in!

    I am usually a mystery/thriller kind of person, although sometimes I will read something different. I am recently reading a Diana Gabaldon series, but I'm itching for a good Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child's book.

  5. My favorite book is A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. It was published 10 years after the author's death and won the Pulitzer a year later in 1981. It's an hilarious story of bizarre, but lovable characters living (and not working much) in New Orleans. Talk about local color, this book is Pantone deck full of it.

  6. The Changing Look of Friends

    Oh Maria, Thanks for showing a REAL display of books. Love the bookshelf, how you arranged the owners books and the color you picked up on with the flowers.
    My favorite book at this point in time is Vestiges of Grandeur.

  7. I like books that make me think…usually something that reaches my soul and challenges me to be a better person and to follow the Lord on this journey of life He has given me.
    Great job on styling the bookcase. The floral touches add so much.

  8. Love the splashes of color!…one of my favorite books is the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, it made me feel as if I were right there in Africa with her!:o)

  9. You added that little touch of "Maria magic"!
    The orange flower at the top has to make everyone smile.
    I know I owe you an e-mail, I'm off to write it now.
    Sorry, I got my e-mail of your blog post, and I couldn't resist looking at it first!


  10. i have a tie!! the picture of dorian gray and 20000 legues under the sea. i love sin and diabolical characters!


    What a great shelf and I love the way you've styled it. I don't think I could ever name one book. There are just so many!

  12. Fantastic quotes, and I love the way you styled the bookshelf and added the orange flowers. As to my favorite book, hands down it is The Brothers Karamazov.

  13. Brillante Home Decor

    Just looking at books makes me happy. My favourites are still the ones written at least 50 years ago…even going back to the Dialogues of Plato.

  14. I love the book "Precious Bane" by Mary Webb, but I've never even met someone else who has read it.
    I just love to read and wish you were in the states to style my bookshelves.

  15. Very fun bookcase with all it's different levels, nooks, etc. And of course, what I've come to know as "Maria Orange"… your (and – as it happens – my) favourite colour!!
    Right now I'm reading one of my daughter's "young adult" books and loving it – probably because it's fantasy/sci-fi!! Give me a little make-believe to draw me away from the real world!!
    Victoria @ DesignTies

  16. great bookshelf!

    hmmm… i love coffee table books, a great novel and wonderfully illustrated children's books.


  17. I love the look of books displayed on both the vertical and horizontal. And the orange flowers you added to the shelving are great little hits of colour 🙂

    My favourite book is probably National Velvet. I haven't read it for years, but I've read it through from front to back multiple times.


  18. awesome shelves… hmmm… my favorite book just might be Sati by Christopher Pike. (He's usually a teen writer who I've been reading since I was 10 but it's one of his few adult books and it's just amazing.)

  19. What a difference that pop of orange makes!

    Thank you for mentioning my blog- what a treat to come back from vacation to see that!

  20. i have a bookshelf.. a rather plain one.. to be filled with books.. i have taken down all teh interesting details u have added.. breaking symmetry adn adding color with the flower n all.. will definitely keep u posted on how well i did my job.. for u to comment.. urs look beautiful btw.. 🙂

  21. and i love the quotes absolutely.. 🙂 they are beautiful.. being a book junkie.. well yes i get easily hooked as well.. novels.. classics.. biographies.. paulo coelho.. anything.. as long as it is not too dull and lulling.. factual u can say.. ummmm fav hard to say.. into south asian writers these days though.. 🙂 tehy are great.. i think everyone should read "The Kite runner" by khaled Mohsini.. for asian audience largely.. but great piece of work

  22. That is a gorgeous bookshelf, especially with the way you styled it. I need to find someone with your talent in the Minneapolis area. Any suggestions?

    Favorite books–varies by the moment. Lately I've been enjoying Barbara Kingsolver and Adriana Trigiani; and Frances Mayes is a perennial favorite.

  23. I love love love books! I have read so many! Of course, we didn't get a TV for the first 15 years of our marriage, so that might account for the extra reading..but I've been that way since I was a girl.

    My favorite set of books when younger was the Lord of The Ring Series, including the Hobbit and the Simarillion and Favorite Poems Old and New. (I write poetry.)

    Now, I have a bookshelf full of my favorites.. My favorite romance novel is Under the Greenwood Tree. And my favorite author is Charles Dickens. I'm a 'Dicken's expert'. I've read ALL of his novels and some many times over. Of all of them my favorite is Bleak House.

    My favorite modern author, next to John Grisham, is Laurie R. King who wrote a new series of mystery novels about Sherlock Holmes who she said married in later years and spent the next 20 years working with his wife as a partner. They are so well done! I love her book, "The Beekeeper's Apprentice".

    I also love Imitation of Christ…it changes my life..every day. :o)