The Secret to Making a Room Beautiful Stars With Your Bookshelves

If you're intimidated about whipping yours into shape, here's how to start.

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Tip No. 1: Double, Triple, or Quadruple Up on Your Faves

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OK, fine, we're convinced we need to pick up "Middlemarch" by George Eliot.

What does it look like to make your lifelong dream a reality? Partners (in love and business) Emma Straub, the author of bestsellers such as The Vacationers and Modern Lovers, and Michael Fusco, found out when they opened their bookstore, Books are Magic, this week in Brooklyn. If anyone knows how to deck out a bookshelf, it's Straub, who hints at an excellent decor point in the clip above: multiple editions of can book, with different cover designs and typography, can serve as marvelous conversation pieces for your wall.

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Tip No. 2: Stock Up on Genres You Don't Normally Read

Fiction or nonfiction: that is the question.

Earn a little street cred by adding some old-school sci-fi to your shelves or check titles off your never-ending "To Read" list, by filling your space with diverse material. Who knows, one day a friend might mention wanting to read that epically long George Washington biography, and when you hand it to her from your bookshelf, your intellectual prowess will be confirmed.

Tip No. 3: Be True to Your Own Sense of Cool

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This is a good way to show off your zines, too!

Art books are great adds to place on top of your coffee and bedside tables, but feel free to tap into your creative side and think of interesting ways to display them. For example, hang up your favorite page from a zine on your wall or flip your conceptual interior design book to a new page every day, so it can be viewed IRL, Snapped, Instagrammed, or whatever you want achieved from showing off your artsy vibe.

Tip No. 4: Don't Forget Your Childhood

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Let the nostalgia kick in….

You've probably acquired some more sophisticated tastes since you were seven years old, but everyone loves a bit of nostalgia. Might we recommend your favorite illustrated childhood reads for your bedside stack? They always look great, the images are instantly recognizable to guests, and you'll get people talking right away.

Tip No. 5: Unlock Your Inner Poet

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Who cares if a poem rhymes?

If you want to stay as far away from the poetry of Lord Byron and Shakespearean sonnets as you can, take a dive down the internet and find some contemporary poets you really connect with, writers who will challenge the views of your house guests. May we recommend Morgan Parker's There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé? Or keep your space nice and simple with classic stuff everyone loves—yes, Shel Silverstein's books definitely count.

Tip No. 6: Fake Your Culinary Prowess

Mmm, brownies.

Maybe you're someone who needs to learn a few dishes other than scrambled eggs and microwavable frozen dinners. Or, maybe you're basically a Michelin-star rated chef in the making. Whatever the case, it's always nice to have a good cookbook or two to fall back on when you're in a meal rut. But, if you'd rather decorate with the delicious photos, tear your favorites out of beautiful cookbooks and hang them up around your kitchen. Maybe they'll inspire you!

Check out the inside of Books are Magic!

If you live nearby, plug 225 Smith Street into your Google Maps and get over there!

What are you reading at the moment? Snap a pic of the cover to @chanelinezp!

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