It feels like every bookworm I know has an iPad or Kindle, and while I’m all for tech innovations (some might even call me an early adopter), I can’t help but feel a little sad for hard copy books. There’s just no accessory that warms a space like the colorful spines of dozens of hardbacks filed side by side, or a tactile satisfaction more fulfilling than turning the pages of a thrilling novel. Fortunately for my cognitive dissonance, Jane of Ideal Bookshelf paints custom illustrations that beautifully capture the books that influence our lives (you can contact her to create your ideal bookshelf, or purchase prints here). Yesterday I spent far too long scrolling through her creations, so I thought I’d gather a few of my favorites to share with you all, after the jumpAnd in the comments section, I’d love to hear which books would star in your ideal bookshelf…

I thought Jane’s explanation of the project’s significance was really touching: I think of this project as an intimate form of portraiture; a way to illustrate who the subject is on the inside instead of out. I love that a book is something created very personally and then mass-produced in order to affect many other people very personally. I paint them to turn them back into something very personal and intimate.

And of course, I couldn’t restrain my ‘awww’s’ when I came across the children’s books… so sweet for a girl’s nursery (ehem, Camille….)

16 comments
  1. 1
    Emily | May 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Love this post. I’m with you.. books are such a neat accessory to any dresser or shelf. Long live hard cover books!

    Reply
  2. 2
    Lindsay{LCVintage} | May 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    What a cool idea! I still love books too. I’m slowly inching towards the ipad/kindle reading, but I still love opening a fresh new book. I’m still in debate! I love these illustrations. So neat! I love the idea of storybooks for a nursery. Adorable:)

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | May 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      I seriously think that kids’ books are one of the parts of nursery decorating that I’m most looking forward to. So many of them are like little works of art!

      Reply
  3. 3
    Lydia | May 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Found these on Pinterest, and they are so amazing. Absolutely love, love, love them =)

    Reply
  4. 4
    kelly@refresheddesigns. | May 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Books will always have a place in design. Well in mine anyway. I think books are a great way to not only showcase homeowner personality but also to decorate with warmth and depth with things you already own! What better way to sustainably design?

    My bookshelf is varied- from antique classics handed down, to success and business books to fiction from authors like Barbara Kingsolver and Elizabeth Gilbert.

    Great post and illustrations!

    Reply
  5. 5
    Amberly @ The Good Life | May 11, 2012 at 12:52 am

    These are wonderful! I absolutely love the colors. Looking at these gives me such a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

    My book collection would have to include The Brothers K, A Separate Peace, Life of Pi, Huckleberry Finn and The Giving Tree. 🙂

    ~amberly

    Reply
  6. 6
    Amberly @ The Good Life | May 11, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Okay … leaving another comment because I just bought one for a baby gift! I’ll probably order one (or two) for myself tomorrow! 😉

    Reply
  7. 7
    Supal {chevrons and éclairs} | May 11, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I love these so so much! How fun would one of these be for the reading nook of a nursery with all the classic book titles like, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! If I had one, Im sure it would include all the classics from Lolita to Jane Eyre to The Great Gatsby. I’ve been re-reading and loving all the classics!

    Reply
  8. 8
    Erin | May 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    LOVE these! And I’m totally with you about having a hard time making the leap to a Kindle. On first thought, I think my bookshelf would include Eat, Pray, Love, a Nancy Drew book, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Comfort me with Apples… and probably a few more. 🙂

    Reply
  9. 9
    Debra Kapellakis | May 12, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Those are all beautiful. I do not have an iPad or iPhone or a Kindle. I still read the old fashioned way, from books! lol

    Reply
  10. 10
    lenya | May 13, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Cool idea! I’ve sent this one onto my book mad friend.

    Reply
  11. 11
    Sarah | May 21, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I so agree.. I have a kindle and iPad but still buy books just for the sheer tactile pleasure of turning a page, smelling the paper and there’s nothing can beat books to make a home!

    Reply
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