Tips on styling a shelf

As fans of the written word, we are sad and discouraged by the gradual disappearance of the bookstore, but we remain encouraged and delighted at the popularity of the bookshelf. And while our journalistic minds are easily wooed by any shelf that’s floor-to-ceiling books — the more difficult look to accomplish is that of the accessorized shelf.

When in doubt, remember these five objects that make the perfect shelfie.

1. Bookends
They’re pretty. But they also really do the trick. It’s an easy way to play with color or add a quirky touch. Purple Geode Crystal Bookends, Regina Andrew Design, $347.50, themine.com

2. Horizontal and vertical books
Arrange books in both horizontal and vertical stacks. Don’t worry, even the Library of Congress says it’s appropriate to store books both upright and in flat stacks. Truman Capote Book Set, Juniper Books, juniperbooks.com, $150

3. A unique object
You’ve always wanted an excuse to buy the little knickknacks on vacation or the weird objects at your favorite antique store. Your bookshelf and built-ins are just that. Vintage Brass Seated Buddha, $65, Jackson Kline, jacksonkline.com

4. Lighting
Of course some built-ins have lighting installed — bonus points for that. But a small lamp adds an unexpected touch and shows off all the work you put into that shelf. Giobagnara Solar Small Table Lamp in Brass, Artemest, $820, artemest.com

5. Boxes
Stacked pretty boxes add layers and work as useful storage for items like remotes, photos you want to pull out to browse when family is over, and even a spot to put those knickknacks mentioned below.  Mustard Bone Inlay Box, HD Buttercup, $825, 310-558-8900