9 Interesting Ways to Enjoy Books More Thoroughly

I was born a book lover. I wanted so badly to read at age 4 that I would rip them to pieces out of frustration. I remember my trips to Friends Bookstore where I would spend pocket change for Choose your Adventures and Nancy Drew. I remember my trips to the local library to check out language learning and craft making books. I smile a mile wide remembering the Scholastic book fair catalog my school sent home, full of the thoughtfully selected Newbery Award Winners and books that came with Stickers.

I was and still am a sponge for knowledge and adventure and I’ve never found a more conducive way to learn and exercise my imagination. Books unlock entire worlds for people who otherwise don’t have the means. How powerful is that? If that alone is not enough motivation to get you reading regularly, I am sharing my fun reading habits with you.

1. Start a collection

An exciting way to interact with your books other than reading them is to hunt them! I currently enjoy collecting books written in the 1800s and books signed by their authors. I shop for them at thrift stores, the Dollar Tree and I buy books written by people I meet. I read them and then visit them to get my copy signed.

2. Have a coffee and read at Barnes & Noble

This is like the Scholastic book fair for adults. Their book selection is thoughtful and so are their customers. You could meet someone special! In fact you are likely to meet someone interesting if you can find opportunity to open dialogue.

3. Spend your credit card reward points or cash back on books

Treat yourself to a good one! What better way to spend these minuscule rewards for carrying debt?

4. Read the book before you watch the movie

You’ve heard this one before! I haven’t done this intentionally, but have accidentally. I’ll jump on the next bandwagon.

5. Dog ear, highlight and make notes in the margins

Get even more incredible use and value from these books by using them to their fullest. I once knew a man whose mom passed and his favorite thing of hers was her books. He told me “she touched and read these pages, I wonder what thoughts she had in comparison to mine”. He’d know if she made notes and highlighted passages that were significant to her!

6. Gift books to others

Next time you need to purchase a gift for someone make it a thoughtful gift. Even non-readers can appreciate an easy-read, a comedy or a coffee table book.

7. Spread the love

I have a main library, a mini library in my bathroom and I keep one in my car for times I have to wait (like during an oil change). I don’t force myself to finish a book I start and I can read up to 3-4 books at once.

8. Enhance your reading experience

Form a ritual. Maybe you read at the same time daily, light a candle or start an essential oil diffuser, have a favorite beverage, etc.

9. Get creative with bookmarks

You can start a collection of beautiful store-bought bookmarks, make your own or repurpose your birthday cards or concert tickets.

Model Merchandising Tips That Transcend

What is it about a model home that entices potential buyers? Some might think it’s the way the pillows lay or the fabulous furniture that adorns the spaces, but effective model merchandising goes deeper than aesthetics. It’s about the understanding of the prospective homeowner’s desires and demands as well as the execution of portraying them, not only in the furniture, art and accessories, but in the detailed planning of the floor layout. As a merchandiser, we’ve developed five design features that should be addressed when merchandising a model home to assist with successful sales.

Scale and Space Planning:
Knowing how the potential buyer might typically use or envision each room and space is important to understand before diving into design. A home’s flex space might be best used as a study or reading room for the active adult buyer, while a growing family might use the space as a craft or play room. Once objectively figuring out each room’s function, furniture placement and the size of each piece is vital. Positioning the furniture perfectly and scaling the pieces appropriately promotes good flow and enhances the size of the space.

Thoughtful Design Details:
Every home needs personality, but more importantly, a personality that accurately portrays the prospective buyer. This begins with researching and gaining extensive knowledge about the potential buyer and their wants and needs, as well as the location. From there, subtle design details that depict the buyers’ hobbies and the home’s location create positive memory points. This could be pictures of a nearby landmark, thoughtful coffee table books about the surrounding areas, or even a themed child’s room pertaining to activities offered in the community.

Creative Use of Color:
Color is an effective and inexpensive way to transform the look and energy of a room, so be sure to consider how you want visitors to feel when touring the home. Lighter shades create an open, airy and calming feel, giving the illusion of a larger space. Bolder colors can create a vivid effect and vibe when used in a smaller setting. In a larger space, dark or bright paint colors draw the eye to focus on a particular feature or architectural element. Accent colors or designs on walls, ceilings, doors or shelving are all unique areas to add a daring and dramatic effect.

Lighting, Lighting and Lighting:
Seize the opportunity to let interiors shine! Simple solutions such as keeping windows clear of bulky furniture, not allowing drapery to move too far into window space and keeping blinds open will add loads of natural light and make a room look brighter and bigger. Decorative lighting, such as floor lamps or table lamps, can pack a punch by creating character or highlighting a unique piece of art or accessory. And, as far as overhead lighting – don’t skimp!

Timeless Trends:
Design that is “too trendy” can cause potential homeowners to shy away as they develop a natural fear that the home isn’t meant for them or their family. Along with recognizing this, buyers do demand updates and would like newer features within the interiors. Finding the balance between “new” and “too new” can be a challenge, but if the design succeeds at incorporating timeless trends or eclectic touches, it evokes a sense of safety, while still feeling edgy.

As an interior designer and model merchandiser, it’s vital to work hand-in-hand with the builder to fully understanding the demands and desires of the target demographic. With this and these five features in mind, the design will resonate with prospective buyers, which in turn leads to successful sales!