The Case of the Broken Bookend That Ends With Bookcase Styling Ideas

I absolutely loved Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a girl. Every week during library time, I would go straight to the mystery section and check out the next caper in the series.

I pored over the books, admiring Nancy’s sleuthing skills as she solved each case.

Well, I got to put on my detective hat and solve my very own case a couple of weeks ago: the case of the broken bookend.

Discover 5 Tips for Successful Bookcase Styling at


These particular bookends were a pair I brought home from my Nonna’s house.

I had wanted a pair of white, horse head bookends for at least a year, but never bought any. As I walked into the bedroom where Dad was sorting through Nonna’s things, I saw them laying on the floor.

My eyes grew wide in disbelief. I may have even gasped at the sight of them: white horse head bookends. And without hesitation, I told Dad that I wanted them.   “Are you sure,” he asked.  Even with the broken ear?”

“Yes,” I answered. “I’ll just turn that one around.”

Discover 5 Tips for Successful Bookcase Styling at


I couldn’t even wait to clean the bookends before I set them on my bookcase.

Then the research began.

I found out that these are Art Deco, porcelain bookends that were sold at Bailey Banks and Biddle in the 1960’s.

But how did the ear get broken?

Discover 5 Tips for Successful Bookcase Styling at


The next morning I received a text from my Dad that read,

” I was telling your Mom, the more I think back, I’m the one that broke the horse ear. They sat on a window ledge and we (children) weren’t allowed to fool around with any item there.

Well as I stated earlier, I had a fascination for them and I would pick up the one I could reach and look at it.  As I was putting it back, I hit it against something and broke the ear.  I switched the ends around so the ear couldn’t be seen and never told my parents.”

Turns out I’m not the first one who turned the horse around to hide the ear.


Discover 5 Tips for Successful Bookcase Styling at

Case closed.  Now to solve an even greater mystery: how to style bookcases.

Here are my top 5 bookcase styling tips:

~Use what you love. 

~Arrange your books in both rows and stacks.

Discover 5 Tips for Successful Bookcase Styling at


~Turn books so that the pages are facing front.  I do this because I love the look of book pages, but also because there are times I don’t want the spine to show. You might want to turn your books this way just to create a unified, monochromatic look.

~Vary the height of objects on each shelf.

Discover 5 Tips for Successful Bookcase Styling at


~Create balance by distributing weight and color evenly throughout the shelves. I like to create a zig-zag or Z pattern, working my way from top to bottom.

There really are no hard and fast rules to bookcase styling. But after arranging my bookcases countless times, these are the tips that I use for successful styling.


See you in class,


p.s.  I’m sharing my treasures with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality.

mrs hines sig


  1. I have a big smile on my face after reading this post.
    The bookends are priceless and so is the story!

  2. Awww, thank you for sharing in my joy, Tina. I’m smiling too.

  3. What a precious story, Sharon! Great minds think alike!
    Thanks for the book tips… I’ll be using them on my hutch in the living room!

  4. I love using books in home decor!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I always loved Nancy Drew mysteries too. I cherished my books. Also Trixie Belton mysteries too!

  6. I was wondering if this would turn out to be the answer?? Imagine your face hen you were a child and that happened. It was probably priceless. They are very cool bookends. Great tips!


  7. My Dad broke them when he was a child. And I imagine he was pretty frightened by the possible consequences. I’m so happy to have the bookends now.

  8. Donnamae says:

    Great story! And wonderful that your Dad remembered what happened! 😉

  9. I am so glad he remembered too. I told him that makes the bookends all the more special.

  10. Glad your dad remembered 🙂 Love the bookends even without the ear. xo

  11. What great tips, Sharon. I love you taste!!

  12. Great tips! Life to the full! Melissa

  13. Thank you, Melissa. Trial and error is the best teacher!

  14. Thanks for your styling tips and cute story!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.