From Houzz. I have collected antique books from thrift stores or tag sales and have received some as gifts.
Recently while I was shopping for gimps (yeah you know it!) at Claremont, I spotted this AMAZING screen with a bookcase display on it. It is a Piero Fornasetti screen designed in the 1950s.
Nate Berkus designed this classic but not stuffy looking living room with bunches of books arranged strategically on the bookcase. They are quite chunky so it is nice to break up the books throughout the bookcase.
Kathy Abbott designed this sweet little room in the Kips Bay Showhouse in 2010. She stocked the bookcase with beautiful encyclopedias.
Of course, Bunny Williams has some gorgeous antique books. This bookcase is packed full with no room for objects or sculptures. Just the books in all their glory.
Robert Kime has set you up here with this traditional bookcase and displays it with a set of encyclopedias or antique books.
I know you can buy books by the yard but I find that...tacky. Books should be selected for personal reasons, not by the yard, for looks. I HAVE bought books because I thought they were beautiful and DID judge them by their cover but also for their content. My favorite is a book with marbled paint on the inside of the cover and a book my friend bought me called "Book of Etiquette Volume II". Amazing.