bookish tablescape

October is in full stride. The holidays are looming ahead of us. Schools are humming along. Since most, if not all, schools are back to doing what they do, we set the table with an academic, scholarly, bookish aesthetic. It’s a fun way to hit the books! 🤩📖🌼

Books stacks line the center of the table as a centerpiece stage. Books are also used as chargers at each place setting. The books consist of a vintage encyclopedia set my brother and I used as children, plus vintage books from the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series collected through the years.

Each place setting is also adorned with a vintage blue Ball jar and a white feather, evoking a writing quill of timeworn times. All the table top items, plates, silverware, glasses, etc. are all everyday items we use regularly.

I loved Nancy Drew as a kid, and read Once I was done with the entire series I started with the Hardy boys but it was not quite the same. I just loved Nancy. I always checked the books out from the library; never owning any myself. The collection I currently own is simply from thrifting. When I started collecting them I would pick up the books for a dollar or two, until I guess it became “in vogue” and the prices shot up.

The pop of yellow from the flowers brings a freshness and sprite to the table that I absolutely love! Originally white flowers were planned for the tablescape but after a few stops and no worthy white flowers to be found anywhere, I decided to use these sunny sunflowers as soon as I saw them. I always include a filler type flower as well to compliment and extend the main flower and these yellow pom poms fit the bill!

The flowers are spread down the table in between the book stacks in different, vintage blue Ball jars, coordinating with the individual ones at each place setting. The different centerpiece jars add interest with varied sizes, shapes and heights.

The table is meant to be playful and fun. It was a bit lost on Mister Masterpiece but my daughter fully embraced it. It would be a fun set-up for a book club gathering or a mystery dinner, adapting the details to your particular theme of the event.

My daughter has been back at school for almost two months. She’s a senior in high school. My son is in his second week of school. He’s a sophomore in college. Both of my Masterpiece kiddos are back in school- in person & in real life! These simple details make this mama happy!

I love setting a table for any occasion and this is a small tribute to having my kids back in class, interacting with peers, relating to teachers in real life and experiencing life the way it should be. Human interaction is precious and important and the fabric of our lives. I am so happy kids are back in school albeit it with masks here in California and Oregon but still mingling and gathering together.

This is the first time I have used books for a tablescape, but I use books as decor all the time. You can read more about that in this post {follow link for entire post}.

book decor

I have used these ball jars for tablescapes before though. You can see here how I used them in this transitional tablescape from summer into fall.

a transitional tablescape

Also last year I created a book page leaf garland in honor of the school climate at the time. I have all the details enclosed in this post.

bookprint leaf garland


  1. This is such a creative tablescape, MaryJo! I love it. My mom and aunts used to read us Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys before naptime and we went bananas for it. Every day would we say, “One more chapter – please – we swear we’ll go to sleep – just one more chapter!”😂 I can’t wait to send this to them. They’re going to be so excited about it! Hugs, loved and pinned, CoCo

    1. Thank you so much CoCo. You don’t know how much your sweet comment means to me. Thanks for stopping by and sharing with your family. 🤩. Yes, every chapter was a cliff hanger. Have a great day. XO- MJ

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