We've covered using nonfunctioning fireplaces here on Tiny-Ass Apartment before; the possibilities of what you can stuff into your fireplace are endless. But for some, storing books in your hearth is a lil' too close to book burning. At the very least, there's a concern about the lack of respect the tomes are afforded, and a worry about how dirty and sooty they'll get.
Now, as a book lover myself, I can understand. There's nothing like feeling a page between your fingers, hearing the binding crackle as you open it, smelling the paper and ink and... OH OKAY I WANT A NOOK. They're so bad-ass, with their e-ink and their wifi and touchscreens and magic gagetry. But still, I feel that paper books do deserve respect and a pride in their display. That's why this idea from Better Homes and Gardens appeals to me. It still utilizes the unused fireplace space, but shows you how to create a shelf inside to protect your paperbacks. It's the best of both worlds.