Again, my first piece of advice is EDIT. I go through my bookcases a few times a year. It's amazing what books I've packed, moved, re-shelved and never opened. We're supposed to read books, right?
The problem is we can't make others edit their books...and that's where husband clutter can come into play. Mine always says I should be happy he likes to hold onto old stuff versus tossing it -- seems that indicates he'll be keeping me around when I'm old too!
Do what you can in this department. Take all of the books you are keeping off of your shelves and group them -- by size and category. If you have any nice picture/coffee table books put those aside for other decorating (we'll address that later). Review piles and edit more if you find you have several of the same type of books.
Put the nice books back on the shelves. You can arrange them by height, color or stack some horizontally alongside vertical stacks. Add a piece of pottery or picture to a shelf or two if you have room. This just adds some visual interest. Please do not add any fake plants. Please.
If you have a stack of paperbacks, or text books, or other less attractive books find a shelf in a storage space, closet, garage, etc. where you can stack those. Better yet, put them in a box and toss them in the attic if you can't part with them.
If you have any coffee table books you can use those as decor in any room. Stack them on any surface - by size and color or category. I also like them stacked on a simple chair.
As far as managing piles of often-used books such as text books, I found some great "leather" open boxes at Target or Marshall's and have a few for my husbands collections. One is in our bedroom for books and magazines and the other is in our kitchen as a "catch all" container. If leather doesn't fit your room's style, go for metal or wicker.
I'll look for pictures and post those soon. I hope this helps. Happy editing! And, remember, libraries have tons of free books, so you don't need to buy every book you see.