Thank you all for your suggestions about paint colors.  It seems that the majority thought a light warm gray would look nice.  I took it as a challenge that no one suggested a rich, dark color.  I've chosen to go very dramatic with Benjamin Moore Fairview Taupe, HC-85. 

I can almost hear the gasps.

My thinking was I would take the color scheme of the chairs and flip it.  A dark taupe background wth the shelves being the ivory piping.  I think the effect is elegant and moody (just like me) and makes the room feel very cozy.  The dark color is also a nice balance to the dark gray sofa that on the same wall of the adjacent living room.

There is a bigger plan that will bring in some accent colors but I like that I've kept it neutral.  This allows we to totally transform the room just by switching out some accessories.  I think the shelves would look gorgeous filled with blue and white Asian jars.  Something new to collect!

The shelves aren't even painted with the final coat but I can't resist the temptation to bring in a few things just to play a bit.  The painting is getting tiresome.

Most of my books are art books and cookbooks that are packed away.  It will be fun to see them again.

I'm really attracted the combination of wood, metal and white.  I know; not even a single book!  I love how strongly graphic the white objects are against the dark color.  And the metal pieces shine at night.

I could mess around with these arrangements for a long time.  And it will never be done...or perfect.  I love that.