I love the effect but I am definitely not a decorator.
I need a large clock (since I'm blind as a bat) and the phone is housed next to my side of the bed. And, unfortunately, my nightstand is always cluttered with books and magazines as I do all my reading in bed.
I always try to have one book on the go (aside from scriptures) which can be from my own library or the public library. I can't just tuck public library books away or it will probably be forgotten and incur a late fine. I don't collect a lot of magazines but the monthly one(s) that I do receive, need to be where I can see them so that I remember to read them.
I haven't been able to find a magazine rack solution yet (hopefully soon!) but I came across a pot-lid/kitchen organizer at the dollar store. The metal partitions were straight up and down so I just bent them at an angle to accommodate books/magazines in a more intuitive way.
This take up slightly more room than a stack but looks much better to me... Everything can be easily visualized and accessed!
I linked this at A Bowl Full of Lemons here.