A home filled with books can be a place of inspiration in more ways than one. Bookcases, bookshelves, entire rooms: far from being simple storage spaces, home libraries reveal the personalities and lifestyles of their owners. They are always very personal and unpredictable, whether they have been specially created in a separate room or fitted into nooks and crannies all over the house.
Despite living in this digital age of eReaders, nothing compares to the age old experience of thumbing through actual pages, captivated in the familiar scent of paper and ink. Home libraries and reading nooks still hold their popularity because as human beings we just love to be amongst these paper banks of knowledge, adventure and romance. A large home library spanning multiple walls can feel like a big hug around its inhabitant and can hold a lifetime of reading that allows the owner to delve into past pockets of information; a manifestation of their learning and exploration.
Home libraries needn’t be the stuff of mansion-size dreams. Whether you live in a classic city apartment with your family or a tiny bungalow on your own, creating a space for your books and getting lost in them can be as simple as carving out room for a big comfy armchair and a neatly arranged bookshelf.
A booshelves that tells stories
If you’re short on space, infuse an existing room with a fresh purpose by lining the walls with shelves stacked with your favorite books. A library wall can be a welcome addition to almost any area, from an occasionally occupied guest room to a highly trafficked hallway.
There are a few main systems for organising bookshelves, though of course you can always go off-book and create a system that works for you. Some of the most common ones I’ve seen are:
• Alphabetical (by title or by author surname
• Edition or collection
• Separated into read and unread
Living with books
Open floor plans make it easy to combine areas, such as the living and dining areas, into one multipurpose space, so why not add a room-spanning library into the mix? Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that run the entire length of the space make a big visual impact, and you can easily pair them with an equally eye-catching wall of art. Add a library ladder for a modern touch and to keep everything right at hand. After all, one can never have too many books.
Add Art to the Story
There’s no need to limit your library to the literary arts. Balance the sea of books with displays of artwork, collections, and other treasures for a look that recalls a cabinet of curiosities. Use pieces as bookends, or hang art on the shelves—just the pretty accent to disguise any guilty-pleasure thrillers and beach reads.