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Everything You Need To Know About Building A Home Library

If you love books and are thinking of remodeling your home, there’s a good chance you’d be willing to skip the kitchen or bath remodel in favor of creating a home library. While you might not need recommendations on what books to add to your library, you might be unsure of how to design it. Here, we’ll walk you through how to set up a home library that will store your literary treasures in the way that best reflects your home style.

Choose a Location

Whether you’ve got room(s) to spare in your home, or are trying to carve out a corner in your living room or bedroom for your library, it’s important to know where your book collection will live.

Once you have the spot in mind, you’ll be able to determine whether your bookshelves should be more utilitarian or should act more as décor—although some might argue that books in any part of the house provide an attractive aesthetic.

Think Vertically and Horizontally With Shelving

You’ve likely noticed the ladders in bookstores and libraries that access higher shelves. Whether you’ve got the budget to do built-in bookcases or you’re DIYing ready-made shelving, make the most of the wall space—all the way up to the ceiling—so you can add as much book storage as possible to your space.

But what if you’re adding a library to an attic or the second floor of a Cape Cod home, where slanted ceilings don’t afford much space to work with? Don’t worry. Just grab a tape measure and calculate how much room you have—again, both vertically and horizontally—to fit as much shelving as you can.

Be creative with your shelving, too. Maybe you’ll find a bookshelf that will fit just perfectly. Or maybe you’ll prefer to build your own out of floating shelves that you can keep stacking up to the ceiling. You could always add a ladder or step stool, like the ones you’ve seen in libraries and bookstores, to access those out-of-reach books.

Arrange Books Accordingly

Your book collection might seem infinite, but alas, the space on your shelves is finite. However, there are some creative ways of stacking your literature that can free up some space for…more books!

While stacking books on their ends is the easiest and quickest way to fill a shelf, you’ll eventually run out of room. Try stacking some books flat in vertical piles—it’ll make more use of the space, plus it will add variety in the visual design. If you’ve got wider shelves and you’ve collected multiple books from one author, you might consider stacking up those books behind others.

However you choose to arrange the books on your shelves, do it in a way that makes sense to you. Common ways include alphabetically, by author or within genre, so you always know where to go to find the book you want to refer to or read.

Add Seating

Provided you plan to read your books, and not just use them for display purposes, you’ll want comfortable seating that allows you to linger for as long as you’d like.

Comfort is in the eye of the beholder. Do you want a traditional, classic rocking chair? What about a reclining armchair? Maybe you’d prefer a couch or loveseat so you can have another reader join you. It’s your house, your rules, so if you want a beanbag chair to curl up in as you work your way through your current reading list, go for it.

Install Proper Lighting

Readers long ago might have relied on candlelight, but your eyesight will thank you for having something better. The proper lighting scheme here will be useful and enhance your home library’s aesthetic.

Sure, there are those convenient book lamps that you can clasp to your book when the daylight grows dim, but this is a great opportunity to shop for a funky table lamp or statement sconces. Maybe you prefer a tall gooseneck reading lamp, or perhaps you’re willing to splurge on an elegant chandelier or pendant light. Think about what times of the day you most enjoy curling up with a book, and plan your lighting accordingly.

Enhance with Decor

Again, book lovers will say that a full bookshelf is enough decoration for a room, but you may want to add some other literary accents to your shelves as well. These could be attractive bookends, miniature dolls of favorite literary characters or even a themed blanket thrown over your chair. Think about what appeals to you as a reader and add some accents—and more books, of course—as time goes on.

Going off the idea that books themselves are beautiful on their own, you might consider arranging your books on the shelves by the color of their covers. You could do this monochromatically or in a rainbow. Keep in mind though, while this might make things interesting to the eye, it might make finding books harder down the road. Try relegating this design choice to a single shelf—perhaps your current to-be-read pile.

Whether you’re entranced by fantasy books, intrigued by mysteries or love a good romance, creating a dedicated home library is itself a happy-ever-after story.

Source: Forbes

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