Home Libraries: A luxury to be Proud Of

If you’re a book reader and lover, you’re probably always looking for a comfortable, well-lighted place to sit for an hour or two, when you have the time. That can be hard to come by in many of today’s hectic households.

Your books are also probably piecemealed around the house. They’re piled on top of your nightstand and the coffee table, the ones you’re reading now mingling with ones you’ve finished but still want to hold onto and those that are next on your list. There’s probably a bookshelf in your home office, but it’s filled mostly with business-related volumes, and these books are more … fun.

So it’s time to solve both of these problems by creating a space for your reading and your books. It’s ideal if you can turn a whole room over to the reading and veneration of books, a bulwark against the continuing advance of screens and keyboards, but it’s not necessary.

Wherever you put it, do make it accessible to the whole family, particularly kids and grandkids — studies have shown a correlation between childhood access to books and higher literacy and math skills in adulthood.

Whether you’re setting up a full-blown home library or a reading corner, it should be in a relatively peaceful part of the house, shielded from excessive noise. Bookcases can be great room dividers and create a private, cave-like feel for the reader.

“Cave-like” doesn’t mean “dark”— the more natural light the better, and window seats are fantastic, so include at least one in your space if it’s at all possible. Track lighting, wall sconces and swing-arm lamps near your favorite chair will make reading easy on your eyes after dark, with bulbs in the “warm white” range providing the best illumination.

The amount of shelving will depend on the size of your book collection. Having shelves running all the way from the floor to ceiling looks fantastic if they’re mostly full, but unless you have both a bookshelf ladder and the motivation to pull things off the highest shelves it might be better to pare back your collection a bit.

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