Home, Garden & Lifestyle

Home Libraries

Believe it or not there are several ways to get your reading material in order, and make them a decorative feature at the same time.

When wandering through your local library, you’ll know that books are stored and organised to a set of rules. They may be ‘filed’ according to the Dewey Decimal System or in the fiction area alphabetically according to author. A system had to be invented and let’s face it for the quantities involved, it’s a good one, which has stood the test of time, however I’m not suggesting that ‘home’ libraries need to be as strict.

Find ‘Your’ Style

What works for you? Do you like to file your books alphabetically, by subject or by author? Regardless, the main aim of the game is to be able to ‘find’ a title when you need to. The rest is common sense and aesthetics.

What I mean by ‘common sense’

Work to the space and the décor surrounding it. Store books in areas where they’ll be used e.g. where possible store cookbooks either in or near to the kitchen. Children’s titles will be in the child’s room or play area to encourage reading if possible next to a cozy reading nook. Books for schoolwork in the study; and craft or hobby books in the area they’ll be referenced.

Do you need all of them?

Before getting overwhelmed, it makes sense to have a good ‘weed’ out, and only keep your true favourites based on level of use, worth, condition or ‘attachment’ level.

For a great guide on ‘weeding your book collection’ I’ll refer you to a great blog article Doing The Unthinkable: Decluttering Our Bookshelves from Stephanie Keep of Keep It Lit. I liked this article because it’s written from the heart of a person who adores books – especially if you’re finding it hard to let go.

Aesthetics & Safety

Remember the basics when it comes to styling shelves. Within your categories, group books according to shape, proportion, type (e.g. hard or soft cover) and yes, colour – as seen here on Book Shelf Porn. Be brave – sometimes removing the jackets can reveal interesting, ornate or block colour spines as in this beautiful arrangement of books seen on Pining For The West. Stack both vertically or horizontally, as seen here on Tumblr, or to add interest to architecture as in this block of book colour to this wood panelled wall by Edmund Dorf. Bring other objects into your ‘shelved frame’ using items of a block colour or theme single or grouped, rather than haphazard nick-knacks which will clutter and collect dust.
Other great ideas are to use ‘repetition’ with items as seen in this bookshelf which not only uses colour blocks but also the repetitive use of vintage camera’s within the design. One last hint, ensure that shelves are not top heavy and where possible put the heaviest, largest or most dense collection of books to the bottom shelves. Not only is this easier on the eye, but safer. If you do have small climbing children and are not renting your home, make the investment, buy some brackets and anchor your bookshelves to the wall. For more styling tips refer to a wonderful article here by Kathleen Dore at Style At Home.

Inspirations for storing your recipe books …

  • As seen on Nom Nom Nom, not sure how it’s done, but an clever bit of design by Clair Olivia Wayman.
  • Custom made wooden book rack in dark oak. The pins are also bookmarks.
    From Old and Cold on Etsy.
  • If you’re pushed for space and want something rustic and quirky why not employ and old laddersuch as the one here on What’s Not Wrong? or here as trestle shelving from Lifehacker.
  • If space is really limited or you just have a few favourites, you may want to consider this Kitchen Bull from Toro Legno.
  • Or use a gorgeous rustic basket as seen on A Bowl Full of Lemons. A nice idea because it’s portable, and easily moved when you need more bench space.
  • Shelf just outside the kitchen found on Emma’s Blog (note: go to the page and scroll up, it’s the 8th image up from the bottom of the page).
  • The ultimate entrance to the ultimate pantry here seen on Shelterness.

Inspirations for kids reading nooks …

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