What is the best gift you could give yourself and your family to inspire them? What can one thing set them on a course for a lifetime of adventures, instill a sense of pride in gathering and sharing knowledge, and teach them to harness the power of their imaginations for the rest of their lives? Can one thing do all this? A book can.
Do you remember seeing Belle’s face light up when she was given the most incredible gift - that large library - by the Beast in Beauty and the Beast? Of course, you do! What a magical moment to witness someone gifted with an endless wealth of information and thousands upon thousands of stories about, well, everything.
More importantly to the story, that library made it possible for Belle to call that castle her home. If your house, old or new, is feeling a little less homey of late, you might be surprised to learn that adding an at-home library is an incredible way to transform your favorite spaces into restful places where adventure abounds, your passions take flight and offer you a way to escape to lands near and far without ever leaving the comfort of your favorite chair.
Building a home library – both the structure and the inventory – is not a small feat, but it is something that anyone can do if they want to add a sophisticated flair to their home and be the envy of everyone they know.
Books are incredibly powerful. Treat them well, and they will provide your family with a lifetime of joy. Let’s get started on building that home library!
Find Your Space
Yes, we all want floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that require a gorgeous wall-rolling ladder to access those tippy-top shelves, but realistically, most of us will end up with traditional, non-permanent bookcases or bookshelves (and that’s perfectly fine too!) Where you can certainly get very creative is in choosing the space that your books will call home.
From alcove reading nooks set into large windows to closet bookcases that provide you with awesome shelving and an out-of-the-way storage option, there is no shortage of places that you can build a killer home library space. You can add bookshelves that surround your bed, floating shelves in the living room, a behind the couch library, a floor-to-ceiling corner bookcase in the kitchen, or an under the stairs nook that would otherwise go unused (to name just a few).
Though books are easy to keep in great condition (handle them with clean hands and store in cool, dry places away from sunlight), there are some considerations to factor before committing to space. Is it accessible to everyone who needs it? Is it near a great reading space like a window seat or a comfy armchair? Is the space large enough to hold your books?
Chances are, either your space will define the size of your library, or your book collection will define which spaces are acceptable.
Get Your Books In a Row
There are countless places that you can go to score some amazing books for your home library. Used bookstores are making a huge comeback, and most cities have some great mom-and-pop bookstores to help you find great titles for great prices. Book fairs are perfect for snagging new titles and having some books signed by authors too. One book-finding spot that goes unnoticed often is the monthly Friends of the Library library book sale. When your local public library needs to make room for new books, they sell off the old ones through Friends of the Library, and it is a great way to find some treasures!
No matter where you find the books that will be added to your collection, it can be helpful for some collectors to decide which types of books to collect. Here are three tips to build your library on:
One, read about your passions, from cooking to skydiving
Two, read what you want to learn more about
Three, read what makes your heart skip a beat, whether it is presidential autobiographies, Greek history, or thrilling fantasies and adventures.
Make It Cozy
You have books. You have shelves. You have active readers. Now what? Now you need to create a space that sets the mood to read all those lovely books! Whatever your version of reading bliss is, bring those elements into space.
Soft lighting, bright, sun-drenched spaces, or fairy-light lit spaces will help build the perfect reading atmosphere. Daybeds, ottomans, reading benches, bean bag chairs, a cushion-covered floor space, a recliner – whichever seating makes you want to snuggle up and read to your heart’s content, add it to your space.
Don’t forget to add a small table for your mug of tea, a great throw blanket, and a place for your pooch or cat to snuggle up beside you and enjoy the quiet.