Tips and Ideas for Building Your Home Library

Today’s world is fully immersed in the digital age where electronic devices are a constant companion throughout the day, which makes it all the more important to take the time to unplug. A home library can provide the perfect place to relax, escape into a good book and take the time to slow down.  With the right furniture, shelving and other decorative details, you can create a reading sanctuary that houses your personal collection of books. Here are home library ideas and tips to get you started:


How to Start a Small Library

Building an enviable collection of books can be fun and affordable. There are plenty of great places to find both old and collectible books along with newer publications. If you are lucky enough to have a used bookstore nearby, it can be a great resource. If you are looking for a particular book, be sure to talk with the staff. Typically, they will be more than happy to keep their eyes open and notify your when a copy comes into the store.

Thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales are also great places to start building a collection for your home library. You will be able to find great deals and you never know what kinds of treasures you might come across. Estate sales can also be a goldmine for rare books, but you’ll have to get there early before the best finds are gone. You can search sites like to find upcoming sales and browse available items.


Top Places to Look for Affordable Books


     1. Used Bookstore

     2. Thrift Store

     3. Garage Sales

     4. Estate Sales


How to Design a Small Library

When it comes to designing your small home library, there are three main things you will want to consider: library shelving, furniture and lighting.


Library Shelving

Next to your actual books, library shelving will be the most important aspect of the room. The color and style of the shelving will play a big role in setting the tone for the room. More modern home libraries tend to rely on simple white shelving for a bright and sleek look. If you want to create a more classic and sophisticated room, look for darker stains of real wood. From there, you can also incorporate carvings, columns and molding to dress up the shelves. Also, think about incorporating other items, like photos and keepsakes, into the shelving décor. A lot depends on your personal style and the type of library you want to create.

No matter what style of library shelving you choose to install, make sure that it is strong, sturdy and capable of holding the weight of the books. Built-ins are your best bet and well worth the investment. Cheaper shelving options can begin to sag over time and will need to be replaced.


Library Furniture

The library furniture you choose should complement your shelving and help reinforce the tone of the room. Modern libraries can be outfitted with softer chairs and couches for a more causal and inviting feel. Classic libraries with darker wood tones are perfect for leather furniture and other wood pieces, such as desks and tables. That being said, you shouldn’t feel limited by these common pairings. You can also create a more eclectic look by mixing different styles and materials for a unique look that blends the old and the new.

The most important thing is to choose comfortable functional library furniture that reflects how you plan to use the space. You will definitely want seating that is perfect for an afternoon with your favorite book. If the space will double as a study or office, find the right desk and workspace. Also, keep in mind that your home library can be used as a dining room, breakfast nook or other type of room. There are no limits to how you can utilize the space.


Library Lighting

When it comes to library lighting, think accent lamps. Overhead lights tend to be harsh and don’t provide the concentrated light that is ideal for reading. Strategically placed accent lamps on tables and desks can make reading easier on the eyes and create a more intimate and relaxing environment.

Even as technology continues to improve our lives, there simply isn’t a way to replace curling up with a good book. The smell and feel of the pages help to create an experience that speaks to more of the senses. That is exactly why a home library could be the ideal addition to your house. Fortunately, building your collection and decorating your library doesn’t have to be expensive. By searching for used books and focusing on key design elements, you can create a beautiful and functional home library that enhances your home.


Contributed to Your Home blog 

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Published 5.23.19

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