10 tips for at-home libraries

Today is ‘Book Lovers Day’, and for all the bookworms out there, it’s important to have a great spot for your books at home. If you’re looking to show off your book collection, here’s 10 tips on setting the stage for a home library.

  1. Choose the right room: you can build a library almost anywhere, but keep in mind a few things, like direct sunlight on your books will fade them over time. Also, attics and basements are moist and can attract mould, not to mention basements are prone to flooding too.
  2. Determine how many books: for some people, a home library is eye candy for home design, not for functionality. Do you want a space to house all your books, or just a place to display some of the aesthetically-pleasing ones?
  3. Decide on space: if you need to conserve square-footage, opt for a vertical library plan rather than something horizontal.
  4. Organize your books: there are several theories on organizing home libraries, but three easy ideas include alphabetizing by author, organizing by subject (history, romance, etc.) or organizing by colour to utilize the decor opportunity.
  5. Secure your shelves: if you’re housing a lot of books, you want to ensure you have a structure to support all the weight. Make sure your shelving is secured and can handle the weight of your books to avoid any safety issues in the future.
  6. Furniture: depending on how many books you have, or where you’ll be putting your library, will largely define what kind of furniture will work the best for your library. Options include: built-in shelving, freestanding bookcases, hanging book shelves or glass cases.
  7. Accent pieces: now that you’ve organized your books and have somewhere to put them, add some design pieces like book-ends, accents (globes, home decor, etc.), picture frames or antiques.
  8. Get proper lighting: ensure the space is bright enough and well-lit enough to actually read the books and the titles on the shelves.
  9. Have somewhere to sit: it’s not just about displaying your books and organizing them, having a comfortable space to sit and read your books should be part of the library plan too. Be cognizant of your space, but great options include a window seat, soft chair or love seat.
  10. Protecting your books: you aren’t the only one who loves books, pests like termites, book lice and rodents are attracted to books as well. Keeping your books free of excess moisture and dust will help keep vermin and insects away. Mould loves moisture, and it can grow in as low as 21 degrees celsius. Some tips to consider include putting a dehumidifier in your library room, and using fans or air conditioners to keep temperatures down.