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Home Libraries – Always in Style

In a recent article for The Future of Real Estate’s blog about home libraries being back in style, June Fletcher writes, “In the library of her 5,800-square-foot house in Glen Cove, NY, Linda Teitelbaum keeps trophies from dog shows, needlepoint pillows of bulldogs, and gold-framed photos of family. Though the plaid-papered room has a scattering of books, she often retreats to it not just to read but to remember the dogs she used to breed, to nap, or to get away from the TV. ‘It’s my veg-out room…’”

“Libraries have become so fashionable,” the article continues, “that talk-show host Oprah Winfrey featured the one in her Santa Barbara, CA, home on the cover of her magazine.”

Yet another gem from this piece says that, “In the latest annual National Association of Home Builders consumer survey, 63% of home buyers said they wanted a library or considered one essential, a percentage that has been edging up for the past few years. Many mass-market home builders are including libraries in their house plans, sometimes with retro touches like rolling ladders and circular stairs.”

Timeless Appeal

While these points are about the apparent resurgence of the home library’s appeal, evidence is strong for long-time students of interior design and architecture – not to mention booklovers of all ages – that home libraries have always been in style. While not always housed in a room called “the library,” home libraries have been an integral part of many if not most homes for centuries.

In the case of home libraries that are named and dedicated to that singular function, Douglas MacMillan writes about Super Home Libraries for Business Week. “From quiet inner sanctums to expansive, two-story book displays, a custom-designed library is a change to create an intellectual center for your home and organize the stacks of books that inevitably pile up in all the other rooms. Forget the gadgets – the real ‘smart homes’ have a dedicated space for reading, collecting, and displaying books.

This feature has a marvelous slide show with 11 examples from modest to magnificent, and will get the juices of any bibliophile going.

Books Get Center Stage

In an educational article called “How to Create a Home Library” for How Stuff Works, Molly Edmonds writes, “‘I cannot live without books,’ declared U.S. President Thomas Jefferson to his friend John Adams. Indeed, Jefferson was an obsessive book collector from a young age, amassing three separate home libraries in his lifetime.”

At the end of the article there is even a practical tidbit for people who want a home library, but don’t like to read: “People who love to read may be most interested in the idea of a home library because it gives order to their passion, but some people just like the way books look. A few companies, like Book Décor, specialize in antique books that you can order by the yard.”

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