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What to do about the disappearing home library

By John Kirchner April 4, 2012

Mill around on Pinterest long enough or flip through the latest issue of Elle Decor and eventually you will find a brilliant home library complete with dark-stained shelves holding hundreds of tattered hardcovers, along with a cozy leather chair and an antique floor lamp. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? asks, “Is the home library dead?” It’s a good question. Fact is, while most of us would love a home library, they have typically been reserved for the very wealthy whose sprawling homes could allow such a limited-use room. Cost aside, other factors threaten the future of home libraries, as well.

  • The rising popularity of e-readers means fewer books to take up physical space and storage. (A blessing and a curse.)
  • Modern design favors open floor plans and multifunctional rooms. (No one ever accused a home library of being versatile.)

The article (linked above) shares some helpful tips for integrating the more practical elements of a library throughout your home. The gist:

  • Find a quiet, out-of-the-way corner of your home and dedicate it to reading. Make sure your seating is comfortable and the lighting is right.
  • You can’t go wrong with adding bookcases, whether in your office, bedroom or living room. And even if you’ve quit buying books since you purchased an e-reader, several websites actually sell “faux books” to fill your shelves. (We’ll keep it a secret!)

[Photo from]