Can one have too many books? Truly, you can do anything through a book. Learn to cook, learn a language, travel, become a pirate, monster, animal or mystical creature. Reading helps to grow your vocabulary and also patronage a favorite author. In this blog, I am going to share how and why our family decided we needed to Make a Home Library and how you too can build, furnish and grow a library.
Published September 30, 2022
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Building a Library
I have always loved reading. When I was in 7th grade, my mom gifted me with the Harry Potter series, or at least those first books that were out. Before that, my aunt gifted me with The Wrinkle in Time series. Since falling in love with books, mainly fantasy and mystery, I have really developed a personal collection of books.
Then in 2008, when Tyler and I were married, our books combined, and the collection doubled. Tyler loves thrillers, Theological and mystery books.
As our kids got older, we started to collect more and more books and were so much more intentional about which books we purchased. Not that a condition was the most important part, but that we could collect books in series, by favorite authors, and also a pile or two of the Classics. Prust. Bronte. Austin. Lewis. Orwell. Eliot. Dickens. Tolkien and more.
While researching for this post, I found an amazing stamp that can be customized. You can use this stamp to label each of the books in your Home Library so you can keep track of your special collection. This Custom Library Stamp is for sale on Amazon and there are ten choices for design. Additionally there are color choices which include Black, Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Orange, Pink or Brown.
Previous Library Accommodations
Our previous home, that we lived in for a decade, had the most fabulous built-in bookcase. This bookcase was not original to the house, but I found it at the Habitat Restore for only $100! Tyler did have to adjust them a little as they were three-feet-deep instead of narrow.
When we moved into our new home in 2019, these bookcases were sadly left behind. As a selling feature, they were massive and huge and too amazing to take with us.
Our new home did not, however, have an awesome entertainment center or bookcase in the living room. For the first year, our books were in storage in the basement and sad. This past year, Tyler built an amazing bookcase wall in the living room out of reclaimed wood.
The bookcases were painted and anchored on the wall, and we finally got to showcase our massive book collection.
Requirements or Guidelines?
You may be wondering, why are we making a home library and how does one go about doing this project? For starters, reading is a joy. Our whole family love to read and it is one thing that we do that brings us great joy. Reading can open a whole new world of possibilities in learning, teaching and travel. When we decided to Make a Home Library, we went through our books to see which we had and which we knew we wanted to add.
A home library, for starters, can be just a simple collection of personal books. There are not really any actual guidelines to follow in making a home library. However, a home library typically can be “labeled” a home library starting at 1,000 books and other media items like magazines and newspapers.
In The Spruce, you can check out 42 Home Library Ideas! This gives so much information on how you too can claim a space in your home to make a home library. Click the link below for more!
Ascetics in Making a Home Library
When thinking about furnishing a home library, there are no guidelines on what to choose. You can go for comfort, color, pattern or style. There are modern libraries, fancy libraries, gothic libraries and reclaimed material libraries.
A library should be a comfortable place to read, rest and enjoy your books. Think of comfortable couches, fluffy pillows and soft rugs.
For our home library, we do not specifically have couches or chairs that were handpicked by us. However, we do have massively huge and comfy couches in our living room, and it just works. These couches were bought by my parents back in the early 2000’s.
Instead of buying new furniture, my parents gave us the couches when they downsized. In 2019, when we sold our old home, we then brought these comfy couches with us to the new home.
Furnishings in a home library can also include rugs, tables and more. In our new house, the living room did not have a library until Tyler built one two years into us living there.
Lighting your Home Library
In lighting a home library, there are an infinite number of possibilities. LED, warm tones, cool tones, lamps, hanging lights, track lights and even rope lights in various shades and colors to choose.
The books should also be taken into consideration with lighting. Not too much lighting to negatively affect the books, but enough to be a comfortable place to rest and read.
For our home library, we really wanted to have a little extra lighting in our living room. When we initially moved into the house, the room had a ceiling fan with no lights. This just would not do for us. We removed the ceiling fan and Tyler installed a drum-shade lamp in its place. We immediately went from a dark room to bright and lit.
Below is the image of our living room prior to us moving into the home in 2019. As you can see, the lighting was very minimal and adding the ceiling light was completely necessary.
Since starting our library project, we purchased an end table lamp that sits next to one of the comfy couches.
Additionally, we replaced the useless ceiling fan with a light that I found on sale for a steal of $5! It was a chrome look which didn’t fit our style.
To change it, it was spraypainted matte black to match our curtain rods.
Affordability to Making a Home Library
Don’t spend a fortune making a library. Buying new books is awesome to support authors. However, if you can find a way to save money on books, I highly recommend it!
There are SO many ways to increase your home library without breaking the bank. Mainly, we get our books at a local store, Half Priced Books. Here you can find the most varying range of books from Religious, self-help, fiction, non-fiction, romance, historical, mystery and si-fi.
Additionally, when Making a Home Library, you can choose to use materials that will also support the budget and NOT break the bank. When we built and designed our Home Library, materials were chosen that were reclaimed and repurposed instead of thrown away. Not only did we end up with beautiful shelves for next to nothing, but we also saved them from a lifetime in the dump. When choosing shelving, try looking at stores that resell building materials before buying new.
Below is the blog where Tyler used reclaimed materials to build our Living Room Bookshelf feature wall. Click the link for the full process and how it turned out!
Is a Home Library Right for You?
Anyone can have a home library, not just if you have a home.
If you live in an apartment, you can choose to have a special collection of books on a bookshelf next to a comfortable chair with a reading lamp.
Additionally, you can often find items for a library on a budget to repurpose to make them look like you’d like and not break the bank.
Before we made our own Home Library, I found this GEM of an end table for $12 from Goodwill and refinished it for the living room. For just the cost of the paint and time, this ugly piece turned stunning.
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