Whether you’re an academic or simply a bookworm, having a book collection that could feasibly be described as a ‘library’ probably takes some work to keep organised. Get the best from your books, with our tips for designing and maintaining a well-kept home library.
1. DECIDE WHICH TO DITCH
In the spirit of Marie Kondo, it’s a good idea to assess your entire collection every now and then, and get rid of anything you don’t really need. That’s a very subjective matter, of course – and you and your family may disagree on which tomes are truly essential! But think of it this way: the titles that are just gathering dust on your shelves could have a new lease of life in someone else’s home. And having a clear out will give you extra space for the books you do read.
2. Categorise your collection
Some people like to order books alphabetically by author, while others prefer the structure of the Dewey decimal system. However you arrange your collection, it’s good to have a system, so you can always lay your hands on the title you’re looking for.
3. ARRANGE BOOKS ROOM BY ROOM
It makes sense to have recipe books in the kitchen, work-related titles near your desk, and paperbacks handy by your favourite reading spot. If you do nothing else to organise your home library, doing this will ensure that you get the most use from the books in your collection.
4. GO DIGITAL
For many book lovers, e-readers are the antithesis of the tactile pleasure of holding a book in your hand. But if you’re willing to try digital versions at least some of the time, you’ll save on space. Electronic books can be located at the touch of a screen, and they’re certainly much easier to carry around in bulk!
5. Take advantage of vertical space in your home
Although books do take up some room, they have the advantage of being relatively easy to store – especially if you use every inch of available space. Consider getting bespoke shelves built in your home, so you can keep your books all the way up to the eaves. We love this ingenious Japanese bookcase design whose sloped shelves double as climbable steps!
6. KEEP A CATALOGUE
Need to keep track of the titles you own? By cataloguing every book using a spreadsheet or smartphone app, you’ll be able to tell what you’ve got and where – especially useful if you’re in the habit of lending out books to friends. If you don’t fancy a computerised record, keeping a paper catalogue, or a set of cards, could be just as effective.
7. CREATE A DEDICATED READING ROOM
If your book collection is threatening to take over the entire house, it might be time to house it elsewhere. By creating a separate reading room in the garden, you can give your library the dedication it deserves, and include a desk and other furniture for a proper study space. Your garden library will also have the added advantage of peace and quiet, away from the rest of the house – so you can enjoy the tranquillity of your reading room, in the perfect nook with views of nature. Why not make a new home for your books in one of our comfortable and compact luxury garden pods?