Ideas for creating your own home library

I don't know about you but I've always been a book person, from spending Saturday mornings "doing my homework" at the library to more recently when sometimes I accumulate them faster than I can read, which from my perspective is a great problem to have. 

What I'm always looking for though is the ultimate way to store them.  I've experimented with organising by colour, and by topic and the more traditional alphabetical way, but sometimes my TBR (to be read) pile just feels a bit like this:

Photo by  Gaelle Marcel  on  Unsplash

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

So today in this collaborative post I'm sharing some things to consider for creating your own home library, which feels like a little bit of luxury.  Like any home project it will need a some planning and a clear idea of what you want to achieve.

Choosing which room

You might not have too much choice here, but if you're lucky enough to have a choice of rooms then there's a few things you should keep in mind.  For instance, a room that lets in a lot of light could be harmful to your books, will it "bleach" the covers, and does that matter?  Depending on your books it could devalue them or even more simply spoil the covers.

Likewise basements and lofts are areas that are more likely to be damp or humid and therefore more likely to risk mould and/or insects. 

Storing your books

Once you've chosen where you're going to place your books, the next thing to consider is how you're going to store them. Are floor to ceiling shelves for you, or perhaps built in units, or even the flatpack sort that you and your family can have "fun" putting together first - you know the sort.  There's a wide array of storage options available so it's worth identifying how much shelf space you'll need, and remembering to add some extra space too, as all bookcases need some room to expand.

Deciding on your organisation method

This is likely to be the most fun, and possibly the most controversial part of the process, but often for book lovers it's the best part, but if you have trouble deciding on how to organise your books, don't worry as someone's probably already tried it before.

You might be a traditionalist and wonder why anyone would organise in any other way than alphabetically, but alternatives include by genre, or by colour.  I've tried a mix of these, and I know a good system helps me find what I want more easily. 

Adding somewhere to sit

For me adding an easy chair in front of our bookcases was a real game changer, as it gave me somewhere to sit back and enjoy my favourite books, and somewhere to just sit and peruse when I need some me-time.

It's only a single chair, and a relatively small one, but it's comfortable and somewhere to escape too.  Positioning what is likely to soon become your most favourite spot is key too, arranging seating at a slight angle can help make the room feel more casual and welcoming.

Photo by  Karim Ghantous  on  Unsplash

Consider lighting

Lighting in every room is important, but when it's in your reading place you'll want to make sure it's comfortable to read in.  While I *might* have been caught *once or twice* reading by torchlight under the covers many, many years ago, now I'm much more of an advocate for the right light in the right space (even though the torchlit reading was fun and adventurous at the time!)

Layered lighting is even more important in this space, and don't forget accent lights or perhaps a funky floor lamp that can direct light just where you need it.  But whatever you do, don't forget natural light, and if your space allows it consider flooding it with light with a lantern roof.

Keep it you

Making spaces work for you is all about making your space unique to you, it doesn't have to be the latest trend but it should scream "you" to everyone that enters your reading space.  You'll know how you can personalise your space better than I but framed artwork that's personal to you, a handcrafted throw or perhaps a piece of furniture that you've upcycled. 

Even in the smallest of spaces - whether thats under the stairs or in an alcove, it's great to have a space to show off what you love to read.  

How do you store, and organise your books?


A DIY makeover for my bookshelves

And hopefully a slightly more interesting post than that title sounds!

In our study (aka my craft room) we have two Billy bookcases and two of those shelves are devoted to my collections of Good Food and Olive magazines which are growing. The oldest magazine dates back to 2003, a year after we bought this house and clearly when my recipe know-how was starting to fade a bit...

And with so many magazines, it was getting hard to keep them upright so I had a plan.

I headed off to the big orange DIY store clutching my measurements and managed to get there on a day when the big cutting machine was working. Handing over the sizes I wanted cut I waited for the man to do his stuff and left with lots of smaller bits of MDF!

Back home I got to work to insert the cut MDF as uprights

installing uprights

Even though my measuring - and the cutting - was accurate, there were some variations between the space and the MDF upright, so I added some draught excluder to the top of the MDF to help wedge it in place.

filling the gap

This worked well and ensured the uprights stood firm, and I took a moment to work out what to do next.



uprights installed

That was to carry on and repeat this for the second shelf before putting the magazines back in place.  I've left the MDF unfinished and unpainted as it's already a close match to the colour of the unit, and I think it works well.

With the uprights in place, there was only one thing left to do - and that was to step back and admire my morning's work.

magazines back on the shelf

It looks like there's enough space for my subscriptions to carry on for a little while yet!